bizen247's Bionic Commando (Arcade) review

Enjoyable predecessor to the NES classic

Capcom’s original arcade Bionic Commando was released in 1987. It has become somewhat obscure due to being eclipsed by the famous NES release of the same name the following year. A lot of people probably assume this is just an arcade version of the NES game, but in reality it is a different affair and quite a bit simpler.

You take the role of 80’s Capcom mascot Super Joe and must invade an enemy country and kill their leader. There are only four stages, but the platforming is very high quality and the game throws a lot of bad guy soldiers at you to help keep the boredom away. Super Joe comes equipped a gun that you can upgrade with some power-ups and a grapple arm that allows him to get to higher platforms and swing across gaps. This game also started the Bionic Commando franchise tradition of not letting the player jump, so you must start thinking in terms of how to use the grapple to get around.

Bionic Commando is short, sweet, and has some catchy classic Capcom music. The feel of its basic gameplay is very similar to other games in the franchise like the NES Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando Rearmed. Anyone looking for another quick burst of that play style can try and find a cabinet still in working order, but will have more luck getting the game as part of the Capcom Classics Collection Volume 1. There was also a PC port with an extra level.


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