Like a rollercoaster ride, it's short, but exciting!
Rescue: The Embassy Mission sets the scene in a foreign city, where terrorists have taken over an embassy and taken the employees hostage; a common terrorist action during the 80's. Fed up with this situation, the government decides it's time for action and they send in a SWAT team to liberate the embassy of all hostile activity.
This being said, it's time to see what the game has to offer. You start by choosing a difficulty level between lieutenant, captain and officer, after which you choose a mission between 5 categories. Quite misleading, these 5 categories are actually not different missions at all, but just an additional difficulty level. Set in time, it will decide in what time interval you should complete the one map you have. Yup; one map, one level, one mission: that's all this game will hold for you, sorry.
Let's now head out and kill those terrorist bastards overtaking our beloved embassy! Though I have no idea what country it's representing, what the terrorists' demands are or basically anything, but that's semantics. We'll shoot them first and ask questions later!
First we must get the snipers up into position. You start off in hiding and need to get from that point to another building crossed out on your map, to successfully position yourself in that building and get a clear view from the embassy's windows. To get from point A to point B, you'll need to skulk around unnoticed. There are search lights scoping the area for authority figures and if they find you, you'll get shot at and most likely killed. I have no idea where these terrorists got search lights from and why they would compromise themselves by commanding these, but I might be over thinking this.
Anyway, to avoid these lights, your SWAT member can crawl under the lights or quickly roll over them to escape fire or, most effectively of all, hide somewhere. Almost every crack is good to hide for a few seconds and let the heat blow over. You're even able to dive into bushes and go all commando on their asses!
Getting to the first sniping spot should be fairly easy (unless you're killed), but getting all three guys into position will require some effort, as the spots are further and further away. Failing into getting even one member into position ends the game, otherwise you go over to the second part of the mission. Three guys will be dropped by helicopter on the roof and from there you'll go back to the map.
Now you can choose to snipe off terrorists through the windows or rappel down to the 3rd story and break & enter a window there. If you choose to rappel, you'll effectively start your assault. So it's wise to first lower the amount of foes, by picking them off at the windows, in Snipe Mode.
You can choose from 3 snipers on each side of the building or as many as you've gotten into position. From there you get a static screen with a scope over viewing 9 windows in total. Once a silhouette shows itself, simply point your crosshair over it and pick it off. The first time you'll break the window shooting through it, but that won't stop you from shooting more bad guys presenting themselves at that window. You can repeat this process with all the snipers you possess for the 3 stories of the embassy. After you've splattered enough terrorist brain from afar, it will be time for action, action, action!
In Rappel mode, the trick is to lower your SWAT member down to an available window and enter the embassy by jumping through it. On each side of the building, you can choose from 3 places to rappel down, totalling into 9 rappel spots. To rappel, simply lower your unit gradually, catching your feet back onto the wall before you lose grip and fall 3 stories down. And trust me, that's got to hurt, so spare the little bugger. Once you've rappelled low enough to about the centre of the window, you can jump back to gain momentum and then jump through the window. Entering the window will give you a shot off the SWAT member bursting in and start Assault mode.
The trick in Assault mode is simply to kill all remaining terrorists residing in the 3 stories of the embassy. You go from room to room, scope out the 4 corners for bad guys and shoot the crap out of them if you find any. Also, you should be on the lookout for embassy employees shivering in the corners, to free them from their nightmare. Once everyone in the embassy is dead, you'll have completed your mission end ended the game! And since there's a timer to do so in at least 20 minutes, the life span for this game is less than 20 minutes! That's right; it's shorter than Barbie's Ocean Discovery!
This should be a sure sign to stay away from this game as far as possible, right? Well, sorry, but you're wrong. This game has a ton more to offer, strangely enough. There are downsides yes, but there's also positive things to be said. First we'll overlook all the flaws in this game.
Most prominent is of course the absurdly short game. It's 20 minutes at best and since the beginning offers no extra missions, but just shortens time, the average gamer should clear this in less than 15 minutes. More so even, the average game should take about 5 to 6 minutes after a first completion, once you know what to do. Now that's a quickie!
Other flaws in the game are small graphic issues, such as a terrorist silhouette in a broken window. Shouldn't you have to see the actual terrorist? That was a tad lazy on their part. Also, in Rappel mode, if you stand firmly on a shot window, your SWAT member will stand into thin air until you make him jump back. That doesn't make any sense.
The last flaw that was kind of annoying is any shooting. You have unlimited ammo with any member, be he sniper or assault member, terrorists don't fear snipers and present themselves at windows and shooting in assault mode is completely random. You can shoot off as many or as little bullets as you want, but sometimes you'll get the terrorist, but sometimes he'll get you, even if you've fired 20 rounds. There's no aiming, it's just pressing a button, so that's not the issue here. Luckily in 9 out of 10 cases, you'll get the terrorist, even in more difficult settings. It's annoying to get picked off at random, especially since you only have 3 guys in total and every life counts.
Now, finally, let's see some positive aspects, because this is starting to become a drag. Imagine that; a hostage situation being depressing.
This game is one of the first Nintendo games I've seen that attempts to tackle the tactical shooting aspect. Complete with stealth possibilities, mapping and sniping, this game is a pioneer in its day and offers a quite new and refreshing feel to any NES gamer. I've only recently discovered this game and was immediately captivated by its gameplay. That alone would make the game worth checking out. Of course, that's not all. Another plus is the well thought of aspect in gameplay. Skulking and hiding is really fun, sniping works well to give you a nice first person shooter feel and assaulting is exciting. Together with the clock running down on you, it gives extra suspense and tension to end the mission successfully. Overall graphics are pretty nice; also the SWAT members made me think a lot of Cobra members from G.I. Joe, which I found odd, but amusing.
As a last aspect, I thought that even though there's only one mission in the entire game, this game will give you at least a few days of entertaining replay value. Don't be frightened by the shortness of it all, because you'll be replaying it over and over again. Starting from the easiest difficulty level to the last, there are a total of 15 different difficulties in which to succeed! You'll get more or faster searchlights, more terrorists or for the Metal Gear Solid fan, you'll go in blind with no map to spot your bad guys. In these hardcore settings, it will become exceedingly harder to complete the entire mission, without any losses. And once you've completed that, you'll start thinking about scraping some time off that mission completion.
In all, this game made me think a lot of the Rainbow Six series, which are now a huge success. Together with the Metal Gear Solid references found in the sniper crosshair trembling, your guys skulking around and the map displaying terrorists, this really short game holds more than the cover it's been wrapped in.
If you're a fan of both old school games and tactical adventures, pick it up and enjoy. Like a rollercoaster ride, it's short, but exciting!