#817 Bionic Commando Rearmed

Posted: 18th August 2018 by Jeroen in Games
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717th played so far

Genre: Platform
Platform: PC/Xbox 360/Playstation 3
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Grin
Publisher: Capcom

For some games on this list, we are playing the remake rather than the original. Bionic Commando seems to have been a rather beloved NES game with some impressive time attacks. I doubt the latter factored into the decision for the remake, but one did arrive and it was considered good enough to end up on this list. This game still follows the original game’s stories and mechanics, apparently with added multiplayer and challenge rooms, so I suppose you can say I’ll cover two games in one.

… yeah, I didn’t believe that either.

Our Thoughts

Jumping is not a mandatory part of platformers and its early days and we’ve seen it in a few games. After Super Mario Bros, though, leaving it out seems unthinkable. That makes this game mor einteresting. In Bionic Commando Rearmed, you don’t get a jump button. Instead, you get a grappling arm that lets you swing around instead. It changes a lot of things about the platforming, both by limiting your options on where you can use it, but more often to allow for more options – chaining swings becomes important soon, as do the different angles you can jump up with and the speed at which you do so. It’s a change that fundamentally changes how you move around and it works incredibly well. It also creates the option for the challenge rooms – additions in this version, it focuses on pure platforming and movement around these rooms, rather than the shooting that was almost mandatory in games of the day – you probably wouldn’t have needed enemies, but they are there.

There is a pretty large variety in weapons that you can swith between, which makes the combat quite nicely, there’s a bit more to it. You permanently unlock and upgrade these, rather than having to keep collecting them, which really feels like you’re growing in strength and abilities as you play through. This is also the case in area unlocks – there are a bunch of areas, with a number of them unlocked at most times, but access to one being restricted by when you complete another, or something feeding back and recommending a replay because you unlocked another. It adds a size to the world that feels good now, but would have felt amazing as the original release. Even now the backtracking makes the world feel more important.

The game’s graphics seem pitched just right as well – stylized thorugh a slight cartoon edge, the graphics are slightly stylized (justifying reuse if nothing else), which works well – it doesn’t distract too much, looking perfect as the backdrop for this action.

Final Thoughts

Bionic Commando Rearmed feels like the perfect downloadable game – released on Steam, XBLA and PSN, it was created to be that. The graphics can be simple to keep it constrained and it seems like a good place to put these remakes – the origins are clear, but it’s all been polished enough to be more playable. The jumping works and fighting is fun enough – and there’s not too much that it gets tiring. The challenge rooms really show where it can lead – there are a lot of different movement options that makes me wonder what more is hidden around the level, and which makes it feel like there are a lot of ways around the level in the first place.