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Bionic Commando Rearmed – PS3 Network review

Great
AT A GLANCE
  • Uncomplicated, unabashed and fun
  • Replayability through leaderboards
  • Unlockable retro goodies
  • Almost too-tricky in parts
  • Controls tough to get used to
  • May upstage next-gen version

Capcom is in real danger of shooting itself in the foot here. As well as its big-budget re-imagining of Bionic Commando, it is also releasing Bionic Commando Rearmed as a cheaply-priced download. It could be one of the best downloads for the service yet. Whereas Bionic Commando features a lavish 3D wasteland and a modernised, dreadlock-cultivating Nathan Spencer, Rearmed is a simpler, more humorous affair; a nod to a time when games weren’t burdened by the pressures of huge marketing spends, big development teams and internet flame-grilling.

Spencer has a ginger bouffant for godsakes. Rearmed succeeds because we couldn’t help smiling all the way through it. Even when we were groaning at its occasional trickier moments, the good feeling shines through. From start to end, it’s a meticulously crafted homage to what made the NES original so much fun – and that’s the keyword, fun. It’s one of the only games this side of MGS4 whose intro screen we’ve watched all the way through. It’s funny. It’s daft. It’s only about a minute long. Getting into the game proper and the immediate draw is the slick animation of Spencer and the colourful ambience of each level. Guards look like Prince’s backing band, while each area, scrolling along left to right (and up and down), has a neat semi-3D appearance. Rearmed is a game where the hero wears shades into battle, surfs through levels on big purple globs of slime and shoots a chained hook from his arm. Its design is irreverent and loveable.

That bionic arm would be a jump button in any other platformer, and is what gives this its, well, hook. Gaps in the way ahead are swung across, ledges above are clung onto, obstacles are grappled out of the way of and enemies are hurled out of the screen. Still, we found it a little cumbersome to get the knack of before brushing up on the ancient art of pixel-perfect positioning. Charm, ROFLs, bazookas, top-down segments, big bosses and old-school frustration. A marker has been laid for its bigger brother.

Aug 14, 2008

More Info

Release date: Aug 13 2008 - PS3 (US)
Aug 13 2008 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Grin
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Comic Mischief, Animated Violence

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1 comment

  • dmonee12 - September 1, 2008 6:01 p.m.

    It may be the best $10 you spend on a game. Ever! I personally find this game difficult, but not TOO difficult. If you compare it to games like Ghosts and Goblins or Ninja Gaiden. I suck at games too, and I still beat it. Once you figure out how to get past certain bosses and sections of levels, you will want to do it again and again. I hope more developers do stuff like this. Even though it's rehash, it's still updated rehash. I wish Konami would have given Castlevania:SoN a facelift before putting it up on PSN, but oh well. I'm almost gitty at the prospect of seeing other games getting this treatment. They're easy money makers...

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