Bionic Commando (Game Boy)

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US box art.

Bionic Commando is an action platform game developed by Minakuchi Engineering and published by Capcom for the Game Boy on 1992-07-24. It is the third game in the Bionic Commando series, and is mostly a remake of the NES version.

The story does away with the Nazi theme from the NES port and sets the game further into the future with more of a science fiction theme. The player controls Rad Spencer, of the FF Corps, and must swing on the grappling hook of his bionic arm to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. Your mission is to rescue your ally, Super Joe, from the Doraize Army, and destroy the super weapon called Albatross which Director Wiseman is building.

Personal

While working on my old Bionic Commando web site, I kept seeing glimpses of the less popular Game Boy port. Initially, I just assumed it was a grayscale version of the NES game, and took no interest in it. However, at some point, I decided to play it and found it to be, although clearly based on the NES title, the designers fixed a lot of the issues of that game and still managed to make a pretty unique game. I beat it sometime in the early 2000s and really enjoyed it.

Status

I don't own the game, but I have beaten it.

Review

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8 7 6 8 7

Best Version: Game Boy

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game's graphics and animations are really good, and the new music composed by Kouji Murata is wonderful.
  • Most of the issues I had with the first game have been fixed in this version.
    • The bionic arm is a little easier to learn to use. It swings faster, and you can more easily catch yourself if you make a mistake.
    • You're given hit points right from the beginning, which makes the early part of the game less intimidating. Also, spikes only do 2 damage instead of 3, which makes mistakes a bit more forgivable.
    • The game still gives medicine too soon, but, at least it's after the second level and not the first.
  • While it doesn't save your progress, the game at least uses a password system so you don't have to beat it in one sitting.
  • Getting caught by the Doraize Army, losing your weapons, and being saved by a comrade, and having to find your weapons again is a nice side-mission.
  • The Albatross is a much more epic boss in this game.

Bad

  • The guns are still uneven. The wide cannon and machine gun both have really short range making them pretty undesirable while the grenade launcher's power makes it the best by far. At least the Vulcan (3-way) does more damage.
  • Defeating a random army isn't nearly as fulfilling as wiping out Nazis.
  • I would have much rather this game been a sequel than a remake.
  • In the Game Boy version, Albatross is part of the mission objective from the start, but, in the NES game, you only find out about it being near completion halfway through the game. I prefer the NES approach which makes it more of a shock to the player.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Videos

Longplay, Japan.
Longplay, USA.

Credits

The game doesn't have credits, but some of the development team has been identified.

Role Staff
Music and Sound Effects (Uncredited) Kouji Murata
Original NES Music (Uncredited) Junko Tamiya
Original Arcade Music (Uncredited) Harumi Fujita

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Bionic Commando
Japanese バイオニック コマンドー Baionikku Komando Bionic Commando

Links

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