Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 Review
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On 09/09/2011 at 10:33 AM by Jason Hillhouse
The commando returns for the sequel to the remake of the classic NES platformer.
For fans only.
The second iteration of Capcom’s Bionic Commando reboot once again takes us to the brutally difficult world of old-school NES platformers. Gameplay improvements and an awesome soundtrack await returning players as they precariously swing the commando from level to level. Technical issues keep the game from feeling too polished as a whole, but fans of the original may be pleasantly surprised as they play through the game’s many environments.
Gameplay is mostly restricted to using the bionic arm to get around. This time around the developers have added a jumping mechanic that allows the player to make small hops in the air. While this makes the game feel more natural as a platformer than its predecessors, the addition seems to diminish the uniqueness that kept previous iterations from being like every other game in the genre. Other changes include the improved swinging mechanic, which is just as addictive as ever and really rewards the players who work to master its initial difficulty. Along with a few scripted vehicle and weapon sequences, the gameplay closely resembles that of the original remake, with a few slight improvements. I couldn’t ask for more from a sequel.
Unfortunately, BCR has a lot going against it as well. Level design is all over the place, making many areas overly difficult to navigate. It's often unclear whether a level element is in the foreground or background. Enemies are strewn haphazardly around the platforms, only serving as a slight annoyance to the player rather than posing a real threat. Objectives become more and more ambiguous as the game goes on; the grapple mechanics are awkward; boss fights are tediously difficult and uninspired. The whole game is a stark reminder of the frustratingly antiquated gameplay it models itself after.
When it comes down to it, the ride just doesn’t justify the price for admission. At 15 bucks, Rearmed 2 is a solid enough game for what it is, but it could really afford to break out of the old-school platformer pigeonhole. The challenging gameplay and excellent dub-step soundtrack carry it a long way, but buggy levels and graphics, along with gameplay that just hasn’t aged well, keep it from being a must-have title.