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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.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Our Take

Nick DiMola Director

09/09/2011 at 01:18 PM

I agree, the price of admission on this is way too high. If it gets under $10 I'll probably grab it since I love the first, but at $15 it's out of the range I want to pay for a downloadable game.

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