Capcom's modern 3D revival of the classic Bionic Commando franchise is finally with us here in North America, but some people out there aren't enjoying the game as much as I'd anticipated. There's a lot to love in Bionic Commando, but some people just don't see it. Instead they criticize the controls, story, and basic gameplay structure. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so who among us is qualified to say if these naysayers are right or wrong? I am. They are wrong about Nathan Spencer's latest adventure and I've written an editorial over at Kombo to prove it.
Spencer's bionic arm does take some practice to control efficiently,
but that should not be a surprise. It took some time and a little
effort to master the bionic arm in the original 1988 Bionic Commando as
well as last year's Rearmed remake. Like anything worthwhile in life,
practice makes perfect. Being able to swing through the air while
shooting at enemy grunts does not come easy, but is so rewarding when
done right. After about three hours worth of total playing time I was
able to perform three consecutive swings into the middle of a troop of
soldiers, shoot one as I approached, drop a grenade on two others, and
dispatch the last one by snagging him with the bionic arm and slamming
him into Spencer's boots all without losing momentum. Just like
performing on-demand headshots in a first-person shooter or power
sliding around every curve in a racing challenge, mastering the bionic
arm requires patience and training. Automating the bionic arm's lock-on
mechanic as some have suggested would have completely defeated the
purpose of the game, just as if Mario's jumping were done on-rails or
Captain Falcon's racecar sported automatic acceleration.
I know that E3 is just around the corner and everyone is already looking onward for the next big game in development, but do yourself a favor and explore Bionic Commando. Do not let it pass you by. Swinging through the bombed out radioactive ruins of a major city while gunning down enemy grunts hasn't felt this good in a long time.