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Hello, Mr. Spencer!: In Defense Of Bionic Commando

Bionic Commando 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.