Bionic Commando was released by Capcom in 1988 for the NES. This video game is a classic platformer with a twist: you can’t jump! Instead, you have to use your bionic arm to grapple and swing across the levels. It’s a unique and challenging gameplay mechanic that makes this game stand out from the crowd. The creation was based on Capcom’s arcade game of the same name. The game follows the adventures of Ladd Spencer (also known as Rad Spencer and Nathan Spencer), a soldier with a bionic arm who is sent to rescue his friend Super Joe and stop the evil empire from reviving Hitler or Master D. (in the international version according to Wikipedia) The game has a nonlinear structure, where you can choose which areas to explore on a map screen. Some areas are action stages, where you have to fight enemies and bosses, some are said to be neutral zones, where you can get items and information. Surveillance military trucks are driving around the map as you move. If you run into one of these trucks you’ll encounter the enemy on the ground, where you have to shoot your way through a top-down shooter stage.
The game has amazing graphics and sound for its time, with detailed sprites, colorful backgrounds and catchy music. It has a lot of personality and humor, with funny dialogue and animations. The game is not easy, though. Some action parts are fascinating to play because of the solving-problem challenges they lay out. You have to master the bionic arm mechanic and learn how to swing and grapple effectively. You also have to deal with tricky enemies and puzzles, and some brutal bosses. The game is very rewarding, though, especially when you get to the final stage and face Hitler himself (spoiler alert: his head explodes).
Bionic Commando is a masterpiece of NES gaming. You can find it on various platforms, such as the Nintendo Switch Online service or the Capcom Classics Collection.