Commando (NES) Retro Review


Commando is a 1986 `run & gun` shooter developed and published by Capcom. The player controls a soldier known as Super Joe whilst fighting off enemies with a sub machine gun and a limited amount of grenades.

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I was quite surprised by the title/menu screen, while the options were obvious and the logo no that special it was one of the first games i’ve currently reviewed so far (in order of US release) that had looping music instead of a tiny 3-5 second tune. Although the demo play is shown pretty fast and almost seems to spoil most of the game.

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Getting into the game i felt the graphics were decent except for a couple of glitches every so often and the music was mostly ignorable. The gameplay itself was easy to get used and while you died in one hit so did the enemies. On top of that your character had notably better firepower at the start making it feel quite fair. Bullets were easy to see and dodge and since its a run & gun you can touch the human enemies (there’s vehicles too) with no problem. The game actually seemed fun but sadly the game had 2 noticeable problems. The first was it was possible to get stuck against objects which would almost always get you killed but could thankfully be avoided. The second was there was an obvious enemy limit in this game as they had the habit of vanishing into thin air without any warning, sometimes before even being able to shoot. However while i was disappointed it didn’t affect the enjoyability that much.

Overall, I found this quite fun and while I wish the problems weren’t there i can still recommend giving it a try. I read that this game has a sequel so i’m looking forward to seeing if that is any better.

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