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Rearmed follows Nathan "Rad" Spencer, a commando with a bionic left arm that can extend and be used as a weapon, or to swing from various objects. Spencer is sent to destroy a weapon known as the Albatross project under construction by the Badds. The game was developed using Grin's Diesel engine and features in-game art by Shinkiro. Music for the game was composed by Simon Viklund and consists largely of remixed versions of the original music. The soundtrack was released on May 27, 2008 by Sumthing Else Music Works.
Rearmed was well-received by critics, who praised the updated gameplay, graphics and faithfulness to the original, with some calling it one of the best downloadable games available on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. A sequel, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, was released in February 2011.
Spencer traverses several areas, eliminating many Imperial leaders along his way. As he progresses, he finds new technology and travels deeper behind enemy lines. The plot culminates as Super Joe is rescued from the bionic Imperial soldier Gottfried Groeder, and both Spencer and Joe set out to destroy the Albatross project. During the mission, Spencer encounters "The Leader", the resurrected head of the Imperial forces. Spencer defeats The Leader, and together with Super Joe destroys the Albatross. The game ends with both heroes hanging onto a helicopter, flying off as the Albatross explodes.
While Bionic Commando Rearmed remains mostly true to its NES counterpart, a number of gameplay enhancements were made. A health bar replaces the game's original health system of a limited health pool which grows after collecting bullets from defeated foes. Players collect health items from enemies to restore health, as opposed to the original system which involved earning more hit points. Defeating enemies with full health now awards players extra points, encouraging players to avoid being hit in order to obtain high scores. Players can extend Spencer's bionic arm to grab oil barrels and throw them at enemies, or use them as temporary shields. Weapons can now be changed instantly during gameplay, as opposed to being limited to one weapon per mission. Boss battles have also been redesigned. Each battle now makes unique use of Spencer's weaponry and bionic arm. In one example, the player must latch the arm to a screw on the boss character's vehicle, then pull back to expose a weak point in the armor. Additionally, the final boss battle has been extended to a complete level as opposed to the ending sequence of one. Hacking into enemy communications now involves navigating a three-dimensional puzzle as opposed to simply choosing to hack. New to the remake are Challenge rooms which involve using the bionic arm to traverse a course as quickly as possible. Force feedback has been implemented when using the bionic arm, firing weapons, and other events.
Developers found that adjusting the original gameplay to a 3D engine required dismissal of conventional physics. For example, the player cannot walk past a barrel placed in their way, however they are able to swing through the object. "The swing mechanic [is] based on the original [and so is] totally physically incorrect," noted Gameplay Programmer Bertil Hörberg. Hörberg stated that the character always swings at the same speed and releases at the same angle regardless of player input. Weapons were also redesigned, with each weapon being rebalanced. "In the original [players get] the rocket launcher and [use it] for the rest of the game" stated Viklund. All of the weapons were redesigned to be useful in some form, and can now all be taken into combat, whereas previously only one weapon could be selected per area. Boss characters received not only a visual redesign, but the fights were redesigned as well to make use of Spencer's bionic abilities and weaponry. Viklund noted players "need to use the arm to beat the boss".
Challenge rooms were born of a desire to enhance the game's neutral zones. "The neutral zones in the original game weren't that interesting, so I starting thinking we could add an obstacle course in each one", Viklund said. "The bionic arm is such an unconventional mechanic that we really wanted to explore everything that it could offer", added Level Designer Viktor Viklund. Viktor Viklund cited inspiration from several NES games, including Solomon's Key, Wrecking Crew, and Ice Climber, adding that the concept was "very basic, very short stages." The game's soundtrack consists of remix versions of the original NES tracks, arranged by Simon Viklund. He described the arrangements as "the same melodies and harmonies but with a more modern sound."
In an October 2011 ranking, IGN listed Bionic Commando Rearmed fourth in their top twenty-five Xbox Live Arcade titles of all time. Overall impressions of the game gleaned comments of praise. IGN's Hilary Goldstein called Rearmed "the best downloadable game to date on XBLA and PSN", and Cam Shea ranked it second on his top 10 list of Xbox Live Arcade games. Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb called it "terrific in almost every way" and the reviewer from GameTrailers stated it was "one of those games that feels organic to play." Reviewers praised the title's ability to remain true to the NES version but provide enhancements to update the title.
The game's graphics received high marks from reviews. Goldstein described as "gorgeous" and added that Rearmed is "one of the prettiest downloadable games ever made." Gerstmann also lauded the visuals and praised the color palette, backgrounds and lighting. He further noted the game's ability to remain loyal to the original visual presentation. "[It] makes enough visual references to the old game to trigger that feeling of nostalgia, but it never uses the old stuff as a crutch," stated Gerstmann. Similar praise was given in respect to the game's soundtrack, with 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish calling it "exceptional" and "a mix good enough to enjoy outside the context of the game". Stephen Woodward of GameZone also gave praise for the remixed music in the Xbox 360 version. He called it "simultaneously retro and hip."
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 was revealed at Capcom's Captivate 2010 event. It was developed by Fatshark and released on the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network and the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade on February 1, 2011 and February 2, 2011, respectively. The game adds new weapons and abilities, including the optional ability to jump, a maneuver absent in previous 2D titles. The sequel's plot revolves around a dictator named General Sabio and a missing commander from Spencer's organization, Colonel Brubaker. Spencer and a team of four other bionics are sent to locate Brubaker and his platoon and help them complete their mission of disarming Sabio's missiles. Rearmed 2 was not as well received as the original game. The PlayStation 3 version of the game was criticized for its DRM requirement to be signed into the PlayStation Network in order to play the game.
At first look, the game seems fairly generic: you start off by parachuting into enemy territory. The fun starts with you learn to use Ladd's bionic arm-that's right, our hero is equipped with a cool bionic arm (hence the game's name) that allows him to perform great acrobatic moves, such as swinging like Tarzan and firing it at enemies. Key presses necessary to activate the arm are difficult to learn and use-but once you get the hang of it, you'll have a lot of fun. The controls besides the arm are all extremely responsive. The hit detection is solid, and the player moves quite well, despite the massive recoil you take when you get hit.
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Bionic Commando for the Game Boy is a remake of the Bionic Commando (NES) game. It is the same style of platform shooter and features a slightly easier to work with bionic arm. You control Rad by swinging him over various obstacles, shooting at enemies, and infiltrating enemy territory. Since the game is a remake, the main goal is the same: you're trying to rescue Super Joe and save the world from the evil empire. All references to Nazism and World War II have been eliminated, and there is a more high tech theme to the game. Although the game is grayscale, the graphics are wonderful, and some of them are even better than the original, and a stronger anime motif is used. A few tunes are reused in the game as well, though the Game Boy sound chip doesn't quite match up the NES.
Capcom have announced today that the downloadable Bionic Commando Rearmed is now available for download in North America on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, PLAYSTATION Network, and PC. The game goes for 800 Microsoft Points on the Xbox 360 and $9.99 on the PLAYSTATION 3.
Bionic Commando is an action adventure game, and is a direct sequel to the NES classic of the same name. The game was developed by now defunct GRIN, who also recently helmed the updated remake of the NES game titled Bionic Commando Rearmed. The main focus of the game is Nathan "RAD" Spencer's (the protagonist) bionic arm which is used both as means for transportation by swinging and climbing but also as a weapon. Bionic Commando features linear environments designed with the arm's swinging mechanic in mind. To make better use of the bionic arm it's functions have increased significantly compared to the original game.
At the beginning of the game, the motive and groups behind the destruction of Ascension City are unknown to Super Joe and the F.S.A., though the terrorist group BioReign is held in high suspicion. Agreeing to help the F.S.A. with an investigation, Spencer is launched into the heart of the city separate from his bionic arm. After finding his arm and putting it on, he dives into the city to investigate the cause of the explosion. A few encounters with hostile combatants have reaffirmed previous suspicions, and Spencer's investigation quickly turns into a single-man operation against a bionically-enhanced army. 2b1af7f3a8