Thursday, January 22, 2009
Retro Saga part 13: Captain Commando
Nintendo has Mario, Sony as Kratos and Drake, and Microsoft has Master Chief. Mascots are everything in showing who the company is. You could say the mascot is a fictional spokesman for the company. Now, there is some debate about what Capcom’s mascot is. They have a lot of games like Megaman, Street Fighter, Lost Planet, Resident Evil, Ghost and Goblins, and you get the idea. I mean, yeah, I think it is Megaman, but I think back in the day, it was Captain Commando. It’s funny, because of how many times you see him on the boxes of retro games, but he doesn’t look like the picture above.
The story of the game takes place in the future version of Metro City, where an evil gang has taken over Metro City in 2026. It is up to Captain Commando and his three Commando companions to stop the evil gangs and villains of Metro City, and save it. There is something very familiar about Metro City since it reminds me of another Capcom game, but I will get to that later in the review.
The game play in Captain Commando is a straight-out beat ‘em up, just like Final Fight and Streets of Rage, where you can control Captain Commando and beat up the enemies within the games. A cool feature is that you can play with four people playing at once, each controlling a different character in the Commando team. The second team member of the Commando team is Mack the Knife, who is a mummy-like alien who wields two knives. The third member is Ginzu the Ninja, who is the ninja Commando on the selection screen uses the same fighting style that Guy uses in Street Fighter Alpha and Final Fight. The final one is Baby Head, a super smart baby who uses a mech suit of his own design. I will give this game some credit for some pretty original characters. In this beat ‘em up, you can also pick up weapons and mech suits to bring down more damage on your enemies, which is nice since you are not stuck to just punches and kicks, like in the NES game, Kung Fu. Each character also has his own unique super moves, which is also nice since it gives some variety to the game.
The graphics in the game are also well done, and I always enjoy seeing Capcom’s interesting character design. The music is also very good. I mean, it is just as good as Final Fight with tracks that aren’t memorable, but pretty solid for a beat ‘em up. The thing I was going to mention in the story section of this review is very interesting, and I decided to tell you all what I was going to say. The city that the game takes place in is actually the same city that the beat ‘em up Final Fight takes place in! I find that amazing that a lot of references in Captain Commando are from Final Fight. Then again, in some Street Fighter games, you can see characters from Final Fight within the game itself. The game isn’t too hard, but it’s more fun when you have a two-player game going on.
I do have some gripes though about this game that doesn’t age well. A lot of the enemies are inspired by Final Fight, but it just seems like they got lazy and decided to reuses enemy designs for Captain Commando. Captain Commando also moves very slowly in my opinion. I would say he moves as slowly as Mickey does in the Magical Quest games. Another thing I don’t like is that the super moves are hard to pull off, and I just find it annoying that there isn’t a nuke or something to clear the screen. My final gripe is the same gripe you are going to see in my review of Final Fight. When you get hit, you go flying across the screen and you drop your weapon. I hate that in a game. I mean, this issue is also seen in Golden Axe. I mean, you are sent far only by a strong attack.
Overall, though, I like this game and it is one of my favorite beat ‘em ups of all time. I say if you can find a copy of this game for ANY system, then I say pick it up. You can also pick this game up in one of the Capcom Arcade Classic collections. I don’t know why Capcom doesn’t use Captain Commando anymore. I would love to see him make a comeback along with Strider and Mega Twins.
This game gets an 8 out of 10.