Cobra Mission (PC) review
"Face it, your first intimate encounter can be a mortifying experience. Where do you put those clumsy hands of yours? And, oh my gosh, what are you doing with your mouth?!? Donít let your inept fumbling plunge you into the depths of humiliation and shoot you self-confidence to hell. Avoid this lifelong trauma; simply play Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City. Not only is this game a moderately complex RPG-style detective story. Not only is it an over-the-top comedy that borders on the farc..."
Face it, your first intimate encounter can be a mortifying experience. Where do you put those clumsy hands of yours? And, oh my gosh, what are you doing with your mouth?!? Donít let your inept fumbling plunge you into the depths of humiliation and shoot you self-confidence to hell. Avoid this lifelong trauma; simply play Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City. Not only is this game a moderately complex RPG-style detective story. Not only is it an over-the-top comedy that borders on the farcical. Most importantly, Cobra Mission offers a step-by-step interactive tutorial for all things carnal. Completing this game will guarantee your future status as a complete sexual dynamo.
Your instructor in these escapades is JR Knight, the greatest ladies man to ever unhook a brassiere. He has other talents, too, such as his stellar ability as a PI. His investigation skills will come in handy, as heís been called back to his hometown by his childhood friend Faythe, the only woman who wonít instantly fall into bed with our hero, to unravel a mystery. The island town of Cobra City has become a lawless void with gangs roaming the streets, mass disappearances, and no way out for the cowering citizens. The man behind this crime wave is Kaiser, a mysterious villain whose final goal is unknown.
A strength of Cobra Mission is that it requires the player to take on the detective role. At the beginning of each stage, JRís objective is completely unknown. In order to break the case, JR and Faythe must hit the bricks, but they do it like Gulliver among the Lilliputians. The blocky duo, each as wide as the road and as big as a house, waddles through each successive section of the city to search for clues. They have to talk to the locals to find out what Kaiserís crew is planning and to learn the enemyís weaknesses. Every nook and cranny has to be scoured for useful items. As more information is gained, JR will better understand the task ahead of the team. In the later levels investigating becomes more difficult, with puzzles becoming more convoluted and requiring more steps to solve. The player has to pay careful attention to all the information he collects, and even then it takes persistent searching to find items needed to crack the enemyís scheme.
Of course, Kaiser isnít just sitting back waiting for JR to come and get him. Hordes of his henchmen are out to stop JR in his tracks, although most of them are more likely to kill our hero with laughter than with violence. Thereís the Muscle Crow, a behemoth of a woman. But her impressive physique is just for show; sheíll actually attack you by licking with her massive tongue. Or you may fight a Street Killer, a deceptively wimpy looking guy dressed in a spandex bodysuit and beret. You will even fight the temporally misplaced Dark Knight, replete with armor and broadsword. Youíll be even more tickled by some of the flamboyant bosses: Tacker, whose headband makes it look like he just came back from the gym, or Derek, an anemic looking masochist with a deadly whip. Although youíll start to see more and more familiar color-swapped forms as you progress through the game, you will still encounter enough new, outrageous enemies to keep you laughing the whole way through.
Fighting the enemies is a uniquely interactive experience. Cobra Mission is not an action game, so you wonít be mashing buttons to deliver pain upon the evildoers. Your opponent, looking as fierce as ever, will appear in the action window, along with JR or Faytheís weapon. A timed meter controls when the enemy will attack you. When it fills, the screen violently flashes, the hooligan will attack, and health will be taken away from JR or Faythe. To make your character attack, you must use the mouse to move their weapon over the enemy and unleash your strike. This is the fun part. Each enemy has an area of vulnerability, and finding that spot can be a challenge, especially if the opponent is kicking the crap out of you and you canít make a dent in him. Unfortunately, the fights arenít exactly fair. Only one opponent can appear in the window at a time, meaning you will never be outnumbered in a fight. Plus, while the singular enemy can only attack at certain intervals, JR and Faythe can swing away at will, getting in three or four attacks for every one of the opponent. With this unbalanced system, only the strongest, most well-defended opponents will ever worry you.
The battle interface isnít the only aspect that makes this game easier. Cobra Mission uses an RPG-style system, so JR and Faytheís abilities increase as they gain more experience and better equipment. However, the game is paced so that the player rarely must worry about the charactersí growth. Better weapons and clothes can be found or bought at the moments when they are needed. Enemy encounters will occur often enough that you will never have to seek out battles in order to train. On top of that, the charactersí health meters will fill as they walk around, and you will most always have enough respite in between fights to abuse this feature. No fight will ever make you run crying from this game. You will only be deterred from beating this game senseless if you canít figure out JRís next move in infiltrating Kaiserís organization.
So hereís the question: why should you play this game? Sure, you can spend a few hours blazing a swath through Kaiserís army, have a few laughs, and return Cobra City to a bastion of freedom. But whatís in it for you? The answer: playing Cobra Mission will turn you into a veritable SEX GOD. See, every level in requires that JR saves a damsel in distress. In return for his kindness, and because heís just that studly, sheíll reciprocate by giving him her digits. After one quick phone call, the pair will be off for a romantic rendezvous. However, youíre not just treated to a slideshow of the tryst; even JR Knight has to work for it! Instead, these scenes work frighteningly like the battle system. The girl will lay herself in front of you in all her naked splendor. You will use an icon to tell JR where to place his fingers, tongue, orÖ other implements. Massage her in the right way and sheíll move closer and closer to the ultimate act, as well as rewarding you through the speakers with a grainy moan. You wonít have it that easy, though, because not every caress will bring the girl pleasure. In fact, if enough of JRís ministrations miss their mark, his partner will berate his ability in the sack, storm out, and leave him high and dry. While every failure is discouraging, itís also educational. Fortunately, even after humiliation, you can call a girl up as much as you want. Learn from you mistakes, and you will slowly figure out how to please a woman. Someday, these lessons may have an actual real world application. Take advantage of them!
Sadly, though, these sessions are more likely to be instructional than erotic. Realizing that Cobra Mission runs in MS-DOS and was released in the early 90ís, this is understandable. The writers did their best to liven up the sexual episodes with dirty talk, but the scenes just arenít that enticing. The faces lean more towards cartoony than anime style, and at times are drawn twisted into unintentionally grotesque expressions. The bodies are not drawn with any exceptional amount of detail. Even these rudimentary shots look better than the terrain of Cobra City. The graphics of the land outside the bedroom are made up completely of blocky, pixilated forms. While you may be unimpressed visually, you should be pleased with the superb music in the game. All of the tunes are fast, exciting, and motivating; their frantic beats will drive you to accomplish the mission that lies ahead.
Cobra Mission is a fun game. Youíll laugh at the army of outrageous enemies you have to fight. Youíll laugh at the rare moments when JRís macho and lecherous ways clash with Faytheís prudish nature. Youíll even laugh (or cry?) when JR canít close the deal with one of his ardent admirers. Sure, itís not perfect, but spending an afternoon beating this game will offer you a priceless reward. You will be a GOD! And your future lover/girlfriend/wife/prostitute will thank you for it.
Community review by woodhouse (May 23, 2004)
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