Cobra Mission (PC) review
"The best part is the combat itself. Instead of merely selecting "Attack", guide the mouse to a certain location on the opponent and ferociously CLICK. Armored guards are vulnerable at the unprotected neck — well-endowed female bodybuilders are resistant to attack at their iron breasts."
There's something enthralling about shameless nudity. So enthralling that a little bit of bare flesh makes people forget everything they normally look for in a quality game. You know, things like "gameplay" and "responsive control". Fortunately, Cobra Mission -- a console-style RPG for your home PC -- is quite an enjoyable little title, filled to the brim with attractive anime vixens. Nude, of course.
"Oh ho ho, Zigfried thinks he is so clever. He's going to praise a game simply because it's porn! Bahaha, no one has ever thought of such a thing before!"
I don't know if such a thought is echoing through your head, but I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for having suspicions as to my motives. Other reviewing websites are filled with gimmicks, jokes, and assorted tomfooleries; however, a cheap one-off laugh is not my goal. A game -- pornographic or otherwise -- can be built upon a strong design foundation, or a weak one. And Cobra Mission just so happens to have a strong foundation.
The story itself is a detective adventure in which you must track down the evil corporate villain, Kaiser. Like the other males in the game, Kaiser wears clothing. In the process, many lovely ladies have been taken prisoner, and are awaiting your manly might to rescue them from their chains. Being female, the captives do not wear clothing. As you trek through Cobra City in overhead-view, super-deformed console style, your alter-ego dwarf will solve minor puzzles and engage in random, turn-based battles.
And those battles are one of the game's high points. Not only are the enemy graphics resolute and colorful, but the music is also fairly catchy. The boss melodies are particularly exciting, definitely leagues ahead of the lounge-like overworld tunes. However, the best part is the combat itself. Instead of merely selecting "Attack", guide the mouse to a certain location on the opponent and ferociously CLICK. Armored guards are vulnerable at the unprotected neck -- well-endowed female bodybuilders are resistant to attack at their iron breasts. Discovering weak points is not only strategic, but entertaining -- guiding your knife to the witch doctor's kidney is more engrossing than tapping an arbitrary button.
The other high point is in the layout of the quest. For the most part, the game is as linear as any Final Fantasy. That is to say, there is a primary quest, and there are occasional (small and optional) side-quests. However, throughout the adventure, you can collect girls' panties and take them back to a photographer. He likes panties. In exchange, he will reward you with a photo-shot of a young pretty in a compromising position. Nude, of course.
What makes this reward system special, above and beyond other RPG's, is the extent to which it is implemented. Yes, Final Fantasy 4 had tails. It had two. This game has a dozen panties to collect -- and they are often left in areas that need not normally be explored. Every good detective rifles through random womens' undergarments, and this game rewards you for breaking and entering.
And, of course, this game rewards you for saving captives from Kaiser. In point-and-click fashion, you can engage in intercourse (kiss here? rub there?) with each shapely lady. Red-headed Melissa is my favorite, especially the part where she "arches her back and rides you like a bull". The text descriptions during sex are truly evocative of passion and romance. Although I did not particularly care to know that Melissa rides bulls.
Rescue the girls and have your way with them. More than a healthy dose of degradation, to be sure, but there's no denying the inner workings and wants of a man's mind; such "damsel in distress -- and she's HOT!" fantasies are hardly a novel concept. Yes, the medieval knights who commonly performed such daring "rescues" in the real world often partook of the maidens without permission, and then those same knights fabricated a code of chivalry intended to sweep their dirty little trysts under the rug of history. Fortunately, in this adventure, the "rescue sex" is always consensual.
But there's a wee bit of a problem here. The first girl you rescue -- a gorgeous sort by the name of Stephanie -- has already been raped by the wicked gang leader.
Imagine the situation. Girl is raped. You kill the rapist... then have sex with the unfortunate lass. I can't quite place my finger on the reason, but something seems improper... and even disturbing... with that scenario. I'm firmly of the belief that, when dealing with controversial matters, a writer must carefully consider the potential reactions of his audience. Setting a rape victim as the player's first conquest was perhaps not the most prudent decision that could have been made.
That one scene alone, by occurring so early in the game, cast a dark shadow across the entirety of this light-hearted adventure. It almost made me think the point was degradation after all (as opposed to fantasy fulfillment).
Almost. By the time I reached Cobra Mission's climactic ending, I really didn't give a damn. Like devouring an entire chocolate meringue pie, partaking in such hedonism feels a bit shameful. However, its appeal is undeniable.
Staff review by Zigfried (March 26, 2005)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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