May 10, 2006

For whatever reason, I was looking at my contributer profile on GFs and noticed that my first ever review (Captain Commando) was sent in over three years ago (mid-March '03, to be a bit more exact).

Well, that's a reason to celebrate, if you ask me! So, here it all of you can see that I did start out at the same level that it took so-called "seasoned vets" like Zig, Masters, Fact, etc. years to achieve! Without further ado....(my comments in italics)....

"Only if you really like Final Fight clones...."

I give my tagline a decent rating. Taglines tend to suck no matter what, but as Lord Alan proved a couple of years ago, if you make fun of them, people start crying. I could have just put "I eat my own feces!" as the tagline and it still would have been accepted there, so I give myself credit for making a vague statement semi-related to the game!

In 1990, Capcom had a big hit on the SNES with a port of their arcade game Final Fight. This opened the doors for several companies to flood the market with side-scrolling brawlers. Some were good, while others were just there. Sadly, this game falls in the second category.

One thing I tend to get praised for is the amount of research I put into my reviews, so it looks like I am an authoritative voice on whatever I was playing. As you can tell, that's always been a staple of my writing. There's no doubt I made incisive points and backed them all up. No vague statements about how one game inspired designers to make a bunch of copycats or anything like that here!

Ported from another Capcom arcade game, Captain Commando gives you four characters to travel through nine stages of fighting. Unfortunately, there really aren't many differences between the playable characters (as opposed to the average game in this genre, where you have the small, quick one; the big, strong one and the balanced one) and those stages (on average) are much shorter than the stages in most fighters.

The best thing about this paragraph is that I made the "aren't many differences" statement after playing through the game with one character and maybe doing the first screen with (at most) one or two more!

Graphics: 4
On the positive side, I liked the background graphics, which generally looked good. On the negative side, the foreground graphics were a different story. All characters are far smaller and less attractive than in Final Fight, Sonic Blast Man and other brawlers. While this does make the game different from the norm, it is not a change that I personally like.

Another of my peak moments in reviewing, as I make sure my readers know that I am not particularly fond of small, unattractive characters! I also compare Sonic Blast Man FAVORABLY to this game, which should give me Masochist Points or something.....

Music/Sound: 3
To be honest, even though I finished this game last night, I can't remember any of the music. It simply did not stand out as good or horrible. It was just .... there. As far as the sound goes, it was okay, but nothing exceptional. You have the grunts of fallen foes, the sounds of fists flying and all the other sounds of fighting games.

This entire paragraph could be summed up like this: "I can't really say much about the music because I muted my computer so I could listen to basketball on TV while I played. But since all generic reviews have a sound section, I have to pull something out me ass!!!"

Gameplay: 6
The enemies are pretty much comparable to those in the average Final Fight game (Capcom designers must not have been in a creative mood when they made this game). You have your generic, low-class thugs, your knife-wielders, your agile leapers your fat guys, etc. Even the legendary big, tough guy (Andore) is here as Musachi, the big samurai who's not shy about using his sword. Maybe it's not original, but it's a formula that works. Just don't expect many surprises.
Bosses are typically large and strong. Difficulty is uneven when fighting them, though. Some are extraordinarily easy, while others seemed to pound me no matter what I did. For example, to me, the Level 4 boss was tougher than all but the Level 7 and Level 9.
While there are more levels than the average fighting game, many of these levels are very short. One level, in which you pursue a scientist on a watercraft, is so tiny that it feels more like a mini-game than an actual level.
As far as the fighting goes, you punch, kick, throw, use weapons and have ''desperation'' attacks. Nothing new here, either.
In a nutshell, while this game offers nothing new, what it does offer is a good, fun diversion.

As you can see, my early reviews were superb in how they flowed smoothly while offering deep insight as to the nuts-and-bolts of games. I only wish I'd thought to include some comment about how I wish I was a big samurai who wasn't shy about using my "sword" on all the hot chicks who'd obviously be attracted to anyone able to write this great of a review. If I'd done that, this review would have likely changed my life forever!

Replay Value: 4
Depends. If you let this game stand on it's own, it offers a fun diversion for a while. However, if you compare it to other fighters, it just doesn't stack up. Personally, I'd rather put in a number of other games than this one. It's not bad, but it just doesn't stack up.

I give myself props for making sure the reader knows this game doesn't stack up to other fighters....even though I feel I probably should have used the "doesn't stack up" phrase a time or two more just to make sure it stuck in peoples' minds....

Overall: 4.5 (rounds up to 5 for the purposes of this site)
I was and am a huge fan of brawlers like this one, but I just didn't get into this one the same way I typically get into these games. Whether it was the small characters, the short levels, the generic enemies or some other aspect, my feeling was this game just didn't compare to the top games in this genre.
It's not a horrible game by any stretch of the imagination and I would call it better than a number of games I've played during my life, but it just didn't give me any reason to recommend it to anyone who is not a die-hard fan of this type of game. If you love brawlers, play it. If you don't love them, look somewhere else for your entertainment.

The amazing thing is that I not only recapped the main points of my review in two paragraphs, but the body of it had so little substance that all one would have to do is read that conclusion to know everything I had said that takes talent!

Reviewer's Score: 5/10, Originally Posted: 03/14/2003

Most recent blog posts from Rob Hamilton...

Halon Halon - May 11, 2006 (08:32 AM)
That's more coherent than my first review.
goldenvortex goldenvortex - May 16, 2006 (07:48 AM)
I think it's a lot better than my first effort.
bluberry bluberry - June 11, 2006 (02:15 PM)
My first effort gave Janus wood.

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