First off, yes, you still do not have the ability to jump in Bionic Commando Rearmed, as with the originals on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the original from the arcade. Instead of having the ability to jump, the player must rely on a bionic arm attachment similar to a grappling hook, hence the title of the game: “Bionic Commando.” The game was released for the Xbox Live Arcade on August 13, 2008, for 800 Microsoft Points. You can learn more about this amazing game along with its complete review on Poker88 where you can also try out other equally interesting games as well.
Bionic Commando Rearmed is broken up into several types of gameplay, the first of which is the Side-scrolling missions. These missions have the camera beside the player, similar to the camera angle in Mario Brothers. These missions tend to involve heavy use of the grapple arm. While I still find it frustrating to not have the ability to jump, I like these levels the best. Timing is critical, as well as paying attention to your environment, which can give you access to secret areas and powerups.
The overhead missions are reminiscent of Ikari Warriors. These missions have a camera view from above the character, similar to many Zelda games, such as The Minish Cap. These missions are nice at first, but quickly become repetitive, as they often look identical to each other and have similar goals. In the long run, I could have done without these being in the game (especially if they sacrificed the overhead missions for the ability to jump).
The boss fights in Bionic Commando Rearmed are excellent. The bosses are often very large and require real attention to determine how to exploit their weaknesses. They often involve several different phases, each of which will require a different strategy.
The Challenge Rooms offer some added playability to the game. As you progress, you will unlock groups of challenge rooms, in which you simply must go from point A to point B. They get quite tricky after a while. In addition, there are time and rating challenges for each room.
Hacking is another interesting set of puzzles Bionic Commando Rearmed has to offer. While it would be hard to explain on paper, essentially you are rotating a cube to move a sphere through a maze. It sounds simple, but they are quite intriguing. These are found at various communication posts throughout the game, and successfully hacking a terminal will typically give you information, such as a weakness that level’s boss has, or the location of a secret area.
Bionic Commando Rearmed uses the PhysX engine, which is the same engine used by the sequel, Bionic Commando, which will be released in early 2009. This provides for some of the most realistic graphics I have ever seen on a side-scroller. The character motions are surprisingly fluid, giving the game a real “pop.” If this is any indication, I can hardly wait for the sequel.
There are a total of 12 Achievements for a total of 200 Gamer Points, as with any standard Xbox Live Arcade Game. Most of the achievements are pretty standard, such as beat a mission without shooting your gun, blocking 100 projectiles with the claw, etc. There are also 12 hidden items, called Yashichi’s, one for each level. About half of the Achievements would be earned on a single playthrough, but for the rest, you would really need to work towards the requirements on purpose. What is surprising is that there are only a measly 5 Gamer Points for completing the game on hard.