Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Vidya Review: Bionic Commando Rearmed 2

So, I'm still working on my HARD MODE/PRESTIGE playthrough, but knowing that, you should be able to infer that I like BCR2. Released on XBLA and PSN, BCR2 is a sequel to the phenomenal Bionic Commando Rearmed.

Knowing how great BCR1 was, I kind of expected BCR2 to be immediately hated by any BCR1 fans, simply because it's trying to be new. Anyways, I got into a civil discussion with a guy who hated BCR2 for conflicting reasons (TOO HARD, NOT HARD ENOUGH), so here's my reply, which I will let stand as a review in and of itself:

For the record, I don't think that the controls in BCR2 are 'crappy,' just not as tight as BCR. I don't even mean that as an insult either; saying a game has tight controls can also mean that it's unnecessarily rigid.

Although a purist will argue that the original controls were perfect the way they were, anyone unfamiliar with the franchise will (and did) immediately complain about the controls in BCR. Very few people completed BCR (even fans), and I don't necessarily blame them for it; it's a tough game with some absolutely brutal level design if you aren't willing to just tough it out. People like you or me don't mind that...we celebrate it even, but I can understand why Capcom might decide to make the franchise a little more accessible.

What you call crappy controls in BCR2 are actually pretty loose and fluid, more akin to Mario than BCR or Megaman. It's off putting at first to anyone accustomed to the first game, but I guarantee you that anyone new to the franchise would prefer the controls in 2 if they were to play them back to back. It leaves some room for error that non-masochists prefer.

Are they wrong? Are we? I don't think either party's wrong; they both have valid points.

All that said, the game's still fairly difficult in the grand scheme. I beat it without jumping yesterday, and I died a ton (although with the permanent 1ups system, I never had to continue at any point), and felt like the Gorilla boss in particular was pretty difficult (without jumping). Also, the last boss was super cool...he might not be a resurrected Hitler, but it's hard to argue that the final boss in BCR2 isn't more interesting (from a gameplay perspective) than BCR...even if his head didn't explod.

Personally, I still love this soundtrack too. It's not much to complain about anyways; it's still all just remixes. Just a matter of opinion though.

Let me wrap up by saying that I hated Sonic 4. Not because it wasn't enough like the first games, but because it was poorly designed. The levels were completely recycled and the engine itself was poorly coded. BCR2, on the other hand, is a nice, original game that doesn't completely rely on its earlier entries (well, entry) and manages to evoke both feelings of familiarity while also staying fresh and interesting by throwing new gameplay mechanics in the mix.

I'll end on a simple comparison of one sentence reviews of BCR and BCR2 and an out of 10 score:

BCR: Based simply on the fact that it is THE perfect example of how to do a remake, 10/10
BCR2: More expensive yet shorter than the first, but still managed to keep me completely entertained throughout, 8.5/10

*A second post*

I enjoyed the bosses in BCR2 when I first played through, since I wasn't jumping. GORILLA was actually super difficult to defeat without jumping, along with the final boss.

Also, another quick point: playing on Prestige mode is actually pretty hard. You can't change your equipment (other than weapons) at all, so no grenades, and no passive enhancements. I'm doing this on top of playing through on Hard, so it's actually pretty danged tough.

I concede that if you play the game the way it's promoted (with jumping, enhancements, etc.) it's super easy (especially for BCR vets), but if you plan on getting 200/200 achievements, it's still pretty difficult.

Just another 2 cents.

Also, I still won't defend its price; $15 is crazy in comparison to the $10 that BCR was/is.


So there, that stands as a pretty good review, right? Anyways, see you next time!

Nathan 'Rad Mustache' Spencer

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