Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 First Impressions

So it's getting late and I'm trawling the internet to see what other people have to say about Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. Half the people are whinging about the DRM in the Playstation 3 version - the same kind as in Final Fight from months back which requires you to be logged in the PSN to play it - which is stupid and annoying on Capcom's part, but hardly a deal killer. The other half are nodding in agreement over the 3/5 review that Joystiq gave it. People should know better by now, that this was the same site that discredited the excellent Nier because the guy reviewing it didn't understand what a big red glowing GO HERE on the mini-map meant. I'm not going to go line by line down the review (and certainly not going to link it), because for the most part, it is factually correct, although some criticisms are strange, quite frankly.

One of the major complaints is that most of the weapons are superfluous in the face of the standard weapon - which isn't wrong, but the original Bionic Commando was also pretty much the same. It completely fails to mention how the level designs have been drastically improved over the NES' (and original Rearmed's) somewhat haphazard designs, including multiple paths through each stage. They write off the cheesy humor but apparently forgot to use the little Metroid Prime-like scanner thing, which has some pretty hilarious descriptions for the random things lying about. They also forgot to mention that the music is, once again, COMPLETELY BADASS, and if it weren't getting late I'd be lugging my PS3 next to my computer to record the soundtrack. About the only thing I can agree on is that the boss fights are indeed pretty lame.

Huh, I spent way longer than I wanted to complaining about some guy's opinion on the internet.

As for the jump button - I spent a good portion of the first level swearing not to use it out of principle, then I got over myself and found it pretty fun to use. It's rarely essential, but it does make navigating the levels easier - they do seem to have been built with the jump button in mind, but it's completely possible to navigate around them using the arm if you want. Jumping and then shooting at your arm has a fun rhythm, one which was missing in the original game since you couldn't jump without springs. It does feature some slightly altered physics which took me about an hour to fully get used to, especially since I had the original game's so deeply ingrained in my gamer conscious, but like the rest of the game, it's not really better or worse, just different.

The only other complaint I can muster is that it's only 30 FPS. (Give me my PC version, Capcom!) It uses nVidia PhsyX now (the PC version of the first game did, too) and it does look nicer (especially the jungle level), but I prefer smoothness over detail. 

At any rate, I definitely can't say that it's better or worse than Rearmed on any level. Things like this take time to sink in. The original Rearmed was the Secret HG101 Best Game of 2008, but I realize now a lot of that had to do with some level of nostalgia, going through such familiar areas but vastly improved, somehow. This one is all new, and doesn't so much build off of its predecessor so much as just tweak and changes things around. I don't know how much of that was strictly necessary, but it does make for a more unique experience, at least.


  1. It might not be a deal breaker to you, but I don't have a ready internet connection all the time, so any game with such DRM becomes unplayable six out of seven days a week. I don't care if it's the best game ever if I can't play it.

  2. I absolutely loved the first Rearmed and I had no experience with original NES version, so it's not just nostalgia. I had played the GBC sequel and the arcade game previously, but those hardly count. I got a chance to play through the entire game co-op last year and that was even more fun.

  3. I will definitely get this. Maybe now or maybe later, I don't know, but I enjoyed the first Rearmed a lot and I'm not a BC purist so I'll likely enjoy it.

  4. I agree with anonymous. That kind of DRM is totally a deal breaker for me.

    I live in the countryside and am lucky to get broadband at all, and on good days I get dl speeds of 180kb per second,a nd on bad days 30kb a second.

    That's when it works at all. According to the phone company myself and 3 other farming families are sharing some kind of old WWII cable which was never really meant to deal with this.

    It frequently cuts out, gets throttles or refuses to work at all on some days. And when others in the area are using it at the same time it crawls along.

    Any company who uses this kind of DRM are absolute bastards, and I'd boycott on principle. Thankfully Bionic Commando isn't a series I care about. But really, people shouldn't just whinge, they should be setting stuff on fire. Or at the least posting them hate mail.

  5. I'm more annoyed at the DRM on the XBLIG games, because if I want to hook up my 360 somewhere other than next to my router, I need to dig up my super long ethernet cable, or build one of those wireless bridges I keep hearing about. At least the PS3 has wireless.

    My irritation is guided less at the whinging and more at Capcom for flubbing this release so far. There was tons of run-up to the first Rearmed but I didn't even know this was coming out until yesterday. The hardcore fans are annoyed by the inclusion of a jump button, which was mostly put there to placate people who probably aren't going to bother with this release anyway. People loved Rearmed, but the reboot flopped and killed the name in a wider sense. And while $15 is the standard price for a large-ish DD game nowadays, most people that aren't fans aren't going to dish out $5 extra for a game that early buzz is pointing to as being worse, which this DRM fiasco is not helping. It's a shame there's so much apathy/negativity surrounding this release, because it really is quite good.

  6. I suppose I am just parroting what Anonymous #1 said, but this type of DRM is asinine and punishing to consumers. I wouldn't have purchased the game anyway (not a fan of console DD services), but this is rubbing salt in the wound.

    Like Sketcz, my internet connection is spotty at best, dropping out at random intervals for minutes at a time. I'd be frustrated beyond belief if I got signed out after navigating a tricky spot simply because my internet cut out.

    This will also destroy any long-term value should PSN/Capcom disable the authentication servers down the road. I like to play and revisit games that are 5, 10, even 20 years old. Being tethered to authentication cements that 'long-term' rental status that much more.

    Quit treating us like delinquent debtors, and let us preserve our games (as much as we can with console DD) Capcom.

  7. You bastard, I never knew the HG101 had a blog. I'm gonna read the shit of it now.

  8. I'm in the same boat as anonymous and Sketcz. I'll wait until it's on sale or on XBL (is it going there?) or whatever.

    As for Joystiq and the editor in question (Justin McElroy), waking up to a face like that in the mirror is punishment enough. Yeah, I went there.

  9. I have to actually agree with the other posters here who aren't fans of Capcom's DRM. I live in the sticks pretty much, and we've had to have a lineman come check our ADSL six times this month, and when it actually works it hardly performs better than the dial-up it replaced. What point is there in buying a game that you're not sure when you'll be able to play it?

    Oh well, they can patch it out later, right?

  10. Definitely ended up being a deal-breaker for me, and a heart-breaking one at that. I went to all the trouble of getting a PSN bux card just so I could buy it, then woke up to find out I wouldn't be buying it all.

    Pretty lame of Capcom. This game already had enough going against it with the higher price and BC09's bad rep without saddling it with controversial DRM.

  11. Interesting. Didn't know there was Ubisoft-style DRM in the PS3 version. I've been playing the 360 version (actually, just finished it). It's good, overall, even if the level design is more Sonic than Mario now (open/chaotic vs. more linear).

  12. Enjoying that DRM now? lolololol

    Seriously though, I really enjoyed BCR2. I say as much in my makeshift one-sided copypasta of a review I posted on my blog: http://afroryan.blogspot.com/2011/03/vidya-review-bionic-commando-rearmed-2.html

    I played it on the 360, and therefore was unaware of the PS3 DRM (until the recent PSN outage, of course).

    I just wanted to add my support, Kurt. And thanks 1,000,000 for the soundtrack upload! I'll try to get the missing tracks for you and send you a PM with them. I'm currently recording ilomilo's fantastic soundtrack, as well as the XBLA Loderunner (which was composed by the same guy). I'll send those your way too.