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.