If you notice almost all the side scrolling beat'em ups made by CAPCOM used to have a famous franchise, like The Punisher or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, only two titles from the large family excepted this rule, and Captain Commando is one of those.
All the characters and stages are original ideas directly from CAPCOM designers, this makes the game impressive for his visionary appeal!


Capitain Commando is one of the coolest guys seen in a videogame, the alien Mummy is even better, Ginzu the ninja is definitely Great and Baby Commando is a nerd, but who cares?
Every character has a different set of moves, specials and gorgeous fatalities such carbonizing, splitting or melting your opponent!
The enemies are inspired as well, various and perfectly animated, the bosses really reach the climax, everyone of them is fantastic, with a special mention for the huge Scumocide, the final one!

Ok, nothing incredible but nonetheless in my opinion the best, in this chapter of the glorious CAPCOM Fighting Encyclopaedia they added some of the features present in their previous titles obtaining some new situations, now besides using one of the numerous weapons available you can sometimes surf and ride different kinds of robot.
Every component of the commando has a discrete set of combos and moves and can use certain weapons or not depending who you have chosen.
The game itself isn't very long, only 9 short stages for less than one hour playing, but the difficulty is well balanced and the reduct amount of energy you have prevents you to defeat the bosses too easily, you have to have good skills to overpower 'em without die too often.

Even if from this company I don't remember a technically neuro-stunning game, during the last fifteen years CAPCOM used us to graphically excellent titles, with the phenomenal use of color become a trademark, of course Captain Commando don't excepts, but is in the concept where the game makes the difference, forget the stupid baboons of Cadillacs and the slums of Final Fight, now you are in a nightmare-like future with dozens of different cool-looking enemies: soldiers, ninja robots, mutant-accident warriors and tons of other freaks!
It's useless to describe here all of 'em but believe me you can't find such a stylish scum in other beat'em ups, even the massive Alien Vs Predator is a step behind!
There is a never-seen-before range of scenarios and everyone is simply a masterpiece, you start fighting in a bank's caveau to finish in a control station on Jupiter's orbit satellite Callisto, passing thru a circus, a museum, a ninja house and so on!
There isn't any apparent tie between the different stages and this has left the largest design freedom to the people of Captive Communications, a very well used freedom indeed!
Something astonished me is the fact that everywhere you can find touches of class!
On the technical side there's nothing to complain, no flickering and no slow down at all, but mainly because the title isn't so demanding.

All the themes are something new for this genre and in the end beautiful and addictive. During the play the music isn't so intrusive and sets the mood perfectly but when you finish playing you discover it has forced his way into your brain, and you need a couple of hours to take it out!
All the effects are well done except the digitized voices that sound a little creaky.

Super Criminals versus Super Heroes, same old story.
In fact there isn't any prologue and only a short epilogue.
In the bare-bones presentation you only see Scumocide's chest floating over the city! In the end sequence you see the major saying thankyou for saving the city from the fury of that mad genetist and his gang of mutants, and that's all.

The game is a little short and it if you adopt the right tactics it becomes hard only facing the bosses or during ambushes made by more than seven fellows, all the opponents aren't equipped with tons of stamina, this means you can put out of fight single guys very easily!
There isn't any different ending and today this is a quite serious issue, but anyway with four characters to choose from probably you will finish it more than once.
In my opinion the main reason to play it again is the almost perfect gameplay, nonetheless challenging myself to endure more an more with a single credit is very addictive.

A really great game for the beat'em up lovers, an hidden gem with no advertising or big licenses but a title focused on inner values, you will not play because there are your favorite heroes but simply because the great job in programming, a stylish game which worth a credit by anyone.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/18/03, Updated 01/18/03

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