Review by JakeFirst24

"You will only play this for Bionic Commando..."

Capcom Mini Mix is a collection of 3 games that is put onto one GBA cart. For most buyers, the main reason to purchase this game will be a complete port of the original NES version of Bionic Commando, complete with peculiar translation, just like we remember it. In addition to BC, the cart comes with Strider and Mighty Final Fight, also in their original NES versions.

Once people realize that the original version of Bionic Commando is available on this cart (as opposed to the horrible arcade version), it will immediately garner a lot of interest. Bionic Commando is a difficult game where the main character cannot jump over obstacles. Instead, he must rescue a captured soldier (Super Joe) using his bionic arm. So if there is a box in your path, the only way to get around it is to shoot your arm in front of you and grapple a ledge so you can swing over.

It takes some getting used to. After a few frustrating hours, though, you will be a pro at swinging the bionic arm. The challenge comes from a horde of enemies that attack from all directions on the screen, and from several levels where you must swing from one object to another for the majority of the level. One mistake on these stages causes a death and a restart. As you complete stages, you obtain different weapons, and you can choose which weapon to use at the beginning of each level. Things like a rocket launcher (heavy damage, just one large bullet) to a 3-way shot (speaks for itself), allow the gamer to decide how best to protect himself as he makes his way through levels and enemies.

The story isn't awesome, but essentially you are trying to rescue a fellow solider that has been captured by an enemy that greatly resembles Nazis that are led by a person that greatly resembles Hitler. But it really isn't the story that drives the game; rather, the gameplay is the core of the fun, as once your bionic arm becomes second nature, you will be swinging and blasting all over the place.

Strider is also available on this cart, and it is probably the 2nd most known title of the three. The main character is part of a group of infiltrators (known as Striders). He is assigned the task of eliminating a fellow Strider. He accomplishes this by using a special sword that gains various abilities as you play. He will slash through enemies as he goes in search of documents and items he needs to complete his missions.

The gameplay of Strider is simple enough -- side scroll through levels looking for particular items or documents and bring them back to your computer for analysis. My main problems with Strider (as I only played it sparingly on the NES) is that the game doesn't really give you any idea where you are supposed to be going to open particular doors. Now, I'm not expecting a flashing signal to tell me exactly where to go, but perhaps some clues would be helpful. Instead, you end up doing a lot of backtracking, trying to figure out where the item that opens the door blocking your path is. Also, the graphics are lousy. They are probably dead on for the 'ol NES, but unlike Bionic Commando (which doesn't have a strong graphics department either, but still looks polished), the colors in Strider are bland and/or too dark.

I had never played Mighty Final Fight prior to playing it on this pack... and I know why. The game bites. It is similar to regular Final Fight for the SNES (which rocks), except that the fighters are tiny, uninspired sprites that are stuck with an awful fighting system. The sprites are so small and the colors are so terribly bland that you cannot always see your character on the screen (when you have more than 2 enemies to fight, at close range, you lose track of which bland of color is supposed to be your fighter).

Also, the fighting is lousy, even though it is the core of the gameplay. Enemies can hit you from odd angles, and you cannot hit them. The cheapness of the battles are never-ending (until you turn off the game). The music is muted and lousy, too. You can choose from three characters (Cody, Guy, or Haggar), but it won't make any difference, as the computer will constantly hit your toes on the screen and you won't be able to retaliate. You won't want to play this game three different times to even see how each character plays. Trust me.

-- Bottom Line --

You will want to buy this game if you want to play Bionic Commando on your GBA. It is worth your $10 for that one game alone. Playing the original Bionic Commando is awesome, and after a steep learning curve, is an absolute blast to play. Strider hasn't aged well, in my opinion. I didn't care much for it when it came out, and I like it even less now. The graphics are very bland and the fighting aspect is uninteresting. If you are a Strider fan, though, it is a direct port of the NES version, and it will be just like you remember. Mighty Final Fight is a joke, riddled with graphic, gameplay, and music issues (which just about covers the entire game, huh?). You will play it once or twice and never touch that game again.

My overall score reflects how much fun it is to play Bionic Commando (10/10), Strider (6/10), and Mighty Final Fight (1/10). It also reflects the $10 price tag, which is easily affordable and just right for the amount of game time you end up getting out of the cart.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/29/07

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