Bionic Commando retrospective: This machine-arm kills fascists | NES Works #100

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One of December 1988's all-timers arrives this week, and while it may not be the best-remembered of the bunch (not when the other two big releases belonged to huge ongoing franchises), but I'd argue that it's the best and most polished. It's also the most fearless; Bionic Commando didn't so much ask players to learn an entirely new style of platform gaming as demand it as the price of entry. But once you got a handle on the grappling mechanics, Bionic Commando played like nothing else on the system, becoming a fast-paced action game with breezy, high-speed action through a dozen stages linked by an interesting narrative and well-conceived adventure gameplay flow. It remains the gold standard for grapple-based action gaming to this day, and for good reason: It rules. Production note: NES footage captured from @Analogue Mini. Arcade footage captured from MiSTer FPGA cores; special thanks to @MiSTer Addons. Video upscaled to 720 with XRGB Mini Framemeister. Video Works is funded via Patreon ( — support the show and get access to every episode up to two weeks in advance of its YouTube debut! Plus, exclusive podcasts, eBooks, and more!


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