Cobra Command & Anticipation retrospective: White flight | NES Works #097

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This week we have a pair of perfectly tolerable games that seemingly no one remembers. Yes, by late 1988, the NES library had grown sufficiently large that it could contain games beyond "brilliant" and "execrable"—works of competent mediocrity doomed by their lukewarm nature to be relegated to the dustbin of obscurity. Cobra Command takes a mundane auto-scrolling shooter and turns it into a Choplifter-inspired adventure with a touch of exploration and puzzle-solving. A fine start! But utterly relentless in its difficulty level and saddled with some very strange, almost "sticky" controls. It's fine, almost good, but it just misses the mark. Meanwhile, Anticipation offers inclusive thrills (if you are a preppy, 30-something Caucasian) and demands you deduce the nature of premade connect-the-dots puzzles before your competition does. It's fine. It exists, and it rounded out the NES library with more family-friendly board games. But does anyone want to play it today? I can't imagine. Production note: NES footage captured from @Analogue Nt Mini. 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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