Sunday 8 March 2015

Cobra Command (Mega CD / Sega CD review)

Developer: Wolf Team
Publisher: Wolf Team, Sega
Released: 1992

Cobra Command is a Full Motion Video game that was originally released in LaserDisc format (Arcade, 1984).

It consists of 10 stages and you basically watch a movie and interact by moving the cursor around the screen to shoot enemy helicopters, tanks and turret guns. Each stage is full of character with some familiar sights such as the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon. On top of destroying enemies there are sections where you'll need to listen out for commands to control your vehicle and stop it from hitting the scenery. You must hold the d-pad direction for the entirety of the on-screen icon otherwise you'll crash. There are many areas where only trial and error will see you progress but thankfully you do have two continues. The last stage is absolutely brutal and you'll need to complete it in one go as there are no checkpoints! Mastering when to use your turret or missile is extremely important as certain vehicles / guns can only be destroyed by the latter. Initially the frustration factor can be high but once you get the hang of the controls and start to memorise parts of the level it's a great deal of fun. I was surprised by how immersive the experience is; the best parts are when you're flying around city streets or avoiding landmarks as you rotate around them! The frame-rate isn't too high which means that the action is a little bit choppy. Luckily the enemy hit boxes are large and forgiving so you don't have to be 100% accurate to shoot them down. The graphics are grainy and don't stretch to full screen but it's very playable. The music is dramatic and I love the SFX including the voice commands and satisfying explosions.

Cobra Command is a challenging game but it's packed full of action and has many stages for replayability. A technically impressive showing for the Mega CD where playing each level is akin to a white knuckle ride!

Random trivia: The game was re-released on the PS1 / Sega Saturn in 1995 and again by Revolutionary Concepts in 2009 for the iPhone.

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