Rearmed and Ready – Are you?

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is now out in all intended formats. If you have one of these formats, and you love the challenge and the feel of classic 2d games, I hope you have it already. If you don’t, might I suggest you give it a download? Until Mega Man 9 hopefully rocks our socks, this is the best thing to come around this year for retro enthusiasts, except for maybe Space Invaders Extreme or Bangai-O Spirits. I don’t want to go too far into discussion (save that for the review!), but suffice it to say that this is a remake that gets it. It feels right, both old and new, careful and bold. Its the kind of game where just seeing it in action makes me happy.

In any case, it is still too early to say how well it has sold, but something tells me that neither I nor Capcom is going to like it. Maybe it ends up being a surprise hit right alongside Braid, but I doubt it. Let’s just say that if I had to write an bottom line for Rearmed, after seeing a multitude of comments on blogs like Kotaku and Joystiq, it would be “this is why gamers can’t have nice things.” Rearmed is not only one of the best classic game re-envisionings ever. It is an incredible deal at only ten dollars. Ask anyone who enjoys it, and they’d tell it is easily worth double that price. Some of us would have even payed full retail for it, no joke. And yet it is still too expensive for these kids (and I do believe that is the appropriate word to use here). I paid a buck less to see The Dark Knight just once. I’m sure they did too. This price war with downloadable games has to stop.

There are also the usual complaints that the game is too hard. It is indeed a challenge, especially because of the many AI tweaks. But after some time off from retro-style challenges, it is a blast to have a game that can kick my ass. Your reaction to Rearmed’s difficulty is probably a better proof of age than any other form of ID.

I’ve saved the best for last. The number one complaint about Rearmed is the ultimate face to palm moment for retro gamers. That is, this game sucks because “you can’t jump”.

I could say more vitriolic things, but I’m trying to be good, and Rearmed makes me happy. Go play it!

4 thoughts on “Rearmed and Ready – Are you?”

  1. Yeah, I’m not getting this “OMGZ FIFTEEN DOLLARS!?!?!?! DOWNLOADABLE GAMEZ ARE TOO EXPENSIVE!!!” argument either. You’ll shell out hundreds of dollars for a console system or PC, drop fifty sixty bucks on a game in a box, but you can’t kick some guys who do something fresh and different fifteen bucks? Thanks for nothing, assholes!

    At least some folks get it.

  2. my biggest pet peeve in this arena is the formula for deciding whether or not a game is worth purchasing: cost/hours of play = value. in what other artistic medium is size a determinant of worth? is wall-e worse than star wars because its shorter? is the scream an unworthy painting because its small? as someone has probably discussed somewhere on this site, we should be evaluating games as experiences rather than as products.

  3. I think that comparisons of film length do not exist because the difference in length of most major films can be measured in minutes rather than hours. Those who read and review books aren’t thinking with their wallets. I’m surprised the price/length ratio isn’t used more in music. Back in the day when bands tried to make genuine albums I could understand, but these days enough discs are launchpads for singles that I’d be dammed concerned about what I’m getting.

    I’d say it comes down to two factors. One, gaming is one of the most expensive initial purchases in entertainment, short of recreational drugs. Second, I really wonder sometimes if age demographics come into play.

  4. i think you have a point that age demographics come into play. when you are spending allowance or waiting for your parents to buy you something you want to make sure it will keep you entertained until the next time your parents are willing to shell out. this makes me happy, because indications are that the gaming population is aging (notice we are all at least in our 20s and playing ardently).

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