CAPTAIN COMMANDO / Capcom / Arcade

Captain Commando is a beat-em-up made with the engine of Capcom's famous Final Fight. While it actually improves upon that game a little bit and is a bit more fun to play, it garnered very little notice when it hit arcades in the early 90s and only when Captain Commando was thrown in to the Marvel VS Capcom series would any number of gamers become aware of its existence.

It's graphically decent, a fairly solid brawler, and has something of a goofy sense of humor to boot. The Commando Team apparently travels the world to stop crimes or something, including going into the sewers to fight some gang of unruly cavemen. Actually, the levels are the usual nonsensical mishmosh of themes you would expect from an arcade fighting game - you go from the typical city, to circus, to ninja dojo, to aquarium, amongst other locales. You can play as Captain Commando, Mack the Mummy (who wields two long knives and wears a backwards baseball cap), Ginzu the Ninja or Baby Head (a genius baby in control of a powered suit of armor).

It plays much like Final Fight, but a bit smoother and with some small gameplay improvements. Characters can now dash forward and do multiple-hit charging moves. You can also grab enemies when close and execute various types of slams. Interestingly, each enemy has a particular death animation for when they are hit by a certain type of weapon ... and so do the main characters. So, if you've ever wanted to see a baby graphically sliced in half or immolated, I guess this is your game. It's fairly bloody as compared to similar beat-em-ups such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage, and the violence kind of clashes oddly with the cutesy setting and characters.

It's not a bad romp if you are looking for a good brawler, but don't expect much longevity out of it. It's subject to the same pitfalls that Final Fight and all similar games are, namely that it gets repetitive really fast and once you've seen all it's surprises on the first run-through there isn't much reason to return. Could be worth a go on MAME, but I wouldn't seek it out in a collection unless it comes with a number of other games that you want.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video