Sunday, 25 August 2013

Commando and Assault of the Familiars.

While I've still got shed loads of impostors to reveal, I'm serving a side order of exploring what inspired others to follow, without really creating a direct rip off.

Going the extra furlong, you'll see that you can even make sequels to your own that obviously wasn't your idea to begin with.

Whatever right?

'Run and gun', or my own unofficial take, 'shoot or be shot' is a simple yet brilliant concept.

Contra may have pioneered horizontal mayhem but Capcom moved in a different direction first.

Personally, I most remember Commando for the excellent Spectrum conversion and enemy soldiers pouring out of a gate.

An alternative to this was Konami's Green Beret, the play on words Rush'n Attack or the 'irritating and protracted game over music'.

Those that have played it will know what I'm on about.

Unless stated, acts of largely military warfare are taken from the arcade.

I'll always kick off with the daddy and cross reference as appropriate.

Commando, Capcom 1985
As a briefing note, the wild west themed Gun.Smoke was also released in the same year.

Due to the title, you'd think it was based on the already expired TV series Gunsmoke, but this is just coincidence.

Now for a number of inspirations.

Fixeight, Toaplan 1992
Out Zone, Toaplan 1990
Yes, Fixeight is the superior sequel to Out Zone.  The explanation for that crazy name is because you have 'eight' selectable chars, (each armed with a different weapon) and it's supposed to be a play on words of 'fixate'.  Does 'eight' even sound like 'ate'?  No it doesn't, but there you go.

Due to 8-way directional fire, they play more like Smash TV so the experience is a weird hybrid.

I suppose it's a blessing in disguise that no home port was brought of either because it would be a bridge too far for any machine at the time to attempt.

We gently move on.
New York Warriors, Virgin 1990 (Amiga)
The reason you're seeing multiple Rambo types is because each stage has a different gang to worry about.  In this stage, you are fighting 'Ramboids'.

If this became a reality, would it be more mechanical than the human counterpart?

Final Zone 2, Telenet Japan 1990 (PC Engine)
Why didn't Final Zone feature?  Well it's because that was an isometric mech shmup.
Extermination, Taito 1987
Heavy Barrel, Data East 1987
Time Soldiers, SNK 1987
Rightly or wrongly and thanks to Rambomania, SNK lit the blue touch paper for others.
Ikari Warriors, SNK 1986
Take these for instance.

Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Sega 1986 (Master System)
Look at those bullets.  The enemy shouldn't be terrified of discloured table tennis balls.

Dogs of War, Elite 1989 (Amiga)
Now you can see why some reaped the benefits by basing their game on Commando and how SNK managed to cash in on the success of a popular movie franchise.

There were two further Ikari games but they lacked the necessary clout of the original.

In 1990, Capcom did eventually get off their fat asses and create the successful sequel to what went before.
I'm now contradicting myself because this was excessively ripped off by this cheeky little number.

Shock Troopers, Saurus 1997
Despite the 'obvious' similarities, it did provoke interest from the Neo Geo community as its quality was undeniable. 

Can you imagine the video game industry without Sega?  Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Would the world miss arguably one of their most obscurest titles ever?  Probably not.

Desert Breaker, Sega 1992
This doesn't tell the whole story as it boasted up to 3P simultaneous play and you could take a variety of 'armoured walking machines' for a spin.

Sega just built upon Capcom's long overdue sequel.

Which brings me to the juicy conclusion as to why Mercs must have done something right.

Just look at these action scenes involving bosses from Shock Troopers and Mercs...

Yes, the military vehicles in question look nothing like those seen in Mercs.

It's now necessary to use Saurus and their inferior sequel, 2nd Squad.

Instead of catching a train, we attempt to line freight with lead.

Finally, back to Shock Troopers with one more surprise.

Bloody Wolf, Data East 1990 (PC Engine)
Although the above is guilty of having 'that' boss and possessing similar traits, it's controversial to even call it a clone as it has a progressive script, the ability to jump and hostage rescuing can also take place.

Whatever, it's another Mercs boss.

When I've fully juiced the R-9 that's parked in the hangar, the evil Bydo Empire is my next destination...

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