GAME REVIEWS

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cobra

~ COBRA ~
Hudson Soft
CD-ROM
1989

Even if you play its incredibly wacky sequel first (as I did), Cobra can still be counted on to provide a digital-comic ride you'll find both wild and entertaining. Space pirate Cobra, he of the PSYCHO GUN left arm, gets himself into all sorts of ridiculous situations, many of which involve strange alien beasts or fearsome female nutjobs.



The game's cast is made up of a vast variety of misfits and wackos, among whom are funny little robots and insane fire femmes.


As you might imagine, this is all very amusing in a ludicrous sort of way, but there's always a dark side to Cobra tales, and this opening episode is bleaker and grittier than its followup. Its graphics don't quite measure up to C2's, and I suppose that some of the alluded-to "grit" can be attributed to visual inferiority, but there's more to it than that. Cobra II has plenty of shocking, horrifying scenes, but moments of triumph and tragedy are arrived at quickly, with plenty of hilarious bits spread throughout the drama. Dread tends to linger in this chapter, particularly towards the end, when Cobra is forced to endure a brutal assault on his psyche.



I'm sure most stout Duomazov readers are up to the task of traversing the gloom, but I fear that the threat of a language barrier will repel some otherwise-willing warriors. Well, this isn't a very difficult comic to get through, save for one spot where you have to enter a code... but hey, I'll provide you with said code right here!



There's no reason to worry now, so don't feel you need to avoid this very good game if you can't read Japanese. On the other hand, if you're generally averse to digital comics, you might want to stay away; as cool as Cobra is, it isn't a must-have--which its sequel most certainly is. Again, Cobra II is superior visually, but it also feels more advanced and, perhaps most importantly, contains so many more memorable moments. Plain and simple, a lot more happens in the faster-paced C2. But if you're up for a good comic, or if you play through the second part and yearn for additional Cobra hijinks, don't hesitate to pick this disc up.

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