Commando logo

ELITE £19.99 * Joystick or Keyboard

Super Joe finally makes it out of the arcades and onto the Amiga in this conversion of the Capcom coin-op that was a hit about four years ago.

It's a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up viewed from above in which the player takes charge of Joe as he goes charging up the screen and into rebel territory dealing death to anyone that gets in the way of his M60 or hand grenades. Enemies appear from all parts of the screen and even from foxholes and behind sand bags.

Make it to the end of each stage and there's a fortress to penetrate before progressing to the next stage, where things are invariably going to get tougher.

This always was a good coin-op and it's nice to see Elite have done a good job with the conversion. It's a little old, but still heaps of fun and tough and addictive enough to keep you coming back for more.

Commando logo

Price: £19.95

When you boot Commando, you are loading a piece of history. Back in '84 it became an instant hit with all arcadesters. Then Elite made it one of the first-ever home computer licences. The idea behind the game was as simple as it was revolutionary. Guide your GI through six vertically scrolling levels, kill everyone you meet, rescue a few prisoners and cause as much mayhem as possible.

The 64 version included some fantastic pieces of music and excellent graphics. The only trouble was that it was outrageously hard. Unfortunately the Amiga version has lost a lot in translation.
The difficulty has gone. It is now too easy to complete a level. Graphically the game has been toned down: you are no longer the rough edged blood and mud characters of the 64, instead you get nice clean sprites. Unfortunately, the music has lost all its strength, now it has wimpish spot effects and seems wasteful of a sound chip. Worst of all your grenades can only be thrown forward, so you tend to be better off with just your trusty machine gun.

I was generally disappointed with this version. It lacks the feel that made the action frantic in the original. Add its age to this and even this classic begins to look more than slightly dated. Still, a definite for kill-crazy Commandos, it is jam-packed with ketchup, but if you are after a healthy shoot 'em up you might choose something else.

Commando logo

Elite/ST & Amiga £19.99

Dunc: Well here's an old chestnut. Commando was being played to death on the Spectrum and C64 back in the days when my pet hen, Derek, was still an eg. (Derek's nearly three now, if you're interested).
Anyway, hens apart, it's quite simply a viewed-from-above vertically scrolling shoot 'em up with no knobs attached (well, hardly any). At the start of the game you're dropped onto the desert landscape by a helicopter. Your little sprite seems to wave goodbye to somebody off-screen and then the helicopters buggers off.

You're armed with a machine gun with unlimited ammo and a finite stock of grenades (which can be replenished by picking up the numerous grenade boxes that litter your route). Run forwards and shoot absolutely everybody you can, while dodging the oncoming barrage. At first there are just roaming foot soldiers to contend with, but as you progress through the game, you'll encounter soldiers behind sandbags, soldiers on overhead bridges, soldiers in trenches, soldiers manning cannons and soldiers pootling about in little red pedal cars. (Are you sure about that last one? Ed.)

To say the game gets hectic would be an understatement - what we have here is pure unadulterated machine-gunning, bomb-throwing violence. It's all tremendous fun in the gameplay stakes, apart from one thing: the collision detection. Due to the 'overhead and behind' viewpoint you feel as if you're just about safe from being touched by things when, in reality, you aren't. So you die. This collision routine is consistently inaccurate however, so you do get used to it fairly quickly.

What about the graphics? Erm, well, as I said - Commando is an old, old game. And this conversion is a pretty accurate rendition, visually speaking. So, what that basically means is that the graphics are, er, a little bit crap actually. And the sound? Well, there's a rat-a-tat-tat noise as lead spews from your gun and a sort of muffled boom for the grenade explosions but that's about it.

Commando is still a load of fun to play but it's pretty basic. I think maybe this should have been a budget game. I'll just ask my hen Derek what he thinks of it. Oh dear, Bernard Matthews has taken him away.