Commando Raid

Atari 2600

Review by Matt Paprocki

US Games


Graphics: 6

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 5

It has to be hard to be a sole gunman up against an invincible army. I mean, what would it be like to be sitting in a turret only to have death raining down from above? "Commando Raid" does just this and comes away with a nice little "Missile Command" variant in the process.

Taking the reigns of a disturbingly shaped weapon (just move it left to right a few times), enemy paratroopers descend from a barrage of helicopters. The only way to stop their attack is to blast them from the cover of the turret. Should they be successful, they begin to chip away at one of the four surrounding buildings. If the building falls, the dig begins until they find a way to get underneath the players gun and plant a bomb resulting in a game over. The onslaught never ends so it's always just a matter of time.

Thankfully, auto-fire has been included to make the game a little easier on the hands, but aiming will surely result in cramping (though that's not really the games fault). Enemy helicopters move in a frantic pattern and picking one off relies more on luck that any pure skill. It's important to at least try however, as every 10,000 points restores a building. An occasionally plane flies by once in a while and drops a bomb which is obviously not for the players benefit.

Strangely, the games best moment is when the enemy force finally and successfully plants their bomb. You have around two seconds to live, but you'll do just about everything in your power to make sure you can pick a few more off and take them with you to the afterlife. It's a shame that you don't have just a little more time when certain doom occurs, but those few seconds offer up a great rush.

Showing off just about every color in the consoles palette, the nicely done sunset backdrop is great to look at, but it obviously has nothing to do with the actual gameplay. All the sprites are of course just one color and animation is almost non-existent. You have to wonder how the enemy parachute team actually destroys the buildings; do they have tools or sacrifice themselves and leave their mark? Sound effects are meager with no music and only the redundant sound of gunfire. Screams from enemies shot out of the air need to be added by the player.

The overall package here is strong, but it really doesn't do anything completely right. Aiming can be a challenge, too much luck is involved, and the lack of reasonable effects is annoying. It has some great moments, but when those moments only occur for a few seconds, why not play something else?


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Last updated: Saturday, September 25, 2004 09:10 AM