G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike

Atari 2600

Review by Rob "Dire 51"

Parker Bros


Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 7

COBRA, an evil terrorist organization bent on ruling the world, has had their plans thwarted by the G.I. Joe team many, many times in the past. But today they've hit on a plan to destroy the G.I. Joe team by attacking their training camp. A giant mechanical cobra has appeared over the camp! It spews out "venom" which will transport any trainee it touches to COBRA headquarters, and fire a powerful laser that does exactly the same thing! As the trainees run for cover, the Joes must defend them by using gun emplacements to destroy the cobra and shields to ward off the venom and lasers.

G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike is based on the revamp of the G.I. Joe toy line that Hasbro introduced in 1982. Now, instead of having generic Barbie-sized soldiers like the original toys in the '60s, there was now a whole array of 3 3/4 inch action figures and accessories, complete with an identifiable bad guy - you guessed it, COBRA. As the toy series went on it spawned (among other things) an animated series (and movie), board games and several video games (of which Cobra Strike was the first) until it quietly died off in the early '90s. G.I. Joe has resurfaced in recent years, bringing the adventures of G.I. Joe and COBRA to a whole new generation.

Back to G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike, though. The game didn't use any of the familiar Joes or COBRAs, aside from the cover artwork (which depicted the Joes codenamed Rock'n'Roll and Gung-Ho). What you got were some generic stick figures (colored green, so you'd know they were military) running from one building to another, a couple of gun emplacements and shields (which represented the Joes' defenses), and a giant cobra. Using the Paddle controllers, you must control the Joes' defenses. This is kind of an odd setup, seeing as how you steer your gun's shots and the shields at the same time, and there are various ways to switch the control setup by using the Difficulty switches. Because of this, you must decide if you want to shoot the cobra or defend the trainees, because you can't do both at once. The only way to destroy the cobra is to shoot it between the eyes eight times. Should the cobra succeed in snatching four recruits, it's game over. For every 10,000 points you score, you get an additional recruit.

What was possibly a first in videogames happened in G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike - three players could play at once! The first two players would control one of the gun emplacements and shields each (using the Paddle controllers on joystick port one), and the third player would control the cobra with a joystick (plugged into port two). This was especially handy if you had two friends over and you all wanted to play a game at the same time. The graphics are fairly minimal, with one exception - the giant cobra. It was simply because of the cobra that I gave the graphics a high a score as I did. It animates incredibly smoothly, and the laser firing effect really blew me away when I was a kid. Music and sound effects are decent - the music is confined to one piece that plays when you turn the game on, and the sound effects are fairly basic, except for the laser firing sound. Man, everything about that cobra is cool, come to think of it.

G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike is a pretty fun game that, while not using the G.I. Joe license as effectively as other Joe games have, has a hell of a lot of replay value based on the three player mode alone. It's definitely worth checking out, it for no other reason than to see how cool the cobra is.


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 05:43 PM