Another coin-op conversion, Commando had already been a smash hit on 8-bit machines a few years earlier (the ZX Spectrum version had been excellent), and Elite finally got around to converting the arcade game to the Amiga in 1989.
The game involved you taking the role of a crack commando named Super Joe (The 1980's came up with some really corny character names).
Your mission: To penetrate deep behind enemy lines and destroy their two main fortresses. The game took place over a vertically scrolling landscape and your trusty commando was armed with a sub machine gun (which had unlimited ammo Nic Cage style) and a handful of grenades.
By todays standards the game is pretty simple (and even by 1989 when it came out on the Amiga), but to be fair it was a pretty faithfull conversion of the popular arcade game. The vertical scrolling is nice and smooth and the landscape is recreated almost down to the last pixel.
The game even had the helicopter drop-off at the start of the game which had been missing from the ZX Spectrum version (no doubt down to RAM limitations).
There were some nice touches in the game such as the soldiers on bikes, running under bridges, different coloured enemies and jeeps that would sweep across the screen and take a couple of pot shots at you.
There were also supply trucks that would drive across the screen which enemey soldiers jumped out of and immediately began shooting at you. No fair!
It was not an easy game by any stretch (the Amiga version was pretty tough - sometimes unfairly so on the player), and the later levels with caves for the enemy to hide in, rivers to get across, fox-holes to avoid and rocket launching troopers provided a difficult challenge.
No powerups were available save for collecting more grenades which were strewn around the landscape, which added to the difficulty and made you rely on your skill and reflexes (and some good fortune) to plough through the later levels.
Well we here in the land of Amiga Games reckon this title has stood the test of time quite well. It is still pretty playable and does capture the look and feel of the CapCom original. The only real drawback is the difficulty: most of the time the collision detection doesn't seem to be up to par, which is unforgiveable - especially on the Amiga.
It should be noted that it could be difficult to run on an A500+ or an A1200 (as far as I can remember anyway!)
I must say I prefer the Spectrum version of Commando - it's just that little bit more playable.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an emulator and download Commando. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: Late 1989
RELEASED BY: Elite
DEVELOPER(S): Martin Ward, Neil Latarche
PRICE: £19.99 - UK
I go Commando whilst playing Commando - Amiga Games:
Classic Games and Amiga Games