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Super Cobra

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Released: 1981

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Stern

Developer: Konami

Submitted by: Scott Reed

There’s not enough sequels like Super Cobra around today. And I’m in two minds if that’s a good thing or not.

Super Cobra is the sequel of Konami’s endearing Scramble. You can tell this because everything in the game is identical. Except you’re now a helicopter. A bit of a step backwards technology wise don’t you think? From space ship to helicopter. And it nicely emasculates the game. Scramble’s Renegade ship looks like a flying penis, symbolising a lot of things about the manly macho Shooter genre. The rest symbolised by Contra’s main characters. Now we’re playing as Budgie?

The speed and amount of levels have been cranked up. Nothing to complain about there. Except the difficulty’s been cranked up in direct proportion. You still need to pick up fuel but your fuel doesn’t deplete any slower, making more work. Your nemesis – the rockets – no longer fire off in the same order from try to try. And if you don’t understand how this makes things harder – play Super Cobra.

Back to technological back stepping Super Cobra also seems far more dated than it’s predecessor. I think this may be connected to the helicopter and new ‘wall’ obstacles looking like they were drawn on MS Paint by a five year old. I’m not certain though.

Three tires for your coinage really aren’t enough to compensate for the combination of new level designs requiring precision that could get you accepted into a covert Sniper cell and an insistence on sending you punishing far back in the level each time you’re fragged with no clue how the rockets are going to fly this time around. Teetering on the fine line between challenging and irritating Super Cobra’s enjoyment level is probably parallel to your own Sadomasochistic tendencies.

And that makes me worry just how high mine are. In that I continue to persist with this sod of a game.

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