Retro Redux: NES Quest – Bionic Commando Report Card


It’s time for another NES Quest report card! As with the DuckTales post before it, this report card (for Bionic Commando) is not a review: it’s a way for me to report to you the details of my progress in Bionic Commando. So how did I do? Read on to find out!


Areas Completed:

  • 01
  • 13 (Neutral)
  • 04
  • 15 (Neutral)
  • 05
  • 16 (Neutral)
  • Lifelines Used: 1 – The Internet. Why? To figure out how to get past the laser barriers in Area 01.

General Accomplishments

NES games, along with retro games in general, are known for their lack of tutorials and hand-holding, two traits that are highly present in today’s video games. I didn’t have much help going into Bionic Commando, not even a game manual. I figured out just about everything on my own. The grappling claw that our titular hero is equipped with isn’t actually as simple to use as it initially seems. Of course, it can be used to swing across gaps, but I also learned how to reel the claw in and hop up onto the above platform. I learned about items used by the START button. And I became pretty adept at swinging my way past obstacles and enemies.

Impressions on the Game

This equation pretty much sums up my thoughts on Bionic Commando: fantastic level design + unique gameply = a lot of depth. Especially for an NES game. The grappling mechanic works without a hitch and is just plain fun to use. If this were not the case, I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to run through the first couple of areas as many times as I did.


I did the math on the number of areas I completed vs. the total number of areas and, as it turns out, I only got about 32% through the game. I’m starting to think a week is not quite enough for some NES games. Even though I’m sure I could do better with time, my performance grade is:


In addition to being a girl gamer, Holly prides herself on being a red-head. Consequently, the blue shell in the Mario Kart series is her natural enemy. Don't worry, though: she still loves Mario Kart and is very good, despite the occasional blue shell-sabotaged race. Like any Nintendo fan, Holly also loves Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, name it. But she'll try just about anything (besides horror games) and has a soft spot for unique, little-known rhythm games like Rhythm Heaven and Samba de Amigo. NNID: Aeroweth