“The lack of an on-screen score is really strange for an arcade-style shooter like this, and the vast swaths of one-color backgrounds lend the whole playthrough a dull, washed-out mood.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.
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I enjoy theoreticals. Those thought exercises and situations that may never actually happen, but are fun to consider.
Maybe you do not feel the same way, but think: In judging video games, context is everything. That may seem obvious, but it takes a weird spin when you consider knock-off titles like Mission Cobra. If you enjoyed video games, but had never played a cartridge on the NES before, and this was your first experience with the system, then this may seem pretty standard. This is a shooter, with colors at work, some scrolling, pattern-based enemies, boss fights, a scoring system, and other flourishes. You may even realize that it is a step above many Atari 2600 games, and is identifiable as an 8-bit game.
But if you have played a fair amount of other games in the NES library before this one, you would recognize its deficiencies, of which the lack of a background and music are likely foremost. You may see the protagonist visual as being rather plain, the lack of on-screen scoring a bit odd, and some of the gameplay repetitive. And if you have played other shooters, then you truly begin to realize the lost potential here, as you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find worse examples, though they do exist.
Generic, watered-down, and tedious — Yet, mechanically, a playable game, and smoother than some shooters out there. This is Mission Cobra.
Fun Fact: Whenever a game lists Bunch Games as the publisher, it is actually Color Dreams in disguise. True story.
Read The Full Review For: Much more in-depth commentary on the game’s features and characteristics, though with few jokey observations thrown in.
NES Gameplay Tips for Mission Cobra: Honestly? Don’t feel like you have to kill everything — it is just as advantageous, usually, to just dodge all oncoming obstacles. Beyond that, the bosses can be tricky, but figure out the established patterns and take full advantage.