GI Joe Rise of Cobra (XBOX 360)

2011-07-02 17:35:15

When I came into possession of GI Joe Rise of Cobra, I had already read some pretty scathing things about it. There was one review in particular I remember coming from Gamestop's GameInformer which basically lambasted it as a shit sandwich and only bothered to give their review like 1/8th of a page to burn it down on. So I'm going to tell you why their review was shit, as is most of the reviews of this game that don't give it the credit it is due.

I picked up this game because I wanted a title I could sink my teeth into to really gut it like a fish, and to be honest it has all the usual trapping of turd served in a disc. First it is a movie licensed game, and in general the ration of good movie licensed video games or hell any "licensed" video game other than sports are typically regarded as crimes against humanity by most reviewers. This is probably the slant that the reviewers took with this game, not to mention it is hard to get a good rating unless you are using the best possible graphics engine and are either: A Cover Based Shooter, A FPS, A Western Style RPG, A Sports Game, Final Fantasy. This game is a budget title, and one I think was very well handled considering its setbacks. Let's review what this game had going against it.

Any of you remember GI Joe Rise of Cobra in the movie theatre? it was one of those forgetful attempts at summer blockbuster, with all the standard shoot em up blow em up parade of special effects. It was also the cliche reboot movie, taking another favorited 80's franchise and recycling it grittier and sexier than before. Hollywood knows the 30 something crowd well, growing up in such an over-sold decade as the 80's it has been easy to recycle that decade and feed it back to us because it was some of our first and fondest of memories. Unfortunately despite destroying a major monument in the movie, the movie itself was pretty bland, and easily forgetful, not a very good license to swing a game off of without some kind of effort being put in.

It is likely that this shit sandwich got handed down to double helix, with a less than standard budget since it was a movie title, and they had to make it the best they could. With less than AAA budget and a lackluster movie to ride on, they did the only thing they could. Go Retro!

While this game features cover based elements and regenerating health, the gameplay style fits in better as a 3d contra style title, with swarms of enemies and power ups, the occassional need to seek cover, and brutal boss/wall battles to crank up the heat. Graphics are cartoonish  and on par with an action title along the contra vein, Save points are limited and death means switching to the other Joe on screen or if you are playing with the drop in drop out coop you'll find yourself waiting a LOOOOONG time to get back in the action unless your partner dies, and you don't want him to die because if he does you both get to start over allll the way back at the beginning because checkpoints in this game don't exist, but that is just part and parcel if you're trying to make a contra style bastard hard game. The game is entertaining and throws all kinds of bonus points at you for doing massive kill streaks and blowing up generic stuff all over the battle field. Keeping you plenty replenished in terms of grenades and special abilities. As you get a more and more massive kill streak going you and your buddy can hit Y at any time and engage your super suits as featured in the movie, the suits make you comically overpowered and even come with the cartoon tagline "YO JOE!" being yelled and the original cartoon theme song being played as you kick major ass.  This was a great nod to the original cartoon series and really frames the whole game as not just a movie license title, but as a celebration of all things GI Joe. 

So to be honest as much as I expected this to be a damp bag of shit on my doorstep I found myself actually enjoying it up until my patience with the lack of checkpoints made me ragequit, then I co-oped it to check out that playstyle and both me and my gamebro sat there jaw droppingly shocked that all our efforts did not net us a checkpoint, knowing then that it wasn't just me, I shuttled the puck back to Gamefly for the next juicy morsel to come across my plate.

Reason Result
Start 10
Going retro instead of ultra realistic  +3
checkpoints what are checkpoints? -6
bonuses flying all over the screen like a pinball game, supermove with GIJOE cartoon theme! +4
No extra lives in a contra style game takes the difficulty to 11 -3
Final 8/10

Not to shabby for a movie title, maybe the best one yet!