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3 Jan 2023

REVIEW: Mission 1985 on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Mission 1985 is a tribute or perhaps more of a clone of classic arcade game Commando, Commando was released in the arcades in 1985, and I would spend countless 10p coins playing it almost every day, so fast forward to 2022, and to see a tribute to that game released, and I couldn't be happier.

The game itself is a 2D top-down view, run and gun. Your job is to defeat the dreaded General Hector and his army, and along the way free any hostages you find.

There are 11 levels in total, and a few of those are 3D type levels, graphically think Space Harrier. Each level is set in a different location to give plenty of variety.

General play has you shooting and throwing grenades at anyone who gets in your way. But watch out for traps, mines, holes in the ground, as well as climate related dangers. As well as shooting at enemy soldiers, there are also tanks, helicopters and planes to take out. Don't waste all of your grenades though, you will probably want to save as many as you can for the end of level boss. There are a few different weapons you can pick up and use, the best one being the flame thrower.

There is also a local multiplayer mode, no online play though.

Now it is worth noting the game is hard, like ridiculously hard, there is no easy mode, although you can adjust how many lives you start off with, a maximum of 9. The difficulty becomes a huge problem though, the game is not necessarily hard in the same way that Commando was hard. With Commando the more you played, the better you got. With Mission 1985 the problem is when you do die, you are only invincible for a second, so you can end up losing 2 or 3 lives very quickly, grenades thrown by enemies are also sometimes impossible to avoid, as soon as you see one, you move away but you are still killed. Your reaction time is simply not going to save you.

However, the boss fights are relatively easy, the problem is getting to them.

The graphics are retro style, as is the sound effects, the story is pretty basic, and the gameplay is classic arcade style

The Good
I am a fan of these types of classic games, and this does feed the addiction. The graphics bring back memories, and everything you would want and expect is there.

The Bad
Way too difficult, and although I understand that is a deliberate choice by the developers, I found the difficulty to be off putting, instead of pushing me to keep playing to get better.

If you are over 40 then this game will definitely bring back some fun times you had as a kid, but the difficulty setting is so off putting, even for a huge fan of the genre as I am.

Commando was always hard, but it was never unfair in its gameplay, this game feels unfair.

I score Mission 1985 on Nintendo Switch a 6/10. If the developers fix a few of the issues I have mentioned, as well as add an easy mode, then the game would be 7/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

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