#687 – Twin Cobra

                

                                              What makes a “mega” chip? And where does one procure two of them?

 

                    

                                                  No annoying morse-code soundtrack in Twin Cobra, thank God.

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: American Sammy

DEVELOPER: Micronics

GENRE: Shoot-em-up

RELEASE DATE: January 1990

 

The NES has a king’s ransom of shoot-em-ups, many of which lack personality, despite being playable. Take our friend Twin Cobra, who steals whatever identity it has from the “1942 Guide to Shmups.” The two games aren’t identical, but the template is essentially the same. Instead of a plane, you control a helicopter through ten levels of monotonous blue, white, and brown. Little green helicopters buzz around you like gnats, while big helicopters/planes appear out of nowhere, hover menacingly, and yield precious power-ups once destroyed. The more power-ups you have, the more your firepower increases, though if you have the standard red bullets (as opposed to the fast green, homing brown, or spherical blue), more firepower can actually be a problem. For whatever reason, the enemies’ bullets are red as well. When you’re encased in enemy helicopters and they’re all shooting red bullets at you while you’re shooting red bullets at them, it can be difficult to tell which bullets belong to which side, resulting in several deaths. Frustrating, sure, but if you’re constantly shooting while maneuvering around the screen, enemies won’t last long enough to swarm you. You start the level right where you die, too, which is a plus. A high-five also to the programmer who decided that, when you continue, you don’t start at the beginning of the level, but near wherever you died last. Twin Cobra is a lot like the “Flaming Moe” cocktail before it’s lit: not without its charm. It’s just a shame you can’t light the cartridge on fire to produce a more intoxicating shmup. Wouldn’t that be somethin’.

 

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