Game Name:G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Platforms:Xbox 360
Publisher(s):Double Helix
Developer(s):Electronic Arts
Genre(s):Action & Adventure
Release Date:8/7/2009
ESRB Rating:T (Teen)
Price:$39.99 (Amazon)

I am a product of the 80s. I played video games, watched cartoons and movies. Today, the only thing that has changed is that I’m married. I still love to do those same hobbies. Now what was I supposed to do when one of my favorite cartoons became a movie and a video game? The answer is quite obvious; play the video game! (I haven’t seen the movie, yet!)

Here’s the product description, straight from EA’s fact sheet.

As COBRA unleashes its deadliest plot yet, the G.I. JOE Team is counting on you and your hand-picked team of heroes to lead the counterattack. Every mission is critical and so is every G.I. JOE character. Picking up where the Paramount Pictures live action film leaves off, G.I. JOE The Rise of Cobra is an accessible third person action-arcade shooter that allows players to recreate and relive the greatest moments from the film, cartoon series and action toy line.

As I stated earlier, I did not see the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra summer flick, so I can’t really tell you how it continued from that. What I can tell you is that there are 20 missions, each with containing 2-4 checkpoints that allow you to explore the Arctic, the Desert, the Jungle and the Tundra. The story combines levels from the 45 years of JOE glory (the movie, cartoon, comics and such). As you progress throughout the game, some items will unlock other missions as you pick them up. This is how you’ll get the achievement for completing areas in the game. As you progress throughout the game, some items will unlock other missions as you pick them up. Also, more characters will become available to you if you find the contact item, but you will need experience points to purchase them.

This game feels like a juiced-up Contra. There is unlimited ammo and a fixed camera that can sometimes get a little bit annoying. My best advice for you is to just hold down the trigger button and shoot everything in site. Using the RS, you’ll be able point your shots, but you’d need to be closer if you wanted to target something specifically. I always ended up shooting inanimate objects instead. As I progressed through some levels, I wished the camera would be able to show me certain spots, because some items are too hard to see. I came across them just by running around while walls and buildings were in the way. There is also a cover system to hide from enemy firepower. You’ll need this if you play on Normal difficulty.

There are three classes of JOES: Combat Soldier, Commando and Heavy Weapons. You can switch out JOES by going to the strategically placed “JOE-CHANGER-UPPER” (looks like a port-o-potty with electricity). Usually when there’s a port-o-potty, there’s a door that would not be accessible by certain classes of JOES. There are vehicles in-game and the controls were horrible. After numerous attempts to control the vehicle, I finally figured out that no matter what direction the vehicle is facing, you’re supposed to control it like it was perfectly straight.

Might I suggest starting off on Casual mode. I started on Normal but to my dismay, the checkpoints are useless as save points. This means that if you died near the end of the mission, you’d have to start the entire mission all over again. If you started on Casual, you may disregard the beginning of this paragraph. One cool in-game feature was the Accelerator Suit (from the movie, I’ve heard) that made you temporarily invincible like Super Mario and his Star Power.

All in all, it was exciting to be able to play as Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes! The game is retro fun, with some modern appeal to it. Pick up this game if you’re an honest-to-God true fan of the G.I. JOE franchise. If not, it might be better to rent it first. Honestly, I didn’t pay attention to the story line about COBRA and the nanomite technology because I was busy unlocking the PSA’s from the cartoon, concept art, movies and characters. Nostalgia FTW!

P.S. You can unlock some classic costumes, but you’ll have to do this every time you load the game!

Unlockable: Classic Uniforms
At the game’s title screen, enter the following codes with the D-pad to unlock Classic Uniforms. A “Yo Joe!” sound effect will play if you entered the code correctly. This unlocked costume will be available from the start of the game.

Shana “Scarlett” O’Hara – RIGHT, UP, DOWN, DOWN, TRIANGLE
Duke – LEFT, UP, SQUARE, UP, RIGHT, TRIANGLE

Thanks to IGN.com for the codes!

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