Remake of a highly cherished game from the 8bit era? Check. Great graphical re-design that makes the experience a visual splendour? Check. Kickin’ soundtrack with more awesome tracks than you can wave a bionic arm at? Check check! Bionic Commado Rearmed is a re-imagining of 1988’s Bionic Commando released on the NES by Capcom, and a rarity in that its narrative design is completely changed from the original in a beneficial way. The game is still hard as nails, but offers humourous dialogue in such a way that was unforeseen to fans of the original game. Coupled with Simon Viklund’s remix soundtrack of the original NES tunes, it manages to stay familiar yet entirely new. Make sure you’re wearing headphones when listening to these!
Case in point: “Prologue & Epilogue.” Keeping the opening theme from the 1988 version with an electronic accompaniment, this musical introduction completely sets up what this remake is all about: keeping true to the original with a modern upgrade.
A similar treatment can be seen in “Meet With Enemy and Descend.” The opening melody already encourages a sense of menacing conflict, but it’s when the drums kick in that things really pick up. When listening to this with headphones or a bigger sound system it’s easy to hear the distortion effects in the drum tracks adding to the digital crunch of this mix.
Let’s take a look at something less menacing for a minute though…
In “Amongst Allies” we have one of the shorter tracks in the soundtrack, but also probably the least intense. As the name suggests, this tune crops up when visiting your military base area and helps give the sense you’re in a safe zone without any real danger. The 8bit sound bites add to the classic ambiance found in BC, but it’s the chordal keyboard part in the background that shine throughout the track. A good change of pace for what’s mostly an engaging collection of music.
Now that we’ve talked about one of the more cooler tracks on the album, let’s get into what’s probably the hottest: “Power Plant.” Right from the get-go we’re thrown into a beat that you’re more likely to find at a club, and no doubt will want to shake some part of yourself to. Even in the stage featuring this track we’re treated to many dark environments with colourful lighting effects, not unlike what can be seen at raves. Definitely a track you could use to show off your swanky new sound system and get your grind on. Or whatever else young people are doing at the discotheque these days.
For those looking to get their grapple claws on this album, you can find it on the US iTunes store for $9.99US, or 99cUS for each of the 15 tracks. Alternatively the same deal can be struck over at Sumthing Digital.