Some Love For the 8bit SFX Homies

by Steve Bowler on March 19, 2008

in audio,design,nitpicking

Umpteen years ago, I played this kickass game that completely broke the level-hopping genre, called Bionic Commando. The idea that you didn’t jump, but swung everywhere was just amazing in a world full of Mario and Sonics. The gameplay was so utterly addicting to me that I felt punished when a “Super” Bionic Commando was never released on the SNES. I even played Super Metroid simply because it had some swinging in it (okay, fine, and it was a pretty excellent game, too).

But Bionic Commando wasn’t just all about the swinging. Oh no. The audio was pretty white hot for its day, as well. The theme song, the military snare drums, the juicy sweet pickup sound effects. But most of all, paramount of all these audio ear gasms, was the grappling hook sound effect.

Bwooooooooaaart =chink= =chink=

So the newest vid for the new Bionic Commando is out, and I noticed that there’s something conspicuously missing. It’s not the music. No, that seems to have been faithfully re-mastered to capture the original theme and feel. Hell, they even managed to make the giant pill canisters pop out of the bad guys when you kill them (which looks a bit rediculous, they weren’t even that big in the original game).

Have you guessed what it is yet? It’s the sound effect for the grappling hook arm. The very soul of the original game is missing from the new one. Yes, I can swing like a pro. I can do things the previous game couldn’t even dream of (but Rearmed does a pretty good job of capturing). But I can’t hear one of the greatest sound effects in video games.

It’s like the Transformers not having the classic animated series sound effect in the movie (oh wait). Pac Man not doing the wakka wakka. Mario not doing his classic jumping sound effect.

This is a crime of omission against an 8 bit legacy that should not go ignored. I suppose I should start a petition or something. Or, y’know, Capcom could just make everyone’s lives easier and richer and just read this and put an updated version of the sound effect in.

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