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- Twin Cobra -




Twin Cobra by Maddog
Game:Twin CobraCompany:Taito

Yet another one in the long line of scrolling shooters is Twin Cobra.Unusually,you have no spaceship or aircraft,but instead you take a chopper under your control.The competition in this type of game is very strong,so lets see how it compares to the rest of 'em,shall we?

Twin Cobra is a vertical shooter.Yet,unlike many of the genre, the screen also has some horizontal scrolling capabilities,which effectively increase the play area and allow you to pick off enemies outside the central portions of the screen,before they become really dangerous.The array of enemies consists of several types of tanks, helicopters,planes and gunboats-all of them intent on blasting you from the game's skies!Naturally,the initial peashooter can be upgraded (by picking up the S icons that float around after you kill some of the larger enemies) or traded for a different type of weapon (if you pick up the changing colorful icon that occasionally appears instead.New weapon type depends on the color the icon has when you pick it up-some experimentation might help you decide which weapon suits you best).For the trickier situations,a kind of bomb can be used to add that extra momentary ooomph to your firepower.The limited supply of bombs can be replenished by picking up the B icons that also appear from time to time.The by now well-expected huge tank-type meanie awaits at the end of each level,to give you that "little" extra challenge. :) Notice that this game really takes off with two players (as in TWIN Cobra...), which is LOTS of fun!
Twin Cobra is quite old (dated 1987),but this doesn't make it any less fun. Graphics are very pleasing and clear.I especially like the way powerful enemies show the amount of damage they have suffered (flames springing from them,sparks flying around etc.),the very neat explosions and the craters that mark the place some enemy tanks or installations once occupied.Sound is well...sound and there's a good tune playing at the background during the whole mess.It also rates well at its' difficulty level.Initially fairly easy,it allows you to get some power-ups before throwing the real nasties at you,in effect always allowing a sufficient play time.It also effectively disguises the fact that variation of terrain and enemies isn't the greatest around-believe me,you'll hardly notice!
The game has not many lowdowns.The one I hate most (and almost every shooter out there has it...) is the stripping down of your machine after a life is lost.It takes an almost inhuman skill to survive if the first life goes down,so you must always remember that the game has one "proper" life and a couple of pretty useless others afterwards.Another bad thing is the lack of any real applause if you complete all the levels-you get to do it all over again,without any further comments from the game and with increased difficulty...
This is a great game,considering its' age.Even today it's fun and challenging and will certainly offer some enjoyable moments to any dedicated shooter.It is being emulated in Shark quite decently and with a choice of three versions (European,US and Japanese-the later being called the unpronouncable Kyukyoku Tiger!).They are also available in MAME,but currently none of them works correctly there,so stick with Shark-it's very good anyways!Now,go get 'em,your Cobra awaits you at a helipad inside your PC! :)
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