There was a time when the side scrolling beat’em up was king of the arcade. That time was the late 80s and early 90s. That time has passed, but we’re still graced with some excellent games to remember.
While Konami gets lots of recognition for making games like X-Men Arcade and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Capcom had some wonderful titles to throw in the mix as well. Case in point, Captain Commando.
The game takes place in the fictional metropolis Metro City, which is the same city the Final Fight series. The connections don’t stop there, as Captain Commando is largely the same type of game as Final Fight, with a few tweaks. You’ll move across the screen, taking out bad guy after bad guy, before battling a bigger bad guy to claim the level as completed. If you’ve played a previous Capcom beat’em up, you’ve essentially played this one.
The big draw for me to this game was it’s relative obscurity. I didn’t actually play this game un-emulated until finding it at Galloping Ghost Arcade. You can easily find Final Fight, but you don’t really see Captain Commando. And that’s a shame, because the game has large character models, detailed backgrounds, and fun characters. Sure, you can be the titular Captain, but why pick him when you could be the alien mummy Mack, or hell what about Baby Head, the literal infant that fights in a mech? Style: this game’s got it.
While the game is hard to find, it doesn’t offer a crazy amount of variety from others in the genre. However, with the somewhat recent digital release of Capcom’s Beat’em Up Bundle, the game is much more widely available. That bundle includes Captain Commando here, as well as absolute classics Final Fight and Knights of the Round, among others. But those are discussions for another day!
*Played at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL 2019