Whiling away the time between sessions of Street Fighter IV arse-kickery (mine, not anyone elses) and my interview with Yoshinori Ono, I accidentally made eye-contact with a Capcom flak. The handler, notice my lack of doing anything, was quick to thrust a 360 controller into my hands and point me toward a screen showing off Bionic Commando ReArmed.</p
Ugh, I wasn't really a huge fan of the original and didn't really have a whole lot of interest in checking it out... but after Tarzaning across a level and using my bionic claw to toss barrels at people and people at barrels, I quickly changed my mind.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the XBLA/PSN title (I played on the 360) is how pretty it is. Just because a game is 2D and harkens back to the bitastic days of old, doesn't mean that it has to be ugly. Capcom managed to give the game a high polish and still include echoes of the classic.
The thing I found most frustrating about the original was that moving diagonally with your claw was never very easy for me, it didn't feel fluid and it was easy to get it wrong. Not so with the remake, I was able to cruise up and down levels in record time with just the claw. And they didn't make it too easy, just smoothed out the process and precision of the controls.
The game really makes use of the HD real estate, but still has levels that feel like they belong in the original. You still can't jump down, you have to drop, you still can't jump up, you have to use your claw. But this time, for me at least, it seems to work better.
I know it's blasphemy to even hint at the fact that a remake of an arcade classic could in anyway be improved upon for a console, but from what I saw in the very early build of the game, Bionic Commando Rearmed might very well do that.