Rated PG-18 -
Requested by Z.E.N
The Cold War. It was a time of mistrust, mutual hatred, fear, and overall aggression between Capitalists and evil commie bastards, whether on the battlefield, boxing ring, or science lab. Overall, it's safe to say everyone learned one valuable lesson and a truth to live by forever. Rocky Balboa sort of alluded to it in his patronizing "everyone can change" post-Ivan Drago beatdown in Rocky IV and it's safe to say JFK, Ronald Reagan, George Patton and Charlton Heston had said it hundreds if not thousands of times at home...
That's what Konami might has well have titled the cleverly-worded arcade classic, Rush 'n Attack, known overseas as the inferior-titled Green Beret. Although it was never officially announced that the "enemy" was the U.S.S.R., the graphics, music, and title were self-explanatory. It was one of the best things ever to come out of 1985, and NES players all over the good 'ol US of fuckin' A were wishing for the second Nintendo released the greatest console ever. At least, those of us who weren't traitorous commie sympathizers or limp-wristed pussy faggots. By 1987, our pleas for justice were answered, and Konami gave us the NES conversion of Rush 'n Attack. It wasn't just everything anyone with balls could want in a game. It was everything anyone with balls could want... PLUS BLOWING SHIT UP.
Don't mind me, Russkie. Just... CUTTING THROUGH!
The story is slightly re-worked from the arcade version, where you are sent in to rescue P.O.W.s from the clutches of the most evil army in human history, the commie asshole Soviet Russian scumbags. This time, your responsibility is a bit more than a simple humanitarian effort, as you are sent in to infiltrate and destroy the "enemy's" secret weapon. In other words, your mission consists of two phases:
Phase 1: Invade enemy (Russian) territory, likely without international approval.
Phase 2: BLOW ALL THEIR SHIT UP.
This is where the gameplay comes in. There have been plenty of Cold War-themed games since, all with some novel approaches to gameplay and storyline development, internal conflict, shades of gray, life as a soldier, and so on. Here's the Rush 'n Attack philosophy on those things: FUCK RUSSIA. You've been given orders handed down by your superiors. Those orders are to blow all Russia's shit up armed with only a combat knife. Anybody get in your way, you just run up and stab them right in the fucking throat. Simple. So simple that U.S. intelligence saw fit to only send two guys in. There's Blue Guy with Matching Blue Beret and Blue Knife, and there's Red Guy with Same Matching Equipment. This is actually more than they saw fit to send in 1985, where only one person could play at a time, and the NES version's co-op mode added a new dimension to the overall feel of the game, not to mention making it way easier once both players get the hang of everything. Speaking of the 2-player co-op mode, there's a little gameplay spoiling to be had by letting the 2nd player die off, allowing you to play the 1-player mode without worrying about starting over at checkpoints when you die. Of course, by doing this, you officially acknowledge yourself as a weak and dishonorable person. It all depends on how you prefer to conduct warfare.
See, you just know that a bazooka hitting that truck will be a huge explosion.
That's not to say Rush 'n Attack is a breeze, though. Hell no. This is one of those classic arcade "one hit kills you" type of games, and it's obvious that Russians cover themselves in deadly poison before going into battle, because even touching coats with the enemy means instant death for you. Sidescrolling action is rarely more hectic and difficult than this gets. Running from left to right and stabbing everybody will get pretty hard when the variety of enemies and obstacles increases, which occurs after roughly the first half of the first stage. There are standard foot-soldiers who subscribe to the classic, time-tested formula of running into you at varying speeds; karate soldiers who have mastered the art of Jump Kicking You in the Head (JuKYoiH-fu-do style Karate); guys who were smart enough to bring a gun to the fight; and even some guys who thought it would be a sadistic advantage to parachute from up high and shoot at the lunatic running around stabbing everybody. There are mines everywhere, too, and most of the enemies know enough to run around them. This leaves you in a precarious position, which is why you'll need to keep your eyes open and your leg muscles warmed up for some mine jumping, which becomes easier to do when they're really shiny and just laid carelessly in obvious spots.
NOTE TO READER: This is very dangerous in real life.
The graphics are converted to the NES in an impressive way, and most enemy details and stage backgrounds are close to the arcade original. The one major difference is the main character design, who had camouflage fatigues in the arcade and a metallic knife instead of a blue or red one. Konami even saw fit to add two entire stages to the NES version, including the final stage, a top secret military base housing the "enemy's" secret weapon. In a somewhat disappointing turn of events, it seems the weapon is just a series of slow lasers and a reactor with the one weakness of bazooka blasts. True to idiotic commie Russian form, they just happen to keep a supply of bazookas on hand right around the reactor area. This means that the ending's graphics will probably include an explosion.
Although the arcade version featured one nonstop soundtrack of military bootcamp style drums, the NES version has actual music that WILL NOT leave your head after you've played this game for a significant amount of time. The 2 main tracks alternate between the stages, and the sixth and last stage has a dramatic, final battle feel that keeps you stabbing and running to the end. The 2 boss tracks also bring a much appreciated "oh shit, there are Russians trying to kill me so I'd better STAB ALL OF THEM AND WATCH THEM BLEED TO DEATH" mood. It's exactly what you'll need to fuel your hatred of Joseph Stalin and all who share his culture.
Rush 'n Attack is a sidescroller that really represents what the NES is all about: nonstop action and simple gameplay with a sadistic challenge. Failing to meet this challenge is less than American, and we can't let the Russians win now. Go find it.
Carrying a bazooka through land minds near missiles is the manliest thing you can do.