Saturday, April 4
Shadow

“The Only Thing You Have to Do, Is to Shoot Humans…”

I’ve never played any of the Grand Theft Auto games, nor any of their supposedly ultra-violent brethren. Quite honestly, they don’t seem all that appealing to me. And I’m too cheap to spring for an Xbox, PS3, or any other high-end gaming system. So while I don’t care to enter the already heated debate about the impact of video game violence on kids, I guess I’m going to anyway.

You see, according to my crack research staff violence in video games has been around for years. Like, many years. Take, for example, this little gem from 1986 — Robert Pfitzner‘s Commando Libya. I played this game more than a few times on my beloved Commodore 64, and somehow didn’t feel the urge to bring a machete to school.

Commando Libya screen shot (Commodore 64)
Well at least the psycho game developer is polite.

As you can see, the tone is pretty much set right away — “Welcome to ‘The Sadism Game’ of the Year.” I’m not sure what other games might have been in the running for the coveted “Sadism Game of the Year” honor but something tells me Commando Libya was a deserving winner.  The official title of the game seems to be Commando Libya Part I, although there never was a Part II.  I can’t  imagine why.

Commando Libya screen shot (Commodore 64)
Snazzy graphics!

Pretty much everything you need to know to play Commando Libya is this — Shoot people with poorly color-coordinated uniforms and giant billy clubs, whilst also shooting explosive barrels lobbed at you from some unseen mountain hideout. For those unfortunate enough to get hit by your supernaturally powerful gun, gooeyness soon follows.

Commando Libya screen shot (Commodore 64)
That’s some right powerful gun!

Should you prove your skill on a level, you get to the “bonus round,” where the sportsmanship kicks up a notch:

Commando Libya screen shot (Commodore 64)
UN-approved since 1984!

Yup, no action game geared towards kids and teens is complete without an old fashioned execution level. And the best part is there is no time limit. You can linger on this scene as long as you want, and you can’t even advance until you actually mow down your prisoners and leave a bunch of pink stains on the wall. Now THAT’S quality entertainment!

So that’s pretty much it — the entire game. Oh, there is one added treat — for those good enough to beat the high score, you get to record your initials in a rather unique way. By beheading three prisoners, each bearing one letter. Oh yeah, they went there.

Commando Libya screen shot (Commodore 64)

Wow. Yeah, I guess I can see why people are so upset over the “recent” trend in video game violence. Too bad we can’t go back to the salad days when we just played innocent games like Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., or Destroy the Heathen Brown People.

For another review of this timeless example of wholesome entertainment, check out Lemon.

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