Yo Joe! A Look At G.I. Joe Games Throughout The Years
Posted on Saturday, March 9 @ 06:22:27 Eastern by GR_Staff
Brought to you by G.I. Joe: Retaliation, releasing on March 28th in Australia and the US.
I’m an '80s kid, so I’ve grown up alongside the juggernaut known as G.I. Joe. On top of entertaining my young mind, it taught me valuable lessons on life. After all, knowing is half the battle. I read the comics, I owned the action-figures (don’t you dare call them dolls), I watched the animated series, and more relevant to GameRevolution, I played the video games. In anticipation for the new movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation featuring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, we’re taking a look back at the G.I. Joe video games of the past.
G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike (Atari 2600)
Just look at those graphics! What is happening to that Cobra? Is it striking? Having a seizure? I don’t know. All I do know that the Joe team had extremely long noses, and that the game was published by Parker Brothers—you know, the same people who make Monopoly. Good thing they stuck to board games and forgot about video game development.
After seeing the visuals on the last game, it doesn’t surprise me that I couldn’t find even one screenshot of actual gameplay. Instead, I found this box art… which… doesn’t really help. I can’t tell if the game featured glowing outlines of characters vaguely based on the franchise, or if that’s just what the cover looks like. I think it’s safe to say that this is one of those circumstances where judging something by its cover is probably appropriate.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Apple II, Commodore 64)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Nintendo Entertainment System)
Now we’re talking. This G.I. Joe game released at the height of the animated series’ popularity in 1991. Published by Taxan, this G.I. Joe game featured cherished characters and hated baddies such as Captain Grid-Iron, Snake Eyes, Duke, Range-Viper, Destro, and Cobra Commander. This game had it all: running, gunning, vehicles, women, swimmin', women swimmin', and bomb disposal. (Note: The game featured no women or swimming.)
G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor (Nintendo Entertainment System)
In 1992, a sequel to the first NES title was released, this time published by the very much still in operation Capcom. It played very similarly to another Capcom title, Bionic Commando. Many of the franchise heroes made a return, as did Cobra Commander, of course. More characters were added, such as Wet Suit and Storm Shadow, and some support characters like Stalker and Gung-Ho were playable at some points. But it didn’t matter who you played as, so long as you had control of the all-powerful Battle Orb—an ancient weapon from the lost city of Atlantis.
G.I. Joe: The Arcade Game (Arcade)
Konami made this one in 1992, and that was during the coin-op boom—a time when you weren’t cool if you weren’t popping quarters at the local arcade. It was an on-rails shooter with explosions, tanks, explosions, and did I mention explosions? The graphics at the time far exceeded that of the NES games, but unfortunately, it was never released for home consoles.
G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PSP)
Even though I never forgot the lessons learned by G.I. Joe, for years, the public forgot about the real American heroes. That is, until 2009, when a movie tie-in game released on a number of platforms based on the movie of the same name. Like the movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt played the role of Cobra Commander, while series mainstays like Duke and Snake Eyes made a return. This game didn't fare so well with critics, which is probably why no tie-in game was created for the upcoming movie, and the movie was left to stand on its own. Yo Joe, that was a good decision.
Now you know. And knowing is?