78: Jackal

Genre: Shooter

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Year: 1988

Basic Idea:  Save P.O.W.’s with your Jeep and copter them off to safety.  And, if you have time, win the war singlehandedly.

Review: Of the ground based shooters for the NES, this one ranks the highest for me.  It’s a touch above Guerrilla War for a couple of reasons.  First, saving the good guys is significantly more fun.  They’re not just sitting out in the street waiting to be accidentally shot.  They’re usually in bunkers or storage facilities that you need to open.  Also, you need to then bring them to a helicopter and wait while they board, leaving yourself vulnerable if you haven’t cleared the area.  Again, it’s for nothing other than points, but it definitely feels more satisfying.

The second reason is that the fighting seems a bit more calculated, not just guns a blazin’.  You can strafe with the machine gun, something not often seen with NES games.  And there’s less going on in each level, so stealth is rewarded a bit more heavily.

Still, the game is pretty generic with okay, but not great, graphics and music.  If you love war shooters and have a buddy, this is probably your best bet.

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