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Green Beret

Hot action in the cold war.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Though not the game's original name, the subsequent wealth of first class home conversions to all adopted the non-US title rather than the cheap and titular cold war pun, Rush 'n Attack. To that end, this aggressive and pointed little platformer is best remembered as Green Beret, and still provides a thrilling violence fix for today's murder-crazed twitch gamers.

What could be finer - or more impressively macho - than storming a Russian nuclear silo armed only with a standard issue combat knife? Grabbing a flamethrower mid rampage, perhaps? Fortunately, our Green Beret was willing to grab any kind of weaponry and put it to good, communist thrashing use; be it hand grenades, flame throwers or rocket propelled grenades.

Just so we wouldn't become too concerned with Ronald Regan's impending peace talks with Good Ol' Gorby, a few P.O.W.'s were placed about the silo to grant just purpose to the massacre, though losing a credit saw the four gallant recidivists lined up against a concrete wall and shot full of the people's lead (a poignant scene that was removed from the typically sectarian NES version).

Ray Mears on the run. Use the moss.

The moderately mature theme of Green Beret helped distance it from the swell of cutesy platform games that were creating so much white noise around the arcades, and gave the important mid-to-late-teen demographic the kind of suitably blood-thirsty and intense gaming experience not offered by the likes of Mario and Mr. Do. Platformers were very much in danger of becoming the realm of girls and people who wanted to be girls, so the serious gamer was in need of exactly this kind of return to digital bloodshed and mayhem.

Of course, timing is everything, and while we might dismiss Green Beret as trite machismo today, back in 1985 it tied in nicely with the release of Rambo II, so rescuing emaciated P.O.W.'s from a long forgotten (yet still strangely active) enemy was way cool.

7 / 10

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