Rush n' Attack
Box Shot
Rush n' Attack
Platform: NES
Publisher: Konami
Designer: Konami
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1988
Reviewed by: Rob Strangman

Konami has always made excellent military games. Metal Gear, Jackal, and the almighty Contra were some of the greatest games to ever hit the NES. Before any of these, however, Konami released the game Rush 'N Attack. While not up to the standards of the later games, Rush 'N Attack still provides a decent gaming experience.

The plot is simple - you play a Green Beret (or should that be a Blue Beret?), who has parachuted behind the enemy lines with one goal: destroy the enemies' secret weapon. You must fight your way through six tough stages to reach the enemies main base, where the secret weapon - the Death Laser - is waiting. The only weapon you have at the beginning of the game is a combat knife (what were those Army guys thinking?). You can pick up other weapons as you go, but they're very scarce (and ammo is always limited!).

Graphically, the game's pretty good. Each level has it's own look to it, and each place is nicely detailed. The characters aren't too bad looking, but they could have looked a little better. There is a decent selection of enemies: foot soldiers, karate soldiers, pistol soldiers, machine gun soldiers, artillerymen, paratroopers, and the yellow soldiers - they look just like your Green Beret. When you kill a yellow soldier, he'll drop a weapon - the Bazooka, the Grenade, the Pistol, or the Lucky Star, which grants you invincibilty. The other weapons all have limited ammo - the Bazooka can only carry three rounds at a time, and you can only carry up to nine Grenades. The Pistol has no ammo limit, but it does have a time limit, so use it while you have it. The music is very well done, and very memorable - typical for Konami (they always seemed to have the best music in their NES games).

When I first played Rush 'N Attack, I thought "This is Contra with a survival knife!". That's not too far off, either. It's a lot like Contra, but there's one MAJOR difference between the two - the controls. The controls in Rush 'N Attack are awful! You press B to use your knife, and A to fire a weapon (when you have one, which isn't often), which isn't too bad, but the biggest control flaw is that you must press Up on the control pad to jump. This gets you killed more often than anything. Even brushing the upper part of the control pad with you thumb sends your Green Beret flying through the air. For example, you'll be in a particularly tricky spot, with soldiers coming at you from both directions. You'll take some out on one side, then turn around to get the others and accidentally press Up. You then get to watch your Green Beret jump right into the oncoming soldier, which kills him instantly. Since getting hit by anything kills you, and you only have five lives and NO continues with which to complete the game, you can get frustrated very easily by this annoying control flaw. Konami should have stuck to a Castlevania-type control setting for Rush 'N Attack (press A to jump, press B to attack, and press Up and B to use a special weapon).

If you can master the controls, though (no easy task!), Rush 'N Attack can be a fun, if tough, game. A constant barrage of enemies keeps you on your toes, and the bosses can be pains. Two of the tougher bosses are the Rocket Men of Stage 2 and the Dobermans of Stage 3. There is a safe way to dispose of these two bosses, however. On the Rocket Men, stay all the way on the left hand side of the screen, stay perfectly still, and eventually they will go away. The best way to deal with the Dobermans is to duck and hack away at them like crazy.

Rush 'N Attack would have been one of the great Konami NES games, if the controls hadn't brought it down. As it is, it's only an average game. If you can find a copy cheap enough, give it a shot. Just be prepared to die over and over and over. . .