Posted on October 3, 2012
My Top 100: #75 – Guerrilla War
Ports of old arcade games are still released from time to time, either as part of a compilation disc or as downloadable titles. I often jump at the chance to buy them, since I get to experience all those titles I never had the chance to because of a lack of quarters.
“Continue?” Heck yeah, I’ll continue! It doesn’t cost a dime!
Playing through arcade games like this is still a relatively new concept, but the NES port of Guerrilla War was among the first to let you continue on through to the end of the game, regardless of how many times you had to die doing it.
The game is a shooter set on an unnamed central American island, where the ruler of of an oppressive regime is leading with an iron fist. As a fighter in the resistance, your character charges onto the island with guns blazing, slowly making his way inland through hordes of enemy fighters towards the enemy stronghold. It’s like Contra in top-down format, what with the crazy action, weapon upgrades and jungle-setting.
If the plot of the game sounds familiar, then it’s probably because of the obvious references to the situation in Cuba in the late 1950’s. There’s no direct mention of the Batista regime, nor is there any reference to Che Guevara or Fidel Castro by name. This is due to a localization of the game’s instruction manual and in-game dialogue over fears that anti-Communist sentiment in the West would hurt SNK’s reputation. Nevertheless, it was actually released under the name Guevara in Japan for a short period, making it one of the more rare and sought after Famicom titles.
It’s simple and mindless shooting fun, and I wish like hell that I had bought it that day at Mike’s yard sale…