Guerrilla War (NES)

Che Guevara must ride a mine cart while rescuing Cubans with a lasso.

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  • System: Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Max Players: 1-2
  • US Release: June 1989
  • Developer: SNK
  • Publisher: SNK

It’s finally May, and you know what that means. No, I’m not talking about the anniversary of my last handjob; I’m referring to May Day! That’s right, May Day. For those of you who aren’t “in the know,” May Day (May 1st) is the international worker’s holiday. It also happens to be the most important holiday for socialists. In honor of this, I’ve reviewed Guerrilla War this month in GameCola.

As some of you (by which, I mean the people who have visited one of about a dozen websites that have talked about this game before me) may already know, Guerrilla War is about Che Guevara and Fidel Castro liberating Cuba from Batista, the US-backed dictator. When the game came to America, Nintendo decided to remove all references to Cuba, but it kept the same flaccid-dong, Cuba-esque shape for the island map. They also changed the game’s title to Guerrilla War. The original title was Guevara!: Death to the Imperialist Dogs! Viva La Socialismo! Or at least, that’s what it was in my mind. I couldn’t be bothered to actually look that up.

The gameplay is similar to that of Commando, except in Guerrilla War, since Fidel and Guevara are socialists, they recognize the value of teamwork. This means you and a second player get to play simultaneously.

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Unlike capitalism, Guerrilla War is ridiculously easy to beat. Other than level bosses and the occasional tank, most enemies are killed with one hit. Although you only have three lives per continue, you get an infinite amount of continues. So really, the only excuse you have for not beating this game is if the helmet that you’re required to wear at all times is not fastened all the way, and it keeps slipping down over your eyes. And even then, it’s kind of sad.

Through Guerrilla War, you get to relive many of Che’s big exciting adventures in Cuba, like the one where he fought two muscle-bound twins who drove a steam roller. After destroying the steamroller, Che is tossed into the air by one of the beefy twins, only to end up inside a mine, where Che must ride a mine cart while rescuing Cubans with a lasso. The Motorcycle Diaries was based on this part of Che’s life.

One of the odd things about the game is that, for a couple of guys who are fighting to liberate the people of Cuba from an evil dictator, Castro and Guevara sure do kill a lot of Cuban soldiers when doing so. I was also surprised to see how many soldiers had nothing better to do than hang out in the sewer.

The controls are easy to get the hang of, and the music is good. Well, it’s good if you like stock music from an ’80s action flick done in MIDI format. The downside to the game is that you experience the extent of the gameplay within the first level. There’s very little diversity of gameplay, and it takes a combination of stubborn persistence and excessive free time to finish the game. Luckily, I’ve got ample amounts of both.

  • GameCola Rates This Game: 5 - Average
  • Score Breakdown

  • Fun Score: 6
  • Audio Score: 8
  • Visuals Score: 4
  • Controls Score: 7
  • Replay Value: 4
2 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 102 votes, average: 5.50 out of 10 (You need to be a registered member to rate this post.)
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About the Contributor


From 2005 to 2007

Zack Huffman is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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