In this video I’ll be discussing John Rambo’s inclusion in the latest Kombat Pack for Mortal Kombat 11 as well as the history of Rambo in Videogames.
See my Sudden Death vs Welcome to Sudden Death comparison video here:
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1985: Based on Rambo: First Blood Part 2 by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64. Received positive reviews at the time and was number 2 in the UK sales charts. An overhead shoot-em up and follows the movies story. The game was one of the first to feature controllable vehicles (a helicopter), and also one of the first to feature stealth elements.
1986: There was also a Rambo: First Blood Part 2 on the Sega Master System, which I have a copy and actually still play it from time to time. This one’s loosely based on the film; you can play co-op with the other character named Zane; you’d think they would’ve made her
Originally released in Japan as Ashura, but localized for the American market after Sega acquired the license for Rambo 2. The main character was then redesigned as Rambo. I certainly wouldn’t have had any interest, especially as a kid at the time if I couldn’t play as Rambo.
Then in 1987, Acclaim would put out a side-scrolling Rambo game for the original Nintendo. I never had this game growing up but played it at a friends house; I always thought it sucked, especially compared to my Sega Master System version. For example, you just end up fighting spiders and other forest creatures; apparently closer to the end of the game you fight enemy soldiers, but neither of us ever made it that far. This one would also be based off of Rambo: First Blood Part 2, since the game starts off with Colonel Trautman asking Rambo if he wants to leave the prison and start the mission.
1989 the Sega Genesis would get Rambo 3 based off of Rambo 3 of course.
Game controlled from an overhead perspective, but later switched to a view just behind Rambo, for some of the boss battles for example. I actually never played this one, though it doesn’t look bad; either way, it’s safe to say Sega definitely had the better Rambo games.
After that, the games would go on hiatus just like the films, until 2008 when Sega would release the Light Gun Shooter in the arcades, based on the first 3 Rambo films. The arcade cabinet features a 62 inch screen. This one has pretty good graphics and I did play it at Dave and Busters. I enjoyed it.
In 2014 Rambo: The Video Game, based off of the first 3 films was released. It was released on Microsoft Windows as well as Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It was a Rail shooter, so even though the pictures look like it’s a First Person shooter, you can’t actually control where you’re going, you’re just taken for the ride while limited to controlling the aim of your gun. According to several reviews, that ride isn’t exactly very fun, with Destructoid saying the game was “an unpolished, uninspired on-rails lightgun game” and that “even the act of shooting doesen’t feel impactful or fun”.
The Mortal Kombat games are solid, and their inclusion of Rambo, voiced by Sylvester Stallone no less, is probably going to be the best we’re going to get as far as being able to play as our favorite Special Forces green beret.