Developed by Pack-In-Video and released by LJN/Acclaim, Rambo is an NES game loosely based on Rambo: First Blood Part II. If any action movie franchise seems ripe for a video game treatment, it’s Rambo. I mean, basically all you’d have to do is give him a bunch of weapons (including his explosive arrows) and have him kill the ever-living fuck out of anything moving. This formula does work (see Contra, Heavy Barrel, Doom, Wolfenstein 3-D). So why the hell would PIV/LJN/Acclaim turn Rambo into a RPG-ish Zelda II (although it was released a few months prior) clone?

You basically play as John Rambo. He’s in prison when Colonel Trautman ask him weather or not he wants to take a mission. You could say no, but like all other ‘choices’ in the game, the question will keep being asked until you pick the ‘right’ answer. It’s then off to the base, where you find that your mission is to sneak into Vietnam and gather evidence of POWs still being held. Now of course, this is where things go to complete shit. The opposition consists mostly of bugs, spiders, and ants, and you’ll be battling the hit detection and poor AI. Of course the level layouts are confusing as well. A sub-menu, in-game map, or anything would help out, but of course you’re stuck wasting ammo and health wandering aimlessly to your objective. One section of the game has you playing as Co briefly as she infiltrates (actually walks through) the enemy base. Then there is the ending which involves throwing a Japanese character at the bad guy, turning him into a frog. Yes, you read that right.

Like LJN’s Friday the 13th Game, Rambo for the NES strips out everything that’s cool in the movie in favor of a barely playable clusterfuck. If you want Rambo in digital form, you might want to check out Teyon/Reef Entertainment’s Rambo third person shooter hitting early 2014.