Retro Gaming Australia

Forgotten Games: Combat School (Konami, 1987)

by on May.27, 2010, under Forgotten Games, RGA TV

When many of us think about Konami, we think about games such as Contra, Metal Gear and Castlevania – games which are still the company’s bread and butter in the present day. Konami is a company with a rich history, but many games they’ve produced have simply been forgotten over time. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be unearthing some of these titles in a new article series called Forgotten Games.

The first game we’ll look at is Combat School, a 1987 release which combines the button mashing fun of Track & Field with basic military training. Take a look at the video below to watch RGA play the opening level of the game.

Combat School pits two recruits, Nick and Joe against each other in a series of basic military training exercises such as the obstacle course, target shooting and a canoe race. Competing each event in the alloted time and you’ll progress to the next – the better you perform, the more extra time you’ll be awarded for the next event. Players will get to fight each other in hand-to-hand combat after completing the arm wrestling event (when playing alone, you will fight the instructor). Most games follow the button mashing control system established in Track & Field, so players will find that the game has little depth. However, the theme of the game is obscure enough to keep you coming back for more.

Should you defeat the instructor, Combat School will veer off on a weird tangent where you take on your first mission, which involves rescuing a bunch of VIPs from a terrorist attack. Unfortunately, the game proves less than competent in this area, with shoddy gameplay mechanics, poor collision detection and wretched controls. It’s pretty difficult to make it this far into the game, so many of you will be spared this bit.

Unlike most Konami games of the era, Combat School did not receive a port to the NES, which is probably the main reason why it has been forgotten. It did make to homes on various computer formats (Commodore 64, DOS, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum), but these ports are largely terrible.

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