Here is a review by Matt Roberts:
This game was produced by Konami in 1992 and was not released for any home entertainment system - it only appeared in arcades across the country. This game had awesome graphics that were clearly based on the later cartoon series. The explosions were big, the sound effects could be loud (depending on how the internal controls were set), and the characters were well-colored and animated. The "camera" in the game was placed directly behind the Joe that you selected as he/she ran forward towards their goal (they never turned). A cross-hairs could be moved with the joystick to aim at oncoming Cobra troops and vehicles, and the weapons were limited to a machine gun and a rocket launcher. Movement was pretty much reduced to side-to-side motion; you were always running forward and couldn't jump to avoid enemy bullets/missiles.
Duke (1992 version), Roadblock (can't tell if he's '92 or '86, but it looks like '92 with his '84 gun), Scarlett (1982-83 version!), and Snake Eyes ('91 version) were the Joes selected to move into enemy lines. There doesn't seem to be any difference between characters; they all move at the same rate and shoot the same types of weapons. Only one or two other Joes make appearances in the cartoon-like sequences between missions: someone who looks like Red Star is pointing to the four main characters in the beginning (kind of commanding them to go defeat Cobra), and Scoop is shown capturing footage of Cobra's base in the jungle.
A whole slough of Cobras show up in the game, and all of them look like they did in the later cartoon series. A bunch of vipers is thrown at you: some look like the '82-83 soldiers, '89 Alley Vipers, '89 Annihilators, '90 Laser Vipers, '91 Incinerators, '91 Bat IIs, and a few other unidentifiable troops show up as the grunts charge you. HISS II tanks, Hurricanes, Condors, FANG II 'coptors, Razorbacks, and a couple other vehicles rush at you, shooting missiles and gargantuan gun blasts.
There are only three missions in this game; the first is separated into three parts, the second into two, and the third just has one. After each part a boss shows up to give you a hard time. In the first one, you have to defeat Cobra because they've taken over major cities around the world and are spreading chaos (i.e. - the usual). G.I.Joe heads to the jungle for the second mission to destroy a Terror-Drome sort of base. In the third and final one, they launch a gigantic flying aircraft carrier (reminiscent of the one seen in the earlier cartoon from the 80s) that is supposedly aiming missiles at various countries (this thing was so big that HISS II tanks were driving around on top of it...).
The first mission takes place in an oil field/air base. Tomax & Xamot are the first bosses - they drive two tanks and switch back and forth between tank and helicopter modes. Metal Head faces you next and fires a sort of sidewinder missile at you several times until you blast him. Then the Baroness shows up driving this "Heavy Bomber," which is this vehicle that Cobra is supposedly using to take over the major cities. She gets the axe, and you go on to the second mission.
After a short jog through the jungle, Major Bludd takes you on outside the base with his jetpack. After he's dead, the base launches these wicked fireballs right you while an infinite number of hurricanes try to gun you down. Inside the base, a tunnel leads to an underground lake where Destro tries to take you on with a bunch of Undertow troops, Cobra Pirahnas, and a Hammerhead. The giant Cobra aircraft carrier rises out of the lake (an impressive display) after Destro bites the dust. Cobra Commander is on the aircraft carrier. He's difficult to beat, but after that the game ends and starts over again.
The game uses the vehicles and troops effectively in game play. While the plot line is quite contrived, it still looks impressive to see Cobra's massive vehicles flying through the air (and crashing to the earth). The graphics and sounds could rival some of today's shoot 'em ups. All of the Joes shout "Yo Joe!" (even Snakes - ?), and the Cobras sometimes yell "COBRA!!!" as they run at you. Blowing up everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in sight with one of the Joes is quite entertaining, even if it sometimes gets hard on the trigger-finger. My personal pet peeve was the way that they mixed Cobra's forces with the Iron Grenadiers (although I guess the television show did that, too).
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