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Operation Cobra Strike

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Operation: Cobra Strike subtitled “interactive shooting TV game” was sold by SDW around 2007 as a plug and play device. The game was later ported to the Subor “V Wireless TV Game” but without motion control or light tracking and with the SDW branding removed.

The main console is a flat plastic box. It has two battery compartments to house four AA cells in total. The unit sports a DC barrel socket to use instead, but sadly neither the shell nor the manual comment on the voltage, kind and polarity of the to be used power supply unit. On the top of the console are the power button and an indicator LED. The console transmits audio in mono and video as composite. The light gun is hard wired to the console. The production shell of a Namco Guncon II knock off was used even though Operation: Cobra Strike only uses the trigger. As the holes for the buttons are already in the mold, the manufacturer ended up gluing the button pieces into the gaps. As the buttons are solely held by glue they will break into the gun if the player attempts to press them. Opening the gun I discovered that one of the switches is actually real and turns on an undocumented force feedback which rumbles if the player gets hurt. The similarity to a real Namco Guncon II is very high. Inside the gun is a nice clicky micro switch.

In the game's story the player takes the role of a solder called Oz who is part of a multinational counter terrorist group called T.A.C.T.. Oz is sent to a solo mission against a group of south Asian terrorists which is codenamed "Operation: Cobra Strike". The mission is about fighting a way into the terrorist headquarters and capturing the their leader there. Oz is supposed to steal an enemy helicopter and bring the leader to T.A.C.T..

Four different weapons are available: A submachine gun, a pistol, grenades and a rocket launcher. All weapons but the pistol have a limited supply of ammunition which is replenished upon shooting icons. Similarly health is replenished by shooting blue crossed boxes. The stock of ammunition is shown on the bottom left hand side. This display is buggy and won't always display the available stock accurately. Weapons are selected by shooting at the appropriate icon at the bottom of the screen.

Contrary to the statements on the box and in the manual the game consists of five stages. The first one takes place in the desert where the player has to shoot two transporters. Next Oz travels in a Zodiac boat and has to sink numerous terrorist ships. The journey continues in a forest were the player destroys outposts. In the terrorist headquarters the player has to find a way to the roof of the building. The final stage takes place on this roof.

The stock of lives is carried on to the following level, but the available stock of ammunition will be reset to a default value for every level. The game isn't very well made. The hit boxes of the enemies and objects are very wide and dislocated. Ammunition is rare and it seems that fewer pickups will spawn if the player is playing too hesitant. The key to success is to kill multiple enemies with one single shot whenever possible. The game offers no means of calibration and therefore it comes to no surprise that the aiming is off. Furthermore the precision of the gun is bad as for the tremendous X noise of the sensor. The gun isn't very light sensitive and therefore the brightness of the TV has to be set very high. Especially the jungle stage can be a problem on some TV sets. Because of the obvious flaws the game is rather difficult. As such the challenge was very high and it was entertaining to beat Operation: Cobra Strike. I am happy to own this system as it is very rare.

In my opinion the box looks pleasing. It shows multiple images of Oz wearing Splinter Cell like goggles. Interestingly there is no barcode on the box. Operation: Cobra Strike retailed for 60 USD when it was new.