BAD'S Commentary Page


|| TITLE || In The Trenches
  || WRITER ||   BAD
  || DATED ||   06.22.2009


The war on drugs is nothing new. The term was coined in the 1980's, and the theme has all but fallen out of favor in recent videogames. The war is far from over, though, and rages on in present, as cartels leave thousands upon thousands of bodies in the wake of their bloody invasion. Law enforcement is hamstrung in an uphill battle with cartels that have become larger and stronger than ever. With military-grade weapons and equipment, cartels are a force so dangerous that they have become a threat to national security. Their grisly executions, methods of terror, and intimidation make daily headlines in increasing frequency. Death tolls rise in the midst of war triangles between opposing cartels and law enforcement, with innocents caught in the crossfire. More blood is shed as druglords are apprehended, leaving behind leaderless cartels that fragment and erupt into internal war over power. Firearms are stolen from militaries and law enforcement agencies while kidnapping and violence spill over borders. Police are the center of both corruption allegations and brutal attacks. The effects of cartel greed go on.




Former presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia have called the war on drugs "a failed war," and say a different approach is needed to rectify the problem. Maybe they're right. We need a solution to the problem once and for all. Since authorities aren't doing enough, we need a super soldier like Mr. Smith to go in and take care of business. With his extensive background in battling drug cartels, a one man army like him is our only hope. We need someone like Mr. Smith (with a popped-collar, a mean gait, and a pistol) to go in and make sure that not one remains. For those who don't know his back catalogue, read further...

Mr. Smith is a secret agent who single-handedly dismantled drug cartels in the 80's. He was in good company alongside Super Joe and Rad Spencer (decorated war heroes of the time). Though he was in his prime was then, he could probably still deal death even in the "Golden Years" that most other retirees are wasting at bingo halls. The fact is, the guy was probably the best at what he did, and with cartel violence raging completely out of control, we could use his help now more than ever.

Things have changed, though. Back when Mr. Smith battled drug cartels, they were armed with handguns, molotov cocktails, and assault rifles, but over time they've expanded their arsenals to include grenades, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, and other military-grade weaponry. To stack the odds higher, they've even gotten their hands on armor-piercing guns and ammunition. Mr. Smith dismantled entire drug cartels of the day with nothing more than a handgun, submachine gun, and grenades, but he might need heavier equipment to stand a chance against the present threat. He was incredibly skilled with handguns, and made it a point to dispatch the enemy with a bullet between the eyes (when he could), but he'd probably choose to use weapons with splash damage in the present.

Death squads hired by modern cartels are composed of hitmen with notable military experience. Somehow, Mr. Smith might be a little disappointed, though, since the death squads back then probably looked cooler than the ones now. Both have the token firepower and kevlar vests, but the ones back then looked all that much cooler with gas masks and helmets. And just like the present, the cartels back then kidnapped and held hostages, too (even women and children). Mr. Smith often discovered them behind revolving doors when searching for items and ammunition, and though they were thanking him in English, he couldn't decipher it as English.

Mr. Smith arrived years too late for some, though, who had been locked up for so long that they had become piles of bones or walking dead. Yes, these guys had hostages and prisoners locked up so long that some became zombies! Unlike the slow ones from viral outbreaks to come, they were quick and agile. Not quicker or more agile than Mr. Smith's trigger finger, though (which dispatched them in the same manner as the living). It is unknown if any undead were left undisposed of, but at least we know that none of the living were!

Up to this point, it would seem the odds are stacked too high against Mr. Smith, but there are a few things in his favor. Thankfully, he wouldn't have to deal with the threat of zombies in the present; modern cartels don't make zombies (yet). Cartel guys now definitely don't jump around as much as the cracked-up ones he fought back then, and he probably wouldn't have to deal with annoying environmental hazards like spring-loaded floors, flaming totem poles, crushing pistons, or rabid, swooping birds! These environmental hazards made traversing cartel turf so difficult in his day that it would take him a few tries just to get through an area. The absence of these obstacles give him a slight edge in the present uphill battle (unless they start using that crap again).





















Thankfully, Mr. Smith was resourceful and collected ammunition and explosives along the way, as well as health items (something any one-man army needs while paving the way to justice). In the present, he probably wouldn't find any time extensions, but that's alright because even back then they really had no bearing on the mission (considering the fact he was already in a rush). Considering the locales they sent him to, it's easy to understand why he had to be alert and looking out for things to use.

The cartels established operation in a handful of distinct locales, including (but not limited to) run-down buildings, rotten sewers, posh residence, and even historical sites. They ambushed him in the jungle, and tried to snipe him from unconventional places like old school buses on blocks, but were not successful. They even formed in squads on stairs and platforms and delivered a hail of bullets, only to fail. He moved at breakneck speed through each locale, and essentially launched surprise assaults on the next before they knew what was going on. Before they could catch him, he had leaped across several platforms and was already running and gunning his way toward the area exit gate. He wasn't just an exceptional marksman, he was incredibly mobile and evasive, and would hide behind doors and take cover behind anything.

With the element of surprise on his side, he marched right into their center of himself! Secret agent Smith was serious business, and they probably realized that they had massively underestimated this one man. The mystery druglord was uncovered, revealing that corruption had reached all the way into the upper echelons of the military. Unfortunately for him, this hasn't changed in the present; there are reports of corruption in the government, law enforcement, and even military.

If he did all of this back then with what he had, imagine what he could do now with modern equipment! He probably wouldn't be able to jump as far (or high) as he did in his prime, but he's probably still just as evasive (and deadly). He might need to tweak his strategy a bit in case there aren't enough doors in present battle locales, but he'd probably still find some way to confuse the opposition just like he did back in the day. And if he knows it's all the rage now, he might even add blind firing to his strategy; he might need it for the invading force he'd be up against.









With games more popular than ever, and cartel violence dominating the news and headlines, this game couldn't be re-released on Wii Virtual Console at a better time. If not to encourage our youth to be drug resistant, then at least to re-live the dismantling of drug cartels through the eyes of super spy Mr. Smith and imagine...