Contra (NES) (Old Review)

“War, war never changes”
Every modern FPS to date

“Japan sure made a better Alien 3 game than the actual Alien 3 games…darn it LJN”
Every Gamer who compared the two

It was the 1980’s and action movies were king, Arnie and Sylvester were dominating the culture and boys were inspired by them, but along with these action movies like Rambo, Commando and Predator came one action game that took all inspirations and made something awesome; and all in 8-bit.

Probotector, developed and published by Konami and was first released in 1987, but the NES version was released a year later and the European version was released in 1990…it’s Contra, the game is called Contra, we got the Germans to blame for censorship. Screw it, we’re playing Contra…the REAL Contra.

In the year 2633 (I’ll probably be dead by then), the Red Falcon Organisation have set a base on the Galuga archipelago near New Zealand so they can take over the world (whilst thinking of a creative
way to do it), but two commandos named Bill Rizer and Lance Bean of the Contra unit are sent to the island and…

GO GUNS BLAZING, just shoot every enemy you spot, collect various weapons even though the only one that matters is the spread gun, the most satisfying gun ever made for a video game. You’re running in the jungle and annihilate everything before entering the base and destroy everything before going up a waterfall; and destroying that too.

There are many ways you play the game, side-scrolling, pseudo-3D view, fixed screen where you shoot upwards, it’s the 80’s blockbuster turned into a game…And the PAL version is about robots…(insert air horn sad violin…and accompany it with Envy – Only Time, like if you cry everytime)…but SCREW that, recreate your scenes from all your favourite 80’s movies and the only objective is to just shoot up the place.

Ok, now that my manly tendencies are out of the way let’s go back to being professional. This is all you do, shoot as many enemies as you can that are in your way; you collect various weapons like a machine gun, a laser gun, a fireball gun and the almighty spreader, the gun that shoots bullets in five directions. There are also two power-ups, rapid bullets and a barrier.

The gameplay is actually fast, once you start the game, the action never stops and that’s the best way to play an action game like this, which is why it works for military shooters in multiplayer, so a bit of Contra legacy has lived on, except for being fun.

This game is hard, it might be fun but your skills are needed to make it fun, I can’t even beat the third level…and this is where the lord and saviour of cheat codes come into place, the Konami code; all together now, up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. This code will give you 30 lives and you’re more likely to complete a few more levels, maybe even beat it.

Europe got screwed again with more Contra games having the Probotector name until 1997 where we finally got Contra: Legacy of War was released with no edits whatsoever…and them we were denied a release of Contra 4, screw you Konami.

Overall, it’s a fun but hard experience, it’s a fast-paced game that challenges you to the very end…did I mention that this game is hard?

You can get it in the Arcade, Famicom/NES, PlayChoice-10, MSX2, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and MS/DOS.



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