Oh boy this game. I’m sure you may have heard of Contra before, notoriously known for being a super fun, super bad ass, super tough shooter. And this game was super popular when it came out in 1988 for the NES (’87 in arcades).
You play as Blue pants Mc Mad Dog or Sir Scorpion Redlegs, actually Bill Rizer and Lance Bean who are two soldiers bad enough and shirtless enough to take on the Red Falcon, either a terrorist group or an alien race in either South America in the 70’s or Neo New Zealand in 2633 depending on if you play this game in America or the rest of the world.
See, when writing about these games, I feel like everyone will already know what I’m talking about and all the cool stuff they feature. Like the Konami code (up up down down left right left right select start). While not the first game to use it, (that honour goes to Gradius in 1986) Contra is the first game that made it popular in America. But if you don’t know about the code, it gives you 30 lives (normally you only have three).
You might think that this game with 30 lives makes it a piece of cake, well you’d be wrong. It’s still pretty challenging, but it does make it significantly easier. Playing it with only 3 lives and 2 continues, (like a real bad ass) takes patience, skill, and the spreader gun. But you already know all this.
You start out with a puny pea shooter that requires you to mash B and hope for the best, but to aid you in your fight, powerups can be found occasionally that will help boost your gun into a rad killing machine. They include: a machine gun (which is useful, but not if you have a turbo controller), a cluster shot (which I never found), A Laser (which sounds awesome but is actually that upgrade that you hate to get), A flamethrower (again cool, but not as useful as it could be), a barrier that makes you invincible for a short time, and the spread gun, with which you will kick the most ass and is arguably my favourite powerup ever. But again, I’m sure you know all this.
The graphics in this are awesome and colourful and even though no one has a face, or shirt, you don’t really have time to look at them anyway. But if you do, it all looks crisp and neat, Bill and Lance all sweaty in the jungle, muscles...bulging...uh Sorry, where was I?
The music is some of the best on the NES and super memorable, and sticks with you as the day goes on. The Japanese version has animated backgrounds and like added kind of cutscenes, but you aren’t really missing anything except McMadog’s shirtless figure and 80‘s cell phone(you could just look them up on youtube).
The control of this game is near perfect. There really isn’t much to complain about, it’s responsive and fits the pace of the game. You can shoot in 8 directions, jump AND shoot, and duck. Ducking is the only real problem I have with the game, but that just might be because my controller isn’t that great. It’s a little sensitive and I kept dying because I would move forward and look down when I would mean to duck.
Coming into this I thought it was going to take forever to learn and beat, but with the code I got a good feel of the level and then managed to beat it with only three lives so it really wasn’t that bad. This game is so good and fun and everyone should play it, find a copy, get the new ones, get it on virtual console, whatever. Get it, play it, become a bad ass.
+Fun, fast, awesome
+great gameplay, great music, just great, amazing go play it
-A little short and not much of a story (but do you really need one?)
-“fucking duck asshole” –Nick Ricotta 2013
TL;DR – go fucking play Contra, it’s badass
On to the Next one.