Contra Reviews

AuthorReview
Mikokun
149,388 (78,482)
Mikokun
TA Score for this game: 50
Posted on 17 September 10 at 21:15, Edited on 25 December 10 at 06:38
This review has 18 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Contra is a celebrated game for many reasons: It controlled smoothly and allowed you to shoot in any direction, it was still hard but not in a cheap way, the music is awesome, and who can say that coop with a buddy isn't just one of the most hilarious things you'll ever do in a game? This XBLA port remains much the same as the NES version (Which if you're like me, will be the definitive version you remember playing), but with some minor tweaks.

Graphics:
The first thing that will jump out at you are that the graphics are a lot more colorful. At first it's a bit of a hindrance, but once you get adjusted, you realize it's still very much the same Contra we all love. Compared to the NES version the resolution is much better, and you can tell what everything is. In truth the game looks more like a SNES game, which isn't bad necessarily, I myself just prefer the classic Contra look.

Sound:
One of the most memorable pieces of music from the 8-Bit era, the first level theme is still intact, with a bit of remixing. It's a bit more upbeat, but it's still got that Contra feel to it. The same could be said for all the rest of the levels, they mostly are the same with a bit of tweaking. For a purist it's a turn off, but you should be able to get used to the new ones all the same. The sound effects are all there; from the spreader to the laser, and to the Start up screen sounds.

Gameplay:
It's classic Contra and it still shows the simplistic yet fun style Contra's been known for. You can shoot in any direction, go prone to dodge enemy fire, jump down platforms for ease, and collect various weapon power ups to help you fight against the enemy menace. Most people will remember the Spreader was basically the one stop weapon to use to dismiss anything in your path, but in this version we find that the laser is a lot better than previous versions, and is arguably better for taking down bosses this time around. The game itself is very much the same as regular Contra, with a few differences that personally gripe me. First off, the 3rd level Waterfall has been VASTLY shortened. It wasn't exactly the longest level, but in this version you can essentially beat it no problem just by staying to the left side and jumping up in under a minute. Another of these can be found when they mix in the last 3 levels all together, as in they are all just one continuous level. Contra's not exactly the longest game ever, but they made it shorter, which is a turn off for the hard-core Contra fan.

Achievements:
If like me, you've been playing Contra for years, these achievements will be of no trouble to you. The various little achievements like beat half the game without an upgrade, or have 100,000 points by the end of stage 3 will have you laughing at them for thinking such things could be challenging. The hardest thing is easily beating the game with only 1 credit. Indeed the 1CC (1 Credit Clear) has always been a fairly elusive goal for many games (Especially the deadly SHMUPs). And no, you can't use the Konami Code to blitz your way through any of these achievements, so it all comes down to how well you know Contra. The two online only ones are a bit annoying, if only for finding someone can be difficult.

Back in the earlier days of XBLA, companies like Konami were quick to flood the market with classic ports. There were always various results, and some games were more true to the originals than others. This version of Contra is still Contra in its soul, but some of the meat isn't there. The inclusion of online coop is always great for these types of games, you can enjoy nostalgia with a buddy or sibling who may not live near you anymore, and relive the classic moments that defined the earlier generations of gaming. But some will not like how the game is fairly shorter than it was normally. If you're a Contra fan, you really have no reason not to get this game, it still IS Contra, just not in a 100% purist way. And for that I give Contra 4 spreading bullets out of 5.
Given 4 stars by Mikokun
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Osiris
108,763 (68,658)
Osiris
TA Score for this game: 305
Posted on 25 April 10 at 16:48, Edited on 06 January 11 at 22:52
This review has 18 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
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Contra: 4/5 Stars

Contra is a side scrolling shooter much in the ways of Metal Slug and Mega Man. Dont fret because Contra is no way as hard as either of those games. Sigh of relief right? Well the main premise of the story is that aliens have landed on earth and its your job to send them packing. Simple enough. The game starts you out with a simple gun and as either the Arnold or Stallone version(Red or Blue) hero. As you progress through the game new weapons can be obtained that help out loads.

Contra was one of the first Arcade games that made use of the 16 bit graphics card in the early 80s. However when it made its trip to the NES the graphics suffered. So if you are expected the NES version of the game you will be sadly disappointed. No worries though, the level and enemy design are almost identical to the NES version. Also with this game you can turn updated graphics on and off for that old school feel.

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The controls of the game are simple and to the point. D-pad moves your character around the map and "A" shoots, "B" jumps. There is no super bombs or screen wipe out weapons so your on your own with your guns and that's it. That being said the difficulty of this game i would rate a 6. It isnt so hard once you learn exactly where all the baddies hide and which way they shoot after you learn that its pretty straight forward. The weapons you will be putting to the test are as follows: Laser, Flame Thrower, Rifle, and the famous Spread. I recommend keeping the spread as long as possible as it is the best gun in the game.

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The achievements in this game can vary in difficulty. The hardest being the one called Bulletproof, where you have to beat the game with only losing one rest(lives). Other than that its a trial and error situation. Co-Op makes things a little bit simpler and will net you a few more achievements along the way. The main pitfall this game has is its length. From start to finish you can beat this game in 10 mins. But remember, it is ported from an Arcade which was built to be short entertaining bursts of fun. The other is finding someone online to play co-op with. The community that plays this game has dwindled since its XBLA release a few years ago. Contra is now up on the Games Marketplace for 400msp and in my opinion worth every dime.
Given 4 stars by Osiris
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FittedCab
98,557 (49,455)
FittedCab
TA Score for this game: 389
Posted on 01 June 10 at 16:08, Edited on 01 June 10 at 18:41
This review has 11 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Contra is a 2D shooting game with co-op published by Konami orinally in the year 1987. The game would be reconized by it's co-op that was a rarity in games back then. The game would have several different names depending on what region you're from. The game was published on multi-platforms but would be know it's NES-version. Also the game brought us the infamous Konami code that we all know.

Plot in the game resembles the action movies of the 80's, there's not alot of dialogue but sure is alot of bullets! Basically you play as either Bill or Lance as you fight your way to the alien base and take out their leader. Gameplay or the story is not affected by which character you play.

Graphically the game looks ok it's not stunning but it's just ok. There's normally alot of bullets flying around but the game never looks confusing and you always know where you need to go.

There's different weapon types and power ups so depending on what you collect the playthrough will be different. Also there's not alot of standing around in this game since the "wall" behind pushes you forward making your pulse raise as your dodging shots and taking cover. There aren't any puzzles in Contra you just let your guns sing and run through each level. For some gamers the speed can make the game seem harder than it actually is.

To complete Contra it can take half an hour to 12 minutes. On each level there's sort of a final boss at the end but they aren't that hard except the games final boss now that can cause problems if you're trying to play as fast as you can.

Achievements are pretty easy specially if you're playing with a friend. I had a blast when I played this, definetly worth 400 MS points. There's alot of replay value here.
Given 4 stars by FittedCab
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Saint Saigo
81,950 (53,650)
Saint Saigo
TA Score for this game: 22
Posted on 19 June 11 at 23:04, Edited on 22 June 11 at 20:07
This review has 8 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Contra allows players to take control of commando’s Bill and Lance (Arnold and Stallone look a-like’s) who are assigned the task of double handedly taking down the terrorist organization Red Falcon. Armed with unlimited rifle ammo, the ability to shoot in 8 directions, and more than one life—Red Falcon will be on the defensive as Bill and Lance gallantly save Earth from soldiers, war machines, and aliens alike.

Contra for Xbox Live, or Gryzor in Europe, is an updated version of the old coin-operated arcade classic of the 80’s. Though the title may cause old school gamers to reminisce of the NES version, though similar, this version is strictly an adaptation of the fast paced, quick thrill arcade action, and varies slightly from what you might expect.

The Good:

Classic Gameplay – Contra is old school: Challenging, side-scrolling, and more focused on fun than graphics or sound.
Cheap – At 400 MSP (Or 5 U.S. Dollars) the cost doesn’t justify a lot of the negatives…but it does lessen the blow.
Good Co-op Play – A lot of games are better with a friend and Contra allows for 2 players over Live or cooperatively in a local setting.
Graphics Customization – While some of us like our toys as shiny as possible, Contra allows the player to choose between an updated version of the graphics or the traditional arcade graphics the game was originally presented in.

The Bad:

Not the Original NES Game – While many of you may prefer the original arcade port, I grew up on the NES version and was hoping for that as the download.
Difficult – As with most old school games, Contra has a steep learning curve that a lot of players won’t be willing or able to adapt to. It can be fun…but it takes a lot of practice.
30 Life Code – What’s the one code almost every old school gamer knows? Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start! Boom! 30 lives! Well, the code works in this version too but you’ll be unable to earn any achievements after using it.
Short – Now when I say short I don’t mean 4’11 short, dwarf short, or even small child short—I mean ten minutes short. This is by far the shortest game I’ve ever played. Ever. 10 – 12 minutes is no exaggeration either, in fact, one of the achievements is for beating the game in less than 12 minutes.
No Replay Value – Contra is what it is—side-scrolling, a few lives, a few continues, a restart or the final credits…and that’s it.

The Ugly:

Graphics – High Definition? Really? The game sports the HD logo in the description but I’m not seeing it. The graphics are old school which is fine…but you’ll be playing this in an un-adjustable window surrounded by a gaudy flames design not even a biker could love.

Final Thoughts: For the price it's not a bad choice. Demo it first and if you’re still an ardent Contra arcade fan with an uncontrollable yearning to relive your days of glory killing hordes of Red Falcon cronies then go for it.
Given 3 stars by Saint Saigo
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