Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Classic action gaming!"
Contra has been a game that is well remembered for it's action and addicting game play through-out the years. With most people, when they think of Contra, they think of the legendary infinite lives code for the NES version that was released well over a decade ago! While the machine itself is almost impossible to find, the game premise is remembered, and still to this day worth playing.
In a side-scrolling action platform, you take on the persona of a solider who can jump, spin, shoot in a multitude of directions and gather weapons of mass destruction in an attempt to repel an alien invasion that is taking over the earth. With lush backgrounds and several different platform styles that include side to side and moving upward, Contra delivers non-stop action with the cost of a single credit.
-Game Play 8/10-
Side scrolling action gaming at it's best! In control of a solider charged with the duty of protecting the Earth from an alien onslaught, you battle, jump and blow things up that get in your way. The action is non-stop as the enemies come in an endless stream, causing you to either react the right way with a screen full of enemy projectiles, or go down in a blaze of glory!
Boss battles are huge, and require a bit of strategy, the scrolling of the game forces you to push on, and you're in a constant state of awareness of what is ahead, behind and above you at every point in the game. The main challenge here, is just to get from start to finish in each stage while retaining your lives without having to continue fifty times in the process! Weapons of mass destruction are constantly in your arsenal, and the variety of damage that you can do is based entirely on how fast you can keep moving through the stage.
Simple and to the point, you have a jump button, and a firing button. Pressing down on the firing button and moving your character is where most of the control challenge comes in. You can fire upwards, or at angles at incoming enemies, and jump from platform to platform with some practice. The main problem with the control, is the fact that in some of the upward moving stages, you have to jump accordingly in order to make the next platform, and try not to move your spinning death machine too far and to his untimely death.
Your basic action music creeps out of the speakers at a relatively medium volume. The music tracks accentuate the action on screen with a heavy MIDI sound, but it doesn't deter enough of your attention from the action on screen. A truly pleasant experience! The sound effects range from the steady drone of your machine gun, to the groaning death of your character when they get hit by incoming projectiles. Some of the finer points of the sound effects are the explosions that occur on a regular basis.
The visual aspect of the game is simple. The character designs are relatively simple, save for the enormous bosses which can either fill one half of the screen, or the entire background. Each stage is well detailed, and brings to life the action and environments that make up a good action game. From cities, to rocky cliffs, into a giant alien hive, you'll have plenty to look at on screen. So much in fact, that at certain points, you may find that the game is confusing, especially when the screen fills up with enemy projectiles!
-Quarter Crunching 10/10-
With only one hit seperating you from a life, you'll find that the higher up in the game you get, the more quarters you'll be pumping into the machine. In several instances, I've found that the last couple of stages have cost me a couple of bucks to play, simply because of the amount of on-screen projectiles that are flying at me, and with nowhere to turn!
It's an addictive game to say the least! Once you've gotten into the game, you won't be able to tear yourself away unless you're out of money or you've reached the end. The main replay value of the game rests on just attaining the highest score on the machine, and having that few minutes of accomplishment in your mind to brag to your friends about.
Contra is a classic game that has plenty of classic attributes to it. With addictive action, plenty of challenge, and simple control, anyone who can find a Contra machine won't have too hard of a time sinking a couple of bucks into it. In light of most games, side scrolling action is becoming less and less a commonplace, and more of an endangered species. If you find it, play it! You'll be stepping back into the past, to find what made the future of arcade action games.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/05/01, Updated 09/05/01
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