Review by Pikachu1918
"A true sequal for Contra has arrisen, I call you Contra 4!"
Some games you play them, you beat them, and they then collect dust. Other games you play them, you can't beat them, and they meet the fate of the game I just mentioned. Well bad news, CONTRA 4 IS NOT EITHER OF THOSE TITLES! Contra 4 is a game that will give your kids nightmares, not because of the blood, or the evil aliens, but because of how hard it is!
Let's be honest here people, not every game had made the transition to modern gaming hardware without losing some of its charm. Konami took a big risk making a Contra 4 after how the 'unofficial' sequels were received by fans on the Playstation. Well good news is that with the exception of some tweaking, some minor new abilities, and new levels. This is as Contra at its FINEST!
The story is simple, its two years after the events in Contra 3. Black Viper has arrived on Earth, and is none too happy, that the people of Earth are still in charge, and not slave labour for him. You get to play the role of one of Earth's 4 greatest soldiers. They've all destroyed Black Viper's minions before, so they're ready to go do it again. The job is to get to Black Viper, kill him, and that's all folks.;-)
There are two phases in the game. One where it's a 2-d battle, to a 3-d battle. The 2-D graphics are well done. There isn't massive amounts of blood and gore. However, you can see the detail work on the enemies as they charge at you. The back ground environment seems so lush and inviting you almost think its real. The weapons in flight will bring you delight. Since each weapon has a different color, and speed of attack.
In the 3-D fights, its just like Contra the original. Long halls, and the angel of the lines to add to the depth of it helps feel 3-D. The 3-D fights feel off sometimes, like small polygon problems. However its nothing major. They even upped how hard some of the fights are with the polygons over what you encountered in the first Contra. Since targets and foes will rotate among your new problems.
Sound & Music 10/10
Who will ever forget those first few sounds welcoming you to your mission to save the planet? Yes, with new levels and new weapons there are new sound. However, the music in this game is so close to the original that I want to down load them into my MP3 player. Think of as what Contra music could've been like. Its hard not to want to pause and slam on an air guitar with the music you're listening to. Its almost a double edge sword, since if your ears focus too much on the music, well you're going to die and need a new life.
The Nintendo DS has changed the way you play games. One of my own worries before the launch of the game is Konami would use the touch screen in some cheesy way. They didn't use the touch screen, except as a screen. They use both screens for play. The X button is for a 'new' feature, and the L & R buttons to swap weapons. As much as its nice to save a weapon before you die, well who knows when that will happen in Contra? You get even touched by an enemy, and you're onto your next man.
I notice some reviewers failed to mention this. If after you've lost your last life, and you turn the game off. Well good news, next time you start the game up, you can start up where you left off.
You've beaten this game on easy. Shame is it gets harder on normal. You beat it on normal, you now have hard. With the exception of a few planted bad guys, this game is always changing. You've got to be on your toes. This is one of those instant classics that will be forever young. Since for ever bad guy you beat, another one will attempt to get you. I beat this game a few days ago, and I am already back in it.
This is most likely the one flaw in this game. You need two copies of Contra 4 to play it with a friend. It feels limited considering what the DS can do. There is no Internet hook up, or share the game with a friend, which would encourage you to play more. Its something that was under developed I feel.
Bonus Content 10/10
When you beat the game on any setting, you will be able to unlock things. Now I was a bit skeptical about some of things you could unlock. You can find a full list under the Codes. Generally all the games are true to form. Even the bugs found in those titles.
Rent or buy?
GO OUT AND BUY IT NOW YOU SILLY PERSON! BUY! BUY! BUY! Just yanking your chain a bit. This is one of those games where you'll either love the challenge, or hate the challenge. I doubt there is room for middle ground in a title like this. Since everything about this game dates back to the 80s. When health bars weren't around. Where shirtless hero's won, or lost the fight without a mark to show for the hard won battle.
I am recommending you buy it since I doubt you can rent Nintendo DS titles. If you're someone on a budget who has a Wii. Spend the 800 points and download Contra 3. It shares the same basic concepts in this game. Which means if you like that title, then you'll like this one as well.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 02/01/08, Updated 02/01/08
Game Release: Contra 4 (US, 11/13/07)
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