Review by shneepshnop

"Contra 3 is proof that once upon a time, Contra games were good."

Once upon a time there used to be good Contra games. Contra 3 was released early in the SNES's lifespan, but is still a great game never-the-less. This game defined action, side-scrolling games for 2 people. Multiple enemies attacking from multiple angles, hopelessly pounding down the attack buttons to shoot at enemies, with different kinds of weapons, knowing that 1 mistake meant instant death. Back in the day, this game was what it was all about. Contra 3 is a classic, and should be owned by everyone who owns a SNES.

Gameplay – 28/30
Simply put, this game owns. The concept is simple, start at one end of the level and work your way to the other, shooting everything in your path. Contra 3 is what you would expect from the jump from NES to SNES. The game progresses quicker, the enemies move faster, and so do the guys you control. The result is a more upbeat, in your face type of Contra. One of the new additions is that you can now hold down the attack button to fire, instead of pounding down on it like the originals. This helps since there is more to shoot at, but mercilessly pounding down on the attack button is what I think made the originals so fun, not just holding it as you run through the level. Anyways, I still like this style of game better than the ones on the NES though. On a different note, each life you are given a bomb which when pushed, destroys everything on the screen. This helps because its like a trump card when you are in over your head. Also there is the ability to have 2 different types of weapon at once. Your guy has a gun in each hand, hitting the X button will switch from weapon to weapon. If you get a spread shot and a laser shot drops, just hit X and you can switch your other weapon and get the laser without losing your spread. You can use spread when enemies are all over the screen, or laser when there is just 1 boss, or etc. This new concept is fun and makes the game better. You get weapons just like the originals, by shooting capsules that appear in the sky. There are 2 new weapons: homing missile (which does what the description says) and the C-Missile (shoots out strong missiles, but has a limited range). The flamethrower has also been upgraded and is now worth picking up instead of just ignoring whenever dropped. Each level offers something different. No longer do you just head right from the start and advance towards the finish in every level. The level formats are different and are no longer the same levels with different backgrounds. Each level is original and offers some new aspect, ex: riding bikes, shooting at enemies on the ground and in the sky, jumping from missile to missile 100 ft in the air, advancing from platform to platform up the side of a building, dodging missiles that hound you from underneath, etc. When I first played this game, my friend and I were caught saying, “whoa, that's cool” or “damn that is pretty tight”, with each new level design. 2 levels of the game you will play from an overhead angle, similar to Zelda. This is interesting but hardly as good as the regular side-scrolling mayhem. The difficulty in this game is perfect. You can adjust it as you see fit, but you will have to retry over and over again to finish this game. The gameplay is nearly perfect. The aspect that prevents it from being so, is that the game is too short. There are only about 8 levels, and if you are a harden Contra pro, then you can beat Contra 3 in about 30 minutes.

Funfactor – 20/20
This game is insanely fun. Each level offers something new and different from other Contra's. Plus, playing the game and shooting everything that appears on the screen, while pulling off insane moves to dodge bullets, has never before been more fun. Playing this game with 2 people is especially fun.

Control –15/15
The controls work nice. My character does what I command him to. The new features are useful and fun. I like how Konami has utilized all the buttons on the control pad; for a more filling experience. No complaints here.

Graphics – 10/15
Visually Contra 3 is hardly a thing of beauty. I could easily tell this was one of the games released during the beginning of the SNES's lifespan. The characters look plain, as do the bad guys. The backgrounds in the levels are very basic, and don't usually take advantage of the technical aspects the SNES offered. Although, the graphics are good enough to get the job done. I could easily tell what I had to shoot and what I hadn't.

Music/Sound – 8/15
Music is boring and will put you to sleep. Sound effects may be decent, but they are usually drowned out by the continuous sound of your firing. Contra 3 has average music/sound.

Story – 1/5
Some aliens attack the world who want to overtake it. You have to stop them. The same pot as the others. Definetaly not original. And definitely not interesting. However, if you are looking for a story you would be better off playing one of the hundreds of RPG's the SNES is known for.

Replayability/Lastability (Bonus) – 4/5
Nothing different from what you receive from the first run of the game, other than to increase the difficulty. However, the Funfactor in Contra 3 is so high that you will probably keep coming back to this one over and over again. I've owned the game for over 2 years and I can keep coming back to it over and over again.

Conclusion – 86/100

-A lot of fun
-More weapons, ability to have 2 weapons at once
-Interesting levels

-Way too short

Overall this is a great game. If you have a SNES you had best own this game. Contra 3 is relatively cheap, so there is no excuse for not owning this. I would bet that 95% of the people who play games would enjoy Contra 3. Contra 3 is probably the best in the series and continues the, once great, Contra legacy. Sadly this is the last Contra game Konami made that was any good.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/05/04, Updated 06/05/04

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