Contra: 3 Underrated Games You Need to Play


A bit over thirty years in the past, Contra arrived in arcades and have become one of the vital beloved franchises of the ‘80s and ‘90s, changing into synonymous and with run-and-gun shooters and ridiculously excessive problem. Beating the primary recreation with out utilizing any continues continues to be thought of one of many best achievements in gaming.

So a few years later, followers who grew up taking part in Contra in arcades, on the NES, or house laptop nonetheless bear in mind it fairly fondly. Yet, regardless of having only a few entries that might outright be thought of dangerous, the Contra franchise has slowly light from the mainstream because the starting of the 21st century. 

In truth, you may not have even heard of the latest (but superior) entries within the storied sequence. The final Contra entry arrived in 2011 and the sequence has lied dormant in Konami’s huge vault of IPs ever since.

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Of course, the spirit of Contra lives on by way of indie hits corresponding to Broforce, which takes the traditional run-and-gun sidescrolling components and provides tons of humor and ’80s-inspired motion heroes. There’s additionally the improbable Not a Hero, which includes a seedy world stuffed with criminals, weapons, medication, and a bunny bent on world domination. 

But if solely Contra will do, let’s have a look again at three of Contra‘s most up-to-date (and underrated) entries:

Contra 4

2007 | WayForward Technologies | DS

While Konami spent a lot of the late 90s and early 00s experimenting with 3D variations of Contra, the franchise lastly returned to type in 2007 with a correct sequel. As the title suggests, Contra 4 ignored just about every part that had occurred within the sequence within the 15 years because the beloved Contra III: The Alien Wars, which isn’t essentially a nasty factor as many nonetheless think about that to be the top of the sequence.

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This wasn’t only a low cost retro cash-in, although. Contra 4 took benefit of the DS’s twin screens to show a lot bigger vertical ranges. You even have entry to a grappling hook to traverse the 2 screens. That lifeless zone between the screens is slightly annoying at first, however fairly simply forgotten after a pair hours.

This is traditional Contra simply as you remembered it, with clean controls and large alien bosses. There are additionally three completely different problem ranges to select from, however even on the bottom one Contra 4 isn’t very simple.

Contra ReBirth

2009 | M2 | Wii

WiiWare was a traditional instance of Nintendo having a terrific thought hampered by pointless technological constraints. A downloadable service for unique bite-sized and indie titles? Great! But they’ll’t be any bigger than 40 MB? Not so nice.

There’s a purpose WiiWare was just about lifeless on arrival.

But in the event you nonetheless have your Wii connected and are all for trying out a WiiWare title, you’ll discover this surprisingly nice Contra recreation that also isn’t out there anyplace else. And it’s solely $10 as well.

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True to its title, Contra ReBirth is an homage to every part that made the unique nice. There’s the traditional gameplay in fact (although sadly the flamethrower didn’t make the reduce for this model), large, colourful enemies, and a ridiculously over-the-top story in regards to the “Galactic President.”

Contra ReBirth even ratchets the problem up even greater. It’s an actual ache to get previous even the primary stage in the event you haven’t examined these old-school expertise shortly, however oh so satisfying when you lastly do.

It’s mystifying why Konami hasn’t ported this recreation to extra widespread platforms…

Hard Corps: Uprising

2011 | Arc System Works | PS3, X360

Contra video games reached new ranges of obscurity in 2011 when Konami refused to even put the title “Contra” within the title.

While meant to be a prequel to Contra: Hard Corps, the effectively regarded 1994 Genesis recreation, Uprising feels much more trendy than every other recreation within the sequence, with a fully attractive anime-inspired artwork type not like the rest within the sequence. Still, there’s no mistaking Hard Corps: Uprising for a conventional Contra recreation after a couple of minutes with its hectic ranges.

The gameplay continues to be run-and-gun, however with essentially the most additions of any recreation within the franchise. You can now sprint, double leap, and even deflect projectiles. The recreation even provides a life bar that permits you to take multiple hit earlier than dying. Uprising is not any cakewalk, although. If something, it might probably typically really feel like the most affordable recreation within the sequence, with irritating deaths lurking round each nook. 

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Supposedly Konami saved the Contra title out of Uprising’s title as a result of it was meant to kick begin a model new franchise. Unfortunately, that hasn’t occurred, and Contra’s future stays unclear.

In the previous few years, Konami has refocused its enterprise on cellular video games and playing on the expense of AAA growth. While the most up-to-date Contra releases had been really within the type of slot machines, a brand new Contra recreation for smartphones was really introduced in late 2015, however just for China. So in the event you’re trying to get your Contra repair, these three video games are seemingly your greatest wager for the foreseeable future.

Chris Freiberg is a contract contributor. Read extra of his work right here.

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