Currently Playing: Contra 4 (DS)

Contra 4

I missed playing Contra and Super C. Contra was one of four of the first games I got on the NES and I couldn’t wait to play Contra 4. What I remember about Contra? The insane difficulty. This game continues on with how we remember playing the classic game. I mean, the graphics also looks like a throw back to the original side scrolling action. Visually, it looks almost like an upgrade of the first game, but it expands more on it. If you have played any of the previous games, you will notice the levels look the same too, even the bosses are too. What’s fun with the graphics? You play it using 2 screens, which makes the gaming environment wider, a gunfire from the top screen that you will eventually dodge while you’re at the bottom screen. Or you’re riding a jet ski on the top screen, while you try to attack aliens underwater from the bottom screen.

The gameplay hasn’t really changed, the 2D side scrolling action is still the same as before. They did add some elements to make it interesting. You can now have 2 weapon upgrades that you can switch. If you die using a particular weapon, you’ll lose that buy you’ll still be able to use the one that you didn’t die with. You can also climb up walls and you now have a grappling hook that you can use on certain locations, like hanging on a helicopter while trying to defeat a boss. The game feels fresh but stays true to old school gameplay.

As I said before, this is like playing the classic games. In other words, no way to save the game… the traditional matter that is. You do have several lives and a few continues. There is also a way to stop your game and continue on later, but remember your lives and continues because that is it. Once all of those have been depleted, you have to go back to stage one. It can take you so many hours just trying to work on finishing one level. This is even harder than playing Ninja Gaiden (Xbox or PS3), but for players who love the series can really appreciate the difficulty. But it can be too hard for more traditional players, especially since we are spoiled with the option to save.

There are reasons to go back playing, some unlockable characters that shows some of the characters from previous games. You can also unlock a comic book and the original Contra and Super C. There is also museum which lists down all the Contra games with a small description and a few screenshots, it also mentions the difference between titles in other countries.

I enjoyed playing this game, but you really have to dedicate your time playing it. It’s not like most games where you can play a few minutes and enjoy. This game requires mastery and a lot of memorization to get through. Even with the small number of levels, the difficulty will keep you playing for so many hours and days. It’s not for everybody, but if you are a fan of the series or love a great challenge, this is going to be one of the most satisfying experiences you’ll have one you finish just one level.

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