Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9.5

Overall: 9

Ask any gamer who grew up in the late 80's about Contra and you'll most likely peak their interest. It's one of those games that everyone has played at one time or another. Konami put out one of the most well designed gmes to ever grace the NES and it's arguably one of the 10 best ever released for the system. Scariest part? The 32-bit versions on todays consoles don't even remotely stack up to this 8-bit behemoth.

Mad Dog and Scorpion, two of the biggest bad-asses the world has ever seen are sent in to repel an alien invasion of the Earth. This really nasty alien called the Red Falcon has decided to make our planet his new vacation spot, but our heroes will make sure to send him packing. Taking place in 6 side-scrolling and 2 behind-the-back stages, the 8 levels of Contra could be the worlds true test of a gamers dexterity. These guys want our planet bad (though your never sure WHY they want it) and they throw every concievable weapon at our boys. Luckily, numerous weapons are available for the taking (sent via some type of flying contraption thingy) to fend off the evil beings, each with varying degrees of effectiveness. Of course, if you truly suck, there's always the Konami code which will give you 30 lives if it's inputted quickly at the title screen.

Once past the great looking titles, the game continues it's visual onslaught with oustanding use of color and a whole lotta bullets. The obligatory flicker is ever so present, but you'll never die a cheap death because of it. Stage 3 (The waterfall) gets special recognition as one of the best looking stages ever programmed onto a NES cart. The bosses are also truly frightening (ok, they WERE frightening) especially in the final level where you take apart the Red falcon piece by piece until you finally make it to the still beating heart that's the cause of the entire mess.

To go along with the beating heart, there's the thumping soundtrack that's a testament to 8-bit music. None of the tracks will be easily forgotten and humming them at work is acceptable. This game also uses many effects that would later be used as stock effects in other Konami games. Again, a testament to the great sound design this game featured.

As an overall package, you'll be hard pressed to find a game that better designed than Contra. It's videogaming, the way it should be defined in Websters. "Video Game: Non stop, adrenaline pumping action between a player and a computer. Requires lighning fast reflexes and ridiculous amounts of button presses. See also: Contra"


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, December 28, 2003 05:41 AM

Click Here!