So it’s back doing what you do best! Konami… doing what they do best, releasing classic arcade games.
Contra was a side scrolling/shooter. A two player game. It’s great!
Of course not. How on earth can we leave such a classic unattended?!
“Warning! Incoming elaboration!”
So Konami, of course renowned for other classics released this back in 1987. Beginning your mission, armed with essentials, your task is to infiltrate the enemy fortress and destroy the foe’s fortifications from within.
With a simple yet clever control system in place, the player is able to move left, right, go prone, jump down to lower levels and up to ascended platforms, whilst firing bursts of lead in desired directions during movement. This works really well against the garrisons of troops pouring out across your path firing and shouting, giving your position away to automated sentry guns and bunkers. Assorted weaponry can be picked up from burnt out command posts and wrecked sentry points, giving extra firepower and bonuses which are vital.
Once a pathway has been… Ahem’, blasted open, the mission continues into an underground cavern. Laser wires traverse the causeways looking to kill with precision and more gun posts open their ports to blast you to an untimely end. It’s here the dynamic changes as navigating your way through the corridors and halls of the fortified complex is the task at hand, all under the ebbing timer which adds to the adrenaline to get the job done! Upon reaching the destined target of destruction, all hell breaks loose as a myriad of armaments unleash hell and must be destroyed. Good luck!
Contra, although superb as a one player is brought to life even further with a two player co-op mode, allowing both veterans to infiltrate and eliminate the vanguard to clear the way to level upon level of different theatres of engagement. Cascading waterfalls to be climbed, underground tunnels and a plethora of platforms to be jumped to and from, all in a furious frenzy of automatic gunfire to reach the mission targets of each combat zone!
An absolute joy to play and a real sense of authentic action from Konami which never gets repetitive and pulls the player back for… Just that one more attempt… Just that next stage!
Contra is a masterpiece which deserves a veterans medal and an engraved marking in the vault of arcade classics!
Review by Rob Joy.