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How I learned to love the videogame flamethrower photo
How I learned to love the videogame flamethrower
by Chad Concelmo

I was never a fan of flamethrowers in videogames.

I am not sure exactly where this started, but I have a pretty good idea: When I used to play Contra III: The Alien Wars with friends, I would do anything to avoid getting the “F” flamethrower for my gun. It was the worst. It had no range, it barely did any damage, and it was just an overall chore to use.  In a game like Contra, having a weapon with a long range is almost a necessity! That’s why the spread gun is so great! Picking up the flamethrower in Contra III almost always resulted in certain death.

This hatred of the videogame flamethrower moved on to many more games in the future. Games like StarCraft and even Ratchet & Clank introduced other similar forms of the flamethrower ... and I reacted to them all the same. I didn’t like equipping them. At all.

But, recently, I have discovered something surprising about videogame flamethrowers.

I kind of love them now.

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4:00 PM on 06.21.2012

What is the most consistently great series of all time?

After yesterday's official announcement of Metal Gear Solid 5 (woot!), I started thinking about how there really aren't any bad games in the entire, long-running Metal Gear series. All of the Solid games are near perfect, the...

Chad Concelmo

5:45 PM on 03.16.2012

This weekend on Twitch TV: Big ups to all of the lurkers

As another week of programming on Destructoid's Twitch TV channel comes to a close, and the excitement of the weekend approaches, I'm going to take this opportunity to do something slightly unorthodox. Spamfish and the Melted...

Bill Zoeker

9:00 PM on 02.09.2012

Super Mario Crossover version 2.0 finally available

Super Mario Bros Crossover, a flash game which takes characters from classic videogames and puts them into a recreation of Super Mario Bros., has had an update in the works for over a year now. Version 2.0, which we first tol...

Conrad Zimmerman

2:30 PM on 01.17.2012

Super Mario Crossover 2.0 breaks the generation barrier

A couple years ago, Jay "Exploding Rabbit" Pavlina had the idea to remake Super Mario Bros. with 100% accuracy down to the last pixel... with the added twist of being able to play as other NES stars such as Mega Man, Link, S...

Tony Ponce

8:21 PM on 06.02.2011

There's a new Contra coming, but that's all we know

Sorry to waste your time making you read past the headline, but we don't know anything about this new Contra game. In fact, our 'source' is a blazing "C" shown in video form at Konami's pre-E3 event. The good ol' Contra "C." ...

Dale North

3:00 PM on 02.16.2011

Hard Corps: Uprising kicks off XBLA House Party

Xbox Live Arcade's House Party is in full effect now that the parents are off vacationing in Hawaii. (What can possibly go wrong?) The first title for this batch of releases is rather fitting due to its in-your-face batsh*t i...

Jordan Devore



Hands-on: Hard Corps: Uprising photo
Hands-on: Hard Corps: Uprising
by Ben Perlee

When we last saw Hard Corps: Uprising at Comic-Con, our Dale North came away quite impressed with the flashy sidescrolling shooter from Arc System Works and Konami. After all, the stunning 2D animation makes this title practically look like BlazBlue: The Shooter, which is a very good thing. The crazy thing is this is still a direct Contra game, albeit with a massive aesthetic redesign. Am I for it? Oh damn skippy, I'm all for mixing up the norms, as Hard Corps: Uprising is one hot take on the franchise.

While it's visually stunning, when it comes to a Contra title, there are some gameplay standards to uphold. Yes, the game is brutally hard, as I was dying left and right, taking on wall bosses, motorcycle bosses, snipers hidden in the foliage of the new jungle level (which looks and plays great), as well as hundreds of oppressive Commonwealth soldiers and robots. The Rising Mode is the game's campaign, detailing the story and all of its conflicts, as well as offering upgrades to make the characters more powerful. Main character Bahamut and his lady friend, Krystal, are very capable at their jobs, and while the game may be extremely difficult, those who have grown up on Contra, Treasure games, and Metal Slug will have no problem here. That is, unless they play the actual Arcade mode, where there is no health bar, and thus, nasty one-hit kills. 

Weapons were by far the most interesting part of the game, reminding me a bit of Gunstar Heroes. Players can juggle between two weapon slots, and while both will default to the normal shooting mode, players can collect new weapons -- I've seen a grenade launcher, charge shot, spread shot, homing laser, flame thrower, and machine gun -- which can be upgraded if they collect another of the same weapon. Unfortunately, if you get hit while holding onto one of these special shots, you lose them immediately, so only the best will be able to see the ethereal third-tier weapon upgrade.

All in all, Hard Corps: Uprising looks like a fantastic new addition to the Contra franchise. Even more, there is so much here that mixes up the series that new fans and those turned off by the traditional Contra tropes can take it for a wholly new experience. Keep an eye out for it later this winter on Xbox Live and PSN.

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2:20 PM on 07.23.2010

SDCC: Don't hate: Hard Corps Uprising is great

We've talked about the Contra-inspired Hard Corps: Uprising before, but I spent some more time with it today, and I have to wonder why some are hating on the game. Yeah, it's not the beefy, manly Contra, but then again, it do...

Dale North

9:00 AM on 06.20.2010

E3 10: Holmes and Contra vs. Hard Corps Uprising

Me and Contra are pissed. For some reason, Konami and Arc Systems have totally forsaken us. Their upcoming XBLA/PSN release, Hard Corps Uprising, is a Contra game. It just is. To play it is to play a game from the Contra ser...

Jonathan Holmes

12:40 PM on 12.08.2009

Konami XBLA 'classics' to hit retail at odd price

According to Amazon, Konami will be bringing two Xbox LIVE Arcade game complications to retail this month.  Konami Classics Volume 1 will feature Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Frogger, and Super Contra. The second ...

Nick Chester





9:00 PM on 11.24.2009

The first level of Contra remade in Half-Life 2

Someone remade the first level from the original Contra using Half-Life 2. You all should be extremely familiar with this level as you've died at least a thousand times in it. At least. It's pretty awesome getting to see thi...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

4:00 PM on 09.17.2009

The Memory Card .67: Scaling the waterfall

"The Memory Card" is a seasonal feature that dissects and honors some of the most artistic, innovative, and memorable videogame moments of all time.Online multiplayer is revolutionary. The fact that almost every con...

Chad Concelmo



Review: Contra ReBirth photo
Review: Contra ReBirth
by Jonathan Holmes

The surreal mixing of Hollywood references, real-life political terminology, and sci-fi craziness has long been a staple of Konami action games, but the Contra series takes that special brand of weirdness to another level. In real life, a "Contra" is a member of the guerrilla force that opposed a left-wing government in Nicaragua in the 1970s. In the Konami games, a "Contra" is a muscular Stallone/Schwarzenegger look-alike who battles jungle aliens while shirtless, sometimes in the 1970s. What's the connection between the two definitions? Are the Contras of the Konami series actually political activists disguised as alien exterminators? Is the game trying to tell me that Rambo is a secretly a Latino? What the hell is really going on here?

Well, after more than 20 years of such questions, Contra ReBirth has come forward to finally deliver some answers. Not only does the game give us the full reveal on Konami's definition of "Contra" for the first time, it also provides us with a game that exemplifies everything that makes the series so special. For better or worse, Contra ReBirth is the Contra-est Contra game in recent memory.

Hit the jump for the full review of Konami's latest take on guerrilla warfare.

 

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12:20 PM on 09.04.2009

Contra ReBirth comes stateside to WiiWare on Monday

You may not have known it, but Konami has recently published a new Contra Game. Japan, Europe and Australia have already been enjoying the new Contra ReBirth on WiiWare -- some since May, and now it's finally our turn to figh...

Topher Cantler

10:20 AM on 08.04.2009

Konami ESRB tease: Shadow of Destiny, Contra Rebirth

Two do-wanty games are probably headed our way from Konami. Both were let out of the bag by the folks at the ESRB, who had to drop a rating on them first. We're always poking around to see what's coming up, but this time the ...

Dale North