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Contra

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Super Mario Crossover 2.0 breaks the generation barrier


Jan 17
// Tony Ponce
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...
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There's a new Contra coming, but that's all we know


Jun 02
// Dale North
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." ...
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Hard Corps: Uprising kicks off XBLA House Party


Feb 16
// Jordan Devore
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...
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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 p...

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


Jul 23
// Dale North
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...
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E3 10: Holmes and Contra vs. Hard Corps Uprising


Jun 20
// Jonathan Holmes
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...
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Konami XBLA 'classics' to hit retail at odd price


Dec 08
// Nick Chester
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 ...
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The first level of Contra remade in Half-Life 2


Nov 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
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...
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The Memory Card .67: Scaling the waterfall


Sep 17
// Chad Concelmo
"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...

Review: Contra ReBirth

Sep 14 // Jonathan Holmes
 Contra ReBirth (WiiWare) Developer: KonamiPublisher: KonamiReleased: September 7, 2009 MSRP: 1000 Wii Points ($10) Contra ReBirth solidifies what the now-two-games-deep ReBirth series is all about. "ReBirth" in this context doesn't mean "re-imagining" or "reinvention," as you might guess. Instead, these ReBirth titles are love letters to the games that came before them. If you ever loved a Contra game, you're sure to enjoy Contra ReBirth. That said, even without the Contra name, Contra Rebirth would still be a short-but-sweet, entertaining, even funny two-player shmup with charm and excellence to spare.  I fell in love with the game before I even started playing it. The opening cinema blew my mind. The inclusion of a real-life military leader/political activist into the game's narrative shows that the writers behind this game truly understand the special real-history/Hollywood/fantasy connections that make the Contra world what it is. I don't want to give away all the details, but rest assured that references to multiple Stallone movies, American sci-fi epics, and real wars are a part of the game from start to finish. In other types of games, this kind of stuff might seem stupid, but it all makes sense in the world of Contra. This is war, as seen through the childlike perception of someone who learned everything they know about warfare from going to the movies and watching the evening news. This is the glorification of blowing stuff up and taking bullets for only vaguely understood ideals, against an enemy that you don't know a thing about. Being a Contra is being a man who bravely fights against insurmountable odds all for the sake of, um, I don't know... whatever. It's as ridiculous as it is awesome, and that's what makes it Contra.  The game itself plays out like a concentrated blast of set pieces influenced by other Contra games. Like with Gradius ReBirth, all the music here comprises remixes of stuff from past Contra games, ranging from the first game all the way up to Hard Corps. Contra ReBirth consists of five stages, with stages one, three, and four being only vaguely reminiscent of prior Contra games, and stages two and five being more direct lifts from levels of previous games. Though a few are recycled, there is little to no filler in any of these stages. You can expect to see a new enemy, mid-bosses, and environmental hazards to pop up at least every two or three minutes. The game only contains three guns from the traditional Contra arsenal: spread-shot, homing missile, and laser. That may seem a little small, but those are the three weapons that everyone likes the most anyway. That design decision pretty much sums up the Contra ReBirth credo -- cut out the fat and give the player non-stop Contra-ness from beginning to end.  The game does a pretty good job of it, too. Its large bosses, constant explosions, and extreme situations almost always keep pace with the best moments of past Contra titles. The game looks exactly how you probably remember Contra 3 on the SNES looking, but compare the two face to face and you'll see that the animation in ReBirth is much smoother, and the sprites themselves are at a higher resolution. Nothing here quite matches the silky-smooth visual majesty of Contra 4, but there are plenty of big-time, old-school set pieces to make up for that.    Hopping on bits of debris as you re-enter Earth's atmosphere, all while fighting off a giant space crab/caterpillar, is one of the earliest examples of the game's efforts to keep pace with Contra 3 and Contra 4. Later, you'll hang for your life from the ribs of speeding purple robo-llamas, and blast an alien ninja hanging from an incoming rocket as you dodge a screen-filling barrage of flaming shurikens. Sadly, the game peaks a bit early. Stage 3 is clearly the most fun that the game has to offer, and from there, things get a little less awe-inspiring. That's okay, though, because even at its, worst the game is still a lot of fun, and it throws out one last gasp of glory in the form of its "true" last boss (only seen on Normal difficulty and higher). Your final victory is then punctuated by what is probably the funniest display of videogame logic in recent memory. Again, I don't want to give it away, but let's just say that Dutch from Predator would be proud.  Speaking of difficulty, Contra ReBirth is a lot more fair than Contra 4 and the other more punishing entries in the series. The game is still tough, especially on Hard difficulty and above, but it never relies on forcing the difficulty by overly limiting your allowance of continues or extra lives. Even on the hardest difficulty, you have unlimited continues, and each level has at least one mid-level checkpoint. You may get killed tons of times in this game, but you're rarely forced to start too far from where you last died, which keeps things exciting without ever becoming too frustrating. Fans of Contra 4 may find that disappointing, but c'mon, guys -- if you really want the game to have limited continues, just use some self-restraint and limit the amount of times you continue yourself.     The game does cheat a little when it comes to replay value. In order to unlock all the game's content (including extended endings, two new characters and an extra difficulty level) you have to beat the game on Easy, Normal, and Hard modes. This forces you to to play the game at least three times over to really get it all, effectively extending its total length without really adding too much content. That said, the four difficulty settings do offer fairly different experiences, which shows just how much of an impact enemy placement and frequency can have in a game's design. That robo-llama section I told you about? On Easy, it's a death-free cake-walk, on Normal it involves some risk of life, and on Hard it's a true videogame "trial of life," complete with swear-inducing instant deaths and need for pixel-perfect platforming. Of course, playing the game with a friend helps make the experience less difficult, but not even backup from a buddy can make robo-llama gymnastics any less dangerous.  The only complaints I have about the game come from what it's missing. It's a bummer that the leaderboards and recordable replay feature from Gradius ReBirth didn't make the jump to Contra ReBirth. Also, even at its meatiest, the game is still a little on the light side. Other than the comedy elements and the new characters, the game doesn't really add anything to the overall Contra experience. Stages are generally half the length of those found in Contra 3, and the average player will beat the game's Easy mode in under half an hour. Die-hards will be playing Contra ReBirth for a lot longer than that, though. I still can't beat Nightmare mode, but I know that for the next few years, I'll have fun as I die trying.  Contra ReBirth will likely come off as a bit of a letdown for those going into the game expecting Contra 5. This isn't an extension of Contra 4, or even Contra 3. It's a gaiden game; a lower budgeted, high-fructose snack to tide you over between sequels. Still, there are a few things that the game does better than other titles in the series. It's the only Contra game I've played that's intentionally funny, and it seems to be completely aware of the full scope of the series' appeal. If Contra 4 was too frustrating for you, this could end up being your favorite Contra game of this decade. Fans of the series and the run-and-gun genre should pick this up without hesitation. Contra ReBirth is both a nice tribute for fans and the perfect place to start for those Contra virgins who've ever wondered what the series is all about. Score: 7.5 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.) 
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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...

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Contra ReBirth comes stateside to WiiWare on Monday


Sep 04
// Topher Cantler
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...
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Konami ESRB tease: Shadow of Destiny, Contra Rebirth


Aug 04
// Dale North
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 ...
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Palm Pre's hidden dev mode unlocked via Konami code?


Jun 10
// Dale North
Phone freaks surely know about the Palm Pre, the first device to truly give Apple's iPhone a run for its money. And if AT&T's network and service keeps sucking, you may see many more of these sexy mobile phones, available...
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Contra ReBirth gameplay footage explosion!


May 12
// Chad Concelmo
The recently announced Contra ReBirth got me very excited. Like, holding-a-Trapper Keeper-over-my-pants-area-as-I-try-to-maneuver-my-way-from-the-cafeteria-to-the-bathroom-without-anyone-from-my-classes-noticing-anything-out-...
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Konami taking prenatal vitamins, prepares for Contra Rebirth


May 08
// Nick Chester
Konami Japan has announced Contra Rebirth is coming to the Wii via WiiWare in Japan this summer. Not much is known about the game other than the fact that it's supposedly an all-new Contra adventure, borrowing liberally ...
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Contra action figures hit the scene; Teela breaks up with He-Man


Jan 29
// Chad Concelmo
I am not a toy expert like our brothers and sisters over at Tomopop.com, but I know a good toy when I see one. And, man, these Mad Dog & Scorpion Contra action figures are some damn good toys.Created by John "Jin-Sao...
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RetroforceGO! Episode 39: Contra


Mar 03
// Dyson
What's more manly? The ripped and bulging form of Chad Concelmo (seen above)? Or the over the top manliness of the Contra series? The correct answer: neither. Just to give you an example of how manly Chad is, he woke up this ...
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RetroforceGO! recording episode 39 tonight: Contra!


Mar 02
// Topher Cantler
This week's show is all about Contra, and how Chad can probably kick your ass at it. No, really. He'll try to be modest and say "Aw, you guys," but it's no joke. The man is 1337. Anyway, we know you fought over the ...
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Manliness, Video Games, and You -- Lv. 6: The Contra Duo


Nov 22
// LethalHairdo
[Editor's note: LethalHairdo is manly. How manly? So manly, that I forgot to write him a special Editor's note message. If you think you're a man, then read LethalHairdo's series. It will make you grow chest hair on your ball...

Destructoid review: Contra 4

Nov 19 // Dyson
Contra 4 (DS)Developed by WayForward TecnologiesPublished by KonamiReleased on November 13th, 2007 Right off the bat, I want to make one thing clear: Contra 4 is not merely a throwback or a “tribute” to the Contra of days gone by -- it is Contra. A newer, better Contra. Not only that, but Contra 4 is, in every sense of the term, the game that all hardcore Contra fans have been waiting for.But Dyson, is it really Contra? Yes. Contra 4 delivers the hardest challenge I’ve yet to deal with in any game since the original.  Everything that you loved about Contra is in place: huge bosses, high degree of difficulty, a slew of weapons and the sheer manic pace of the original game is all here. Honestly, this game is so Contra (and by that, I mean incredibly fucking hard) that an average player may shy away from the level of dexterity and skilled required to pass even the first level unscathed. It took me a good amount of time, lives, and a large amount of patience to do just that, and there were times in which I was so frustrated with the game’s unforgiving (read: retro) play mechanics, that I almost threw my DS out the window – twice. This time around there's a few new features to help you out and keep you from chucking your DS. Similar to what we've seen in Contra III: The Alien Wars, this version allows you to carry two weapons simultaneously with a new twist: Powering up each weapon by collecting more than one weapon icon (double Spread Gun = awesome!). Switching between these weapons is as simple as pressing the L button and the process and never once inhibits game play. Also, using the R button locks your character in place and allows for directional shooting without having to constantly run in the direction you're aiming in; a feature that I would have loved to have in the original Contra. Even with these new play mechanics the game is still hard, but not just because of the difficulty level. Contra 4 uses both of the DS's screens in presenting the game, which gives the player a whole lot of viewing space as well as more room for more enemies looking to fill you full of lead. Enemies are constantly shooting at you and a stray bullet a screen away can get lost in the chaos of the game and take you out. While Contra 4 offers beautifully detailed 2D level design that any fan will enjoy, the transition to the DS comes at a slight price. Between the two screens lies a visual "dead space" that blocks your view of the level instead of bullets, enemies and objects traveling seamlessly from one screen to the other. Most of the time the camera scrolls with the player and the space isn't noticeable, but occasionally (and particularly in vertically-scrolling stages) the enemies on-screen and their volleys of gunfire are obscured by this disconnection in viewable stage space, and dying from threats you simply can't see can be really frustrating. While the difficulty is often brutal, it's not without some inconsistencies. In the pseudo 3-D corridor levels (throwbacks to the original game), the difficulty level drops to almost zero when compared to the rest of the game. While I’m not going to complain about not getting my ass handed to me, the corridor levels do stand out as being strangely easy when compared to the high difficulty of the rest of the levels. Regardless of these issues, Contra 4 is still a blast to play. Not only are you getting a completely new version of the series, but the title comes packed with little bonuses such as the original Contra, Super C, and other features. Unlocking this content isn't going to be easy, though. The game comes with a challenge mode in which the player is given mission-like goals and completing these challenges is the only way to get the goods.  So, along with an original game, Contra 4 is loaded with extra content which provides a whole lot of extras for your gaming dollar. Any fan of the series will be more than happy with their experience and I can easily say that as a fan myself, I'm quite pleased. The developers have done a wonderful job in providing a title that lives up to the Contra name. Score: 8.0
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Well, lo and behold, it looks like Dyson has finally decided to come out of writing retirement to make a post. It sure has been awhile folks, hasn’t it? Since it’s been awhile, you may be asking yourself, “W...

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McDeathSteak, er, Contra 4 site is live!


Nov 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The new Contra 4 site is full of testosterone and epicness. The bad ass Contra theme song plays the entire time you're at the site. Not only that, but everytime you click on a link to a different part of the site, a freaking ...
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The Contra Trailer. Another awesome video from Team Awesome


Nov 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Back in June, Nintendo was holding a contest called the "Nintendo Short Cuts" where anyone could send in a video and win some prizes. Out off all the videos that were submitted, only one out shined the rest and I th...
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The Great Retro Quiz! .07: Contra


Oct 24
// Chad Concelmo
The Contra series has been on my mind a lot this week. Not only did I play a ton of Super C and Contra III: The Alien Wars, but Konami had an expanded, playable version of the upcoming Contra 4 at E for All and,...
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Contra 4 bonus content revealed, heads explode


Oct 12
// Nick Chester
We're already giddy over the pseudo-retro goodness that is Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS, but this might toss it into game of the year category. Konami has announced plans to celebrate the franchises 20th anniversary with a sl...
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Prepare to have your minds blown: Contra 4 box art is out of hand


Oct 05
// Nick Chester
A kind soul over at NeoGAF secured and scanned a copy of the sell-sheet for Konami's upcoming DS title, Contra 4. Maybe you've heard of it, but if you haven't (I worry about you), I dare you to tell me that this isn't the kin...
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Create a Contra 4 character: Konami is getting really lazy after two decades


Sep 19
// Earnest Cavalli
Konami, home to such classics as Castlevania, Metal Gear and Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa, has revealed one of the more clever promotional contests in recent memory: a competition to design a brand-new unlockable charact...
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The Memory Card .16: Riding under the missiles


Sep 14
// Chad Concelmo
Sometimes videogame moments don’t have to be emotionally powerful or include some major plot twist to seal a place in your memory forever. Honestly, sometimes they just have to be awesome.And by “awesome” I ...
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E3 2007: Hands-on with Contra 4


Jul 13
// Chad Concelmo
I thought there wasn’t much more I could say about the upcoming Contra 4, having already posted screenshots (OMG!) and first gameplay footage (ZOMG!) of the game a couple of weeks ago.Well, gosh be darned, I just got ...
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New NP Contra 4 poster will melt your face off


Jul 02
// Aaron Linde
That's right, melt. It's that metal. By way of DSFanboy comes pictures that bring to mind the halcyon days of our youth, when our walls were lined with the posters that came in every monthly installment of Nintendo Po...
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Contra 4 blowout! First gameplay videos! Overly excited associate editor!


Jun 29
// Chad Concelmo
Just yesterday I almost had a joy explosion from seeing some screens from the upcoming Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS and now these come out mere hours later? What, is it my birthday or something?I could easily just post the sa...

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