Designer: Koji Hiroshita
Composer: Kazuki Muraoka
Platforms: Arcade, Famicom/NES, PlayChoice-10, MSX2, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS
Genre: Run and gun
Modes: Single-player, cooperative
Although its first appearance in the arcade game is not so popular, Contra was one of the most remembered games of all time in NES library. The franchise is so much fun and so nostalgic of a gamer who’ve played in some console. It’s mind-blowing, great co-op mode, great gameplay, and of course, is fun. I’ve played this game a few days ago and this game is one of the hardest games I’ve ever played until now. I remember when I played it on NES, somehow not as difficult as now as I play it. Maybe it’s because of the effects of some video games nowadays that are not too challenging and just focus on the graphics alone. In my opinion, maybe it’s just like that but partly for some video games. Some are also very good but for Contra, this is something that is difficult to complete and can only finish it using a Konami code which at the time, it’s very popular and this is the first time this feature is introduced.
It’s just like Alien
In this game, there are two playable characters that you can play. There are Bill Rizer and Lance Bean. Most people think that this character is very similar to Rambo or anything like that. The mission in this game is only one, takes down the evil Red Falcon Organization located in Galuga archipelago near New Zealand. They are both sent to go there to destroy the alien forces that have controlled the island. The story is not too memorable and unique because it leaves too many questions with the ending that according to people is anti-climax. The enemies in this game also remind us a movie called Alien. So, I’m not really talking about this element underneath to the details.
The control and the difficult
The only thing you can do to defeat this game is shooting all the things that appeared on the screen. In conclusion, it’s like run and gun games in general. However, it’s not easy to finish this game because you will find several challenges in the form of unpatterned enemies. The enemy respawn in this game are so randomly except when you fight the boss at each level, you can memorize the pattern. The player can shoot in any direction from horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. You can shoot down by pressing the jump button, aiming the d-pad down, and pressing the shoot button. The player can also do ducking which is very useful if you faced with enemies who use a gun turret or avoid bullets on the screen. The player can also press the d-pad down button while pressing the jump button in order to move where there is one platform under the player but you have to be careful because it could be, some players often make some mistakes. I mention this feature because some NES games didn’t do that.
8 stages but memorable
Contra only provides 8 stages until the game is completed. There are two types of games in some stages, for example, stage 2 and 4 where the game mode changed to third person shooter. The rest is a side-scrolling game in general. It will be easier if this game is played by two people and it’s very fun to play it together. If playing co-op mode, the second player can take the first player life if they are out of life or game over in order to back in the game and help the player one. This game is actually not easy to understand and learn it. The player must be smart to shoot, master the controller, and be clever to how to avoid some bullets and patterns of the boss. If you often die in this game then you must start from beginning at the level again. But, calm down. Konami provides a code to make it easier for you to play.
Several weapons and power-ups
There are several gun power-ups in order to strengthen the weapon. There are rapid-fire, machine gun, laser, flamethrower and spread gun. If you’ve ever played this game, the spread gun is definitely your ideal and favorite weapon because it takes out a lot of bullets in one screen and destroys everything in front of the player. The laser and flamethrower are one of the useless weapons of all because these weapons require special abilities or depend on how the player uses them. However, this weapon is so strong instead of all the weapons. In addition to some of the weapons, the barrier is so helped to make the player becomes invincible. You can get the power-ups while you find a falcon with its letters, you can shoot that thing and take the power up.
Great soundtrack and not too monotonous
During this game, there is no monotonous stage including the 6th and 7th stages which I think is the most difficult to complete. These stages could be impossible to complete without one death. Some people say that their experience when playing this game is on stage 5. In stage 6, not a few enemies respawn at this stage. It’s just that a laser or flamethrower makes me annoying when I try to pass it. Stage 7 is also like that. Something like an instantly spiked wall that appears in nowhere and some patterned spikes that I don’t think is hard. In addition to the various stages, Konami always brings us a great soundtrack and memorable including the sound effect when you press the start button. The soundtrack also has uniqueness and maintains the effects of the stage.
Contra is definitely the most remembered game of all time when childhood. Although in terms of the story is anti-climax and can only be interpreted on their own or using an existing manual, Contra is a gameplay that provides a new uniqueness at the time. The level is very short but memorable. The music is also like that. It’s so good to play in co-op mode. If you are hard to finish, you can use Konami code. Over the years, I can play this game again and bring a nostalgic impression.