Genre: Run and Gun
Our Rating: 8/10
Contra for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is one of the best know and most playable of the NES library. The game is essentially a run and gun. It is executed with some great style and really benefits from a well thought out control system. Aiming in multiple directions, firing whilst jumping, dropping up and down platforms are all exceedingly smooth in Contra. The game begins in a jungle stage and it isn’t long before army men of all descriptions mass to attack you. Luckily you will find a range of power ups along the route to help you, the machine gun upgrade is particularly useful combined with the auto fire button.
The 1 player game begins to get very challenging not far in to the game, it’s simply a case of too many bullets to avoid. However, the 2 player option really evens up the odds against your enemies. Your friend can cover your back whilst you take out some of those more troublesome turrets or enemies requiring multiple hits. In between the side scrolling missions are third person perspective levels, these add a nice variety to the game. My general experience of the NES is that it doesn’t cope with multiple sprites very well. Similar to the Sega Master System, once you approach the sprite limit there becomes issues with flickering or partial sprites. Contra seems surprisingly good at handling this issue and considering the amount of on screen action the NES does a marvellous job of keeping the game action packed. Contra is a real retro game experience. Whether you were there in the ‘80s or have just heard of the game through reputation, this is a game well worth a play through. I can highly recommend this game for some real Nintendo retro nostalgia.