Contra - Hard Corps

by Konami

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I knew that - unless Konami had started allowing its programmers to smoke crack - Contra: Hard Corps was going to be a great game. What I didn't know is that Hard Corps would borrow so heavily from Sega's Gunstar Heroes, Contra-esque action title that was one of the best Genesis games of 1993. And here's another strange twist - the programmers of Gunstar Heroes had previously done Contra III for the Super NES. Goofy, eh?

For the pathetic few readers who've never played one of the previous three Contras, they're the most enjoyable platform/shooter games around.

There's nothing fancy involved - just plenty of running, jumping and shooting, with a side order of awesome weaponry and some really intense bosses.

Hard Corps meddles with the time-tested Contra formula in several ways. First, instead of the usual generic musclehead, there are four characters to choose from (buff dude, buff chick, buff wolfman and cute li'l robot), each with unique skills and weapons. Second, there are several paths through the game - there's even the possibility of a bad ending as seen in Streets of Rage. Third, there are literally dozens of bosses throughout the game, most of which have at least two and usually three or four different forms. Bosses in Hard Corps don't go down easy!

It's the multitude of bosses that most resembles Gunstar Heroes, which also had tons of baddies in each level - in fact, one of Gunstar's levels was nothing but bosses. Some of Hard Corps' enemies and weapons also have very similar appearances to bad guys from Gunstar. But this type of ripping-off happens all the time - just look at the game-play inbreeding of fighting games - and Gunstar Heroes was technically a Contra offshoot to begin with.

Hard Corps' most outstanding features are the visual effects, which are, in my completely uneducated opinion, as good as Genesis graphics are ever gonna get. The bosses are animated as smooth as buttah, and with very little slowdown or flicker. There's also some show-off scaling and rotation, along with a dash of morphing. Too cool.

Graphics

The backgrounds look good, but it's the variety of bosses that blows you away. Every time you think you've finally killed a boss, it changes into an even more smoothly animated had guy. And don't forget the scaling, rotating, and morphing.

Sound/Music

With all those nifty graphics, it's no surprise that the music is disappointing by comparison - a lithe bit of techno, a little rock, and a little boring. But the sound effects are a lot better, especially the truly satisfying explosions.

Playability

Konami has play control down to a science, it's hard to screw up run-jump-shoot game play (although it's been done before). The weapons are cool and the levels are tough - how much more playable can you get?

Lowdown

Contra: Hard Corps is definitely a different breed from the previous games in the series, but change is good - and this game benefits very much from the changes made to the Contra formula. The multiple paths, the powerful weapons and the incredible bosses keep you constantly challenged and constantly tripping out at what the programmers have managed to wring out of the Genesis. Nice oh, Konami - now let's get cracking on Contra for the 32X!

The alien forces are back from the far reaches of space, and it's up to Earth's finest to take them on. Featuring all-new characters and a quest similar to the third NES Contra game, the Genesis version looks to be really hot.

Contra Hard Corps is noticeably darker and gorier than the other incarnations of the Contra series. It seems that we can never stop the vile aliens from taking over the world.

People say:

8

I've always been a fan of Contra. I even bought the arcade version of Contra, and Super Probotector. The first level areas really good, but a little difficult. The cheap hits are everywhere, so it could be frustrating to some players. I like all the special effects used, and Konann has really outdone themselves this lime. If you're into guns, don't miss this great shooter! I guarantee you won't put it down for hours.

7

For those in the know, the name Contra invokes thoughts of all-out action and excitement, and that's exactly what you'w treated to. however, all Thai action leads to some serious confusion, because there's so much stuff flying around that easy to get hit by hidden bullets. Anyway, the game uses incredible special effects to the extreme which make it cool. On the down side, the game's hard difficulty will make it rough.

7

Contra heads into a new direction in the Genesis version of the classic military shooter. I like having to choose between four new characters and the weapons are very cool. The graphics and special effect are done well and the music gets you totally into the action, on the down side, I thought there were too many Mid-Bosses and not enough real enemies. It's also really difficult. Overall, a good game.

7

Not quite the same juice as the original Contra, but this is a tough game to test your skills. Four character e with diflerent weapon sets keep you guessing. The graphics and eountIs are good as is the control The levels are rather simple and there seems to be an abundance of Mid-Bosses. The game ie rather pattern-orientated and can get frustrating being so tough. If you have a pal. go two players for a better time.

Continue: Desert Strike (arcade/action)

If you like Contra - Hard Corps, try other games: After The End, DevastationZone Troopers, Theseus: Return of the Hero.

Contra - Hard Corps rating

Contra - Hard Corps system requirements:SystemP-200.

Systems: Win9x Windows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game modes: Contra - Hard Corps supports single modeSingle game mode Contra - Hard Corps supports multiplayer modeMultiplayer (Hotseat)

2005-06-05 Contra is a classical scrolling arcade.

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