The Contra games have been some of the most addictive shooters of our times, since it's launch in 1987 in our local arcades. That was back when machines were only 5 cents. It's always nice to see our old school times being brought back. Thats exactly what Konami did with Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS. A great way to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Contra 4 keeps the old school sidescrolling design, power-ups, and level design, bringing on a reminiscence of the NES days. What you once had to play on a bulky system, you can now play in the palms of your hands.
From the beginning of the game, you jump right into the forest level, picking your character and difficulty beforehand from the menu. Don't be fooled though, even on the easiest difficulty, Contra 4 can be hard. If your dodging one shot by jumping left, you'll land on a shot that came from the right.There are enemies everywhere and they come out of the weirdest places including the ground, ceiling, and some explode with gas that kills you. Once you think the enemies are gone, more pop in. Once you loose all four of your lives, it's game over and start at the beginning again. You can leave the game and come back, but can't save whenever you want to.
If even easy mode is quite hard, then the insane difficulty might draw you away. Most gamers like to keep the casualness of the classic series. Trust me when I say Insane is hard, maybe I'm just not good but I couldn't beat the first stage.
The game features the same 2D sidescrolling gunplay style, which goes into the 3D hallway of three movements, just as the old versions of the title. Only difference is the new coloring and pixel patterns of the characters.
The game features no revolutionary or new features in fact. It simply keeps it "real" as we might say at onAXIS (we too Urban). Whats a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary than this? I'm not in liberty to say.
The game also features high scores, unlockables and a history museum of Contra featuring boxarts, screenshots and information.
The game features two unlockable NES titles, known as Contra and Super Contra, but it's really a pain to unlock them, but worth it in the end. The only flaw in the DS-itized versions of these classics is the lack of two player support. You can still pick two characters, but they both move simultaneously according to your character's actions.
All in all, Contra 4 is a great title that lets you relive the classics whether your on a train, bus, or airplane. For fans of the title, and for newcomers, this is certainly an addictive game that I highly reccomend.
Contra 4 brings back the look of our classic Contras from back in the day for it's 20th anniversary.
Once of the hardest games you might play on the DS, even on the easy difficulty, but it sure is worth it when you finally beat the game.
Although the game is appealing, the graphics still keep the 16-32bit style.
The game's sountrack certainly brings back the energetic feeling of destroying your enemies like back in the day.
Contra 4 is one of the easiest games to pick up again, especially with a friend. This one will calm your boredom when your in need.
Final Verdict: 8.3 out of 10