Within the flood of Wiiware titles, Konami included some in the mix, and Contra Rebirth was one of them. It’s a very basic, no frills experience, but it’s a great game that any fan of classic Contra games will love. Unlike some of the recent Contra titles, there’s nothing new added, just five levels with four weapons to pick up. There are different characters, but they don’t differ at all really. They are just for show mostly. The four weapons are spread, machine gun, homing, and laser.
Each of these has their place. Laser is the strongest, spread has the widest range as always. Machine gun is probably the most versatile, and homing is good at hitting weak, hard to reach enemies, and is the ultimate lazy man’s weapon. There is two player co-op, so it’s great to have that quintessential feature there. The graphics looks nice and SNES/Genesis style. Perhaps the best feature of Rebirth is the soundtrack, which has remixed tracks from many of the old Contra titles. The stage one theme, which is the jungle theme remixed, sounds like a mixture of SNES and Genesis sound styles, and it’s really good.
There are multiple difficulty modes, which makes for a good experience. Nightmare is quite difficult, while the other modes are not much of a problem for Contra veterans. The bosses do seem like standard fare for the most part, although there are tons of explosions and lots of stuff going on to keep things interesting. For instance, to get the true ending by opening up stage 6, you must win on either hard or nightmare modes, which is not an easy feat. This is not unlike Shattered Soldier.
Contra Rebirth is an enjoyable experience, but it is quite short. Still, if you enjoy the series and are looking for a Contra fix, it’s definitely worth it. It’s a nice mash-up of a lot of the older games, but doesn’t quit e excel in all areas like Contra III or Hard Corps did. Next time, we’ll finish Contra up with Hard Corps: Uprising.