Dan Laughton and I(Brent Blauser/General Brent) are continuing our coverage of the Contra series with my retrospective on the gameplay and his examples of physics.
With the success of Contra and Super C on the NES, it was inevitable that Nintendo’s top selling Gameboy would get one from Konami, too. Operation C is a short but sweet one player adventure that spans five levels, but has a few interesting features. There is no machine gun power-up since the main gun is rapid fire, and the three available weapons are spread, flame, and homing. These can be upgraded to stronger versions by getting another of the same weapon capsule. This is a feature later seen in Hard Corps on Genesis, Contra 4 on DS, and Hard Corps: Uprising on PSN and XBL.
Bill Rizer must stop the aliens by going to a lab and defeating Black Viper. Most of the levels are somewhat rehashed from Super C, but it’s still an awesome handheld experience, and it’s an original enough experience to keep fans happy.
The shining weapon in this game has to be the homing gun, so why not briefly explore how it works? We will still be avoiding the idea of a weapon having infinite ammo, but exploring how the ammo possibly works at the very least. The homing ammo can be created based on heat-seeking technology. Objects will always have a particular temperature which can be found using infrared technology. Wherever there is a desired heat signature detected, that is where the ammo would like to soar majestically to. In order to move towards the respective target, there are little propulsion systems in place which will direct the movements. To resolve the concern as to why the homing attack will hit metal targets, it is because there is someone has his/her face pressed right up to the inside surface. Why? We don’t know. No one in the game returns phone calls. But at least it helps us fight those troublesome forces!
Contra III is one of the best games for the SNES, and definitely a fantastic Contra game. It’s more fast-paced than the previous entries, and new weapons are added, as well as a second weapon slot so you can keep at least one good weapon after you die. There’s also a screen clearing bomb that helps out if enemies overwhelm you. It’s easy to switch between weapons, which helps out since you will need different guns for different situations.
As usual, there’s not too much to the story. Red Falcon comes back again, but this time he wipes out a whole city in the intro sequence, apparently having not been satisfied with his previous backwater alien infestations. Bill and Lance head off to take the fight to him once again. The default gun this time is the machine gun, which is nice since the pea shooter just wouldn’t cut it. The spread gun is back, of course, the flame gun is actually a short range flame thrower that cuts right through enemy defenses, and the laser is a little more useful since it actually goes across the whole screen without having to let off the fire button between shots. The two new weapons are crush and homing missiles. Crush is a short range missile that explodes on impact and does massive damage, while homing is weak but seeks out targets relentlessly.
There are a few other nice features that make this a stellar Contra title. One is the ability to select a difficulty level-easy, normal, or hard- and the number of lives you start with. The true ending can only be seen after winning on hard mode, so there’s more incentive to try harder once you beat easy and normal. The two free roaming, top down view stages are quite nice, too, as you are given targets to destroy before taking on the boss. Speaking of bosses, all of them are fun to fight, with the exception of that annoying eyeball mound in stage 5. In the final stage, there are a couple nods to the original game and Super C by fighting their final bosses before taking on Red Falcon and the tenacious brain. Getting to the final stage is one thing, but surviving the gauntlet of boss fights is quite another, as it is very difficult. I have yet to win without cheating on hard mode, but perhaps someday I’ll practice enough and make it through to the end.
Before getting to my favorite Contra game of all time, Contra Hard Corps on Genesis, I(Brent Blauser/General Brent) will be going over my top 5 favorite video game music remixers. There’s a lot of amazing talent out there, and since I do listen to video game music quite a bit, I want to give recognition to who I believe are some of the best ones out there. Stay tuned for that.