Monday, 25 August 2008


Two days ago I decided (yes, just like that) to play every Contra game released to this day, starting with the NES version of the original title and up to the recent release of Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS. I know it might seem like a world of pain due to the inherent difficulty of these games but I have Game Genie and Code Breaker on my side. Take that, you evil, twisted programmers! Anyway, there was only one Contra game released for the Saturn and it was one of the worst (yeah, just our luck...) and only released in the US (WTF? The PSX version was in Europe too!). But I bet you've all heard this about Contra: Legacy of War, but what exactly makes it that bad? That is what I'm about to tell you.

I bet you're wondering about the title of this post. You see, "contra" is actually a Portuguese word (and Spanish too, I believe) meaning literally "against". That probably doesn't have anything to do with why Konami chose that title for the games, although in this series every single thing that moves is against us, but that can be said about a lot of games. Anyway, instead of being like the previous games, namely a run n gun game with a 2D perspective and some overhead levels to make the gameplay more varied, Legacy of War always has a top-down perspective. Wow, that's great for a frantic action game, isn't it?

To make it worse, they somehow fucked up the gameplay completely because for some reason it's a lot harder to aim in this game, I always take me a couple of seconds from starting to shoot and actually align my line of fire with the enemy, making the game that much harder and less fun. Oh, and then there's the airborne enemies... You know, for some reason in the previous games there was no height in the over-head sections, and that was because it's even harder to hit something that way than in the ground.

What pisses me off the most is that it was so easy for Appaloosa to make a good 3D Contra game, all they needed was to keep the 2D gameplay, like in Contra: Shattered Soldier for the PS2, but they decided to try new stuff and somehow they thought that the final product was entertaining. They were so wrong, and they realized that because with the next game, C: The Contra Adventure (a PSX exclusive), they returned with the side-scrolling levels, although they also fucked up by making yet again over-head levels and some weird Tomb Raider-like 3rd person levels. Anyway, if like me you're on a quest to play all Contra games you obviously can't pass on this one, but you're probably just looking for a good action game, and there are better options out there. Not that it is a horrendous game, or something, but it's so much worse than Contra III or Hard Corps (my favourites so far) and even if we forget the Contra license, by itself it's nothing special.


elend said...

I played this one on my Playstation years ago. It's really crappy if you compare it to the original Contra games, which is a shame. There was a game called "one" on the Playstation, though, which could have been as well entitled "Contra", because it was actually good.

Gotta buy the Saturn Version some day, though.

NebachadnezzaR said...

Wow, first time I hear about "one". Thanks for the tip, got to check that game out :)

elend said...

Oh, well yes. Good luck in finding it, since "One" is quite a general termn which you may find approx. 241890 gazillion times even with adding "Playstation".

Oh wait... there was that Database. Let's see... oh great, here it is! made by ASC games and released 1998. Imho a very great Contra substitute.

NebachadnezzaR said...

Thanks for the link, I didn't know that site. I usually use gamefaqs since it has a rather comprehensive database and I quickly found info about One.

In fact I'm already playing it! I'm currently at the end of the second level, where you have to protect that giant ship.

Awesome game, packed with action, but hard as hell thanks to some not-so-tight controls and erratic camera. I lost count of how many times I fell to my death...