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Neo Contra

Platform(s): Arcade, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, PSOne, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Genre: Action

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PS2 Preview - 'Neo Contra'

by Paul Reith on Sept. 9, 2004 @ 1:50 a.m. PDT

Genre: Action
Developer : Konami
Publisher : Konami
Release Date: October 26, 2004

Pre-order 'NEO CONTRA': PlayStation 2

Ahhh... Yes… Contra! This is what everyone said the last time, when Contra: Shattered Soldier came out… Were the ratings fair? That depends on who you are. Were they romanticized? Absolutely! Contra was the first real scroller that captivated us all… heck, I conned every kid in town to play the game because I didn’t have it myself. So, as a result, you have two major market segments looking at this game – those who were Contra, and those who were not. If you understand exactly where you fit in the Contra legacy chain, this preview will make sense to you – as long as you are honest. For those of us who played Contra way back when, nostalgia clouds the senses while reality continues for the rest to provide a clear picture of the revamp intended for this classic.

If you were around for the original, it’s impossible to forget just how many hours were tossed in to the seemingly endless campaign to win the ultimate guerilla war. Today, the battle continues again in Neo Contra. Due just before Halloween, Konami has had a lot of fun developing this one. True to Contra form, once again the guerrilla is dropped to face a path ahead of unbelievable odds, but there’s help on the way! Bill Rizer is back for you to tactically negotiate the deaths of thousands of enemies, weaving through the barrage of bullets. But before the campaign weighs on Bill’s unwavering spirit (and your rather fragile ego) it’s time to dial a friend for assistance. Choose carefully, as the two of you are going to be in it for the long haul.

Neo Contra brings a new playable character, Genbei Jaguer Yaguy, a samurai who is prepared to fight side-by-side with Rizer throughout every grueling episode, (even battling a totally gruesome looking boss resembling a giant Venus Flytrap with an enormous baby’s head coming out the top. The environment of Neo Contra is set in the distant future, a rather sterile, mechanical environment that is so miserably drab it makes you wonder if it’s worth saving. But, after all, to Bill Rizer and Genbei Jaguer Yaguy this is the battle worth fighting, as the alternative is death.

It may not be much of a world to save, but it is rendered in a 3D isometric environment. The result is that Neo Contra is well-rendered and true to the Contra style. Control is quick, even frisky – and absolutely needed when attacking while evading the barrage of missiles heading forward at you in a medium pace.

As always, die once and die often in this epic struggle against the horde of enemies, but a new twist is added for scoring. A real-time hit rate system accompanies our dynamic duo through each level to establish your score. So, although not silent, swift and deadly force is the theme of the day – or the theme of many, many, days you will battle to defeat the insidious occupying force.
From what we saw of the game, the playability meets overall expectations with our characters, having barely enough firepower and plenty of quickness to face the challenge.

Audibly, the game is on par with prior offerings, fitting and not distracting from the intense speed of gameplay. One thing is certain for those of you who love Contra, this new offering will provide a familiar return to the theme, and for those who may never have experienced Contra, it may be just the provider of the addictive gameplay that keeps you battling till dawn to beat that boss you can’t seem to lick

In any case, these men need you, and Neo Contra may be another example of how a nostalgic title can grow to be a modern day hit. I only hope Rizer finds you an acceptable operator to manage his lifespan…


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