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The classic shooter returns on PS2, is it hardcore or mainstream...you decide!!
Being a gamer you are bound to have great memories, you assuredly remember the first time you ate a mushroom and grew bigger, or perhaps the first time you shot the soldier from the ventilation shaft in the head. Gaming is all about it's roots and if there is one game that springs to mind classic action Contra fits the bill. Everyone remembers the insane difficulty, the fast paced gun toting action, and of course the Konami code. If these things are new to you where the hell have you been? Sure the last two C games on PS were absolute crap but y'know Konami has finally answered our prayers with Shattered Soldier, let the classic gaming bliss continue!
Graphics Seeing as how the original Contra was a 2D sidescroller many feel the game should stick to what it does best. Konami has given us a great mixture of 2D game play with 3D backgrounds, the transition from cut scene to game play is impressive. No hints of slowdown, no fancy lighting effects, just some straight ahead action. Sure the game looks marvelous to us "old timers" who remember "C" being blips and bloops, but to the average gamer it looks calm among the wave of titles pushing hardware limitations. I am certainly not complaining as this is how Contra should be seen.
Sound Keeping with the fast paced action C:SS's soundtrack is just as hard as this game's difficulty. Thrashing metal guitars mixed with slammin' drum beats really add to the intensity of the game play. You feel like the world's last hope and are destined to kick lots of ass and shoot millions of bullets! The sound effects are especially top notch with explosions pounding on your speakers as if trying to bend them backwards and the ambience truly lightens up the levels. The best part about the soundtrack is that it never stops, never gets repetitive, and never keeps you from wanting to kill another alien, great stuff!
Gameplay This is where the game shines, you have the classic feel of Contra slammed into a more beautiful world. You can use the trigger buttons to perform some of the classic Contra moves such as shooting in all directions while standing still as well as shooting forward while running backward. The classic style is there and so is the difficulty, this game is fucking hard! The game gives you an extra life for every hour of play, trust me you could possibly need to play for 20 hours before being able to finish the game in one try. Some levels and bosses are so ridiculously hard you want to throw the Dual Shock at them. Such as life though Contra was never an easy game. No friends the Konami code does not work hehe.
Overall Sure this review is short and sweet and the score may throw you off a bit but remember I give it an average based on it's comparison to other games of it's type and how it will appeal to everyone else. No Contra SS is not for everyone, in fact most gamers will find it TOO difficult and give up quickly. For those of us who know what playing the original Contra was like we embrace this game and love it regardless. Not the best looking, nor sounding game on the market, but none the less a grade a fucking hardcore gamers' game!
GameDiscovery.com : Playstation 2 : Contra Review : Action