Contra 4 will kick your ass

How did a retro, old-school 2D platformer about guys named Lance Bean and Mad Dog become one of the most buzzed about games at E3 2007?

Geek nostalgia is clearly a powerful force and Contra 4 knows exactly how to capture it. Check out the gameplay footage below and see for yourself. Miniature muscled men leaping up and down the flat screen, from perfectly horizontal platform to perfectly horizontal platform, shooting diagonally and literally ducking bullets as they go? That's the stuff grown-up gamers' dreams are made of.

While they may remember the series, however, they may not be as skilled at it as they think. Contra 4 will have three difficulty levels and, according to Konami, "Normal" is as hard as any of the previous classics. That means that "Expert" will effectively murder your thumbs, as well as any uninitiated youngster who dares press the start button.

And, nope, the DS stylus cannot protect you... it isn't even used in the game. Other details, plus the video, are below.

* Look, feel, music and mechanics are being kept as faithful to the original Contra games as possible. (Of course, the addition of a grappling hook is a pretty big - and awesome - change.)

* Picking up the same weapon twice gives you a power up for that weapon.

* You can cycle through weapons and drop them for your co-op buddy to pick up. Co-op gameplay supports two players over local DS wireless.

* Not everything's 2D. In addition to the six 2D levels, Contra 4 will also offer three 3D "base" missions.

* As mentioned above, the stylus and touch screens do not come into play. The two screens are featured throughout, however. You can jump and shoot between them, and some bosses fill up both.

July 20, 2007


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