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Contra: ReBirth review

Welcome to bullet hell...

Pros

  • Gorgeous 16-bit era sprites
  • Harks back to simpler times
  • Even better with two players

Cons

  • Immensely difficult
  • No HD facelift
  • Doesn't add much new to Contra

There are many words to describe Contra ReBirth, most of which are just four letters long. Without baiting the censors, let%26rsquo;s just say it%26rsquo;s hard. And we mean HARD! Not that that%26rsquo;s a criticism. There%26rsquo;s nothing we like more than a challenging shooter with that feeling of triumph when we finally beat the boss on level three%26hellip;

Like all the best games in the long running series, it%26rsquo;s a scrolling platform shooter that never lets up. To call it relentless would be an understatement. There are only really two rules when playing Contra ReBirth: never take your finger off the trigger and never %26ndash; ever %26ndash; blink. Even so, you%26rsquo;ll still die lots, but with every continue, you%26rsquo;ll get that little bit further as you learn when to duck, jump or just gun the boss%26rsquo;s weak spot mercilessly. It%26rsquo;s tough, but never unfair.

It%26rsquo;s a game that revels in its own heritage too. Contra has always been big on explosions, but ReBirth really pushes that particularly explosive envelope right down your throat. It%26rsquo;s so over-the-top, in fact, that we suspect Konami are having a bit of fun. How else can you explain purple robot camels and a giant missile that spews %26ndash; you guessed it %26ndash; giant missiles?

So long as you like your games retro and punishingly difficult, there%26rsquo;s little to criticize, but for one thing. The rumble feature is an absolute nightmare. With every crash and bang, the Wiimote bucks away in your hands like a souped-up power drill. It will more than likely leave your poor hands numb and shaking. Annoyingly, you can%26rsquo;t even turn it off on the options screen.

Contra ReBirth is simply brilliant. It harkens back to the SNES era when motion controls were not but a twinkle in Shigeru Miyamoto%26rsquo;s eye %26ndash; and it%26rsquo;s all the better for it. Simply put, it%26rsquo;s one of the very finest WiiWare titles to date.

Sep 10, 2009

More Info

GenreAction
Description<p>Contra ReBirth is simply brilliant. It harkens back to the SNES era when motion controls were not but a twinkle in Shigeru Miyamoto&#8217;s eye &#8211; and it&#8217;s all the better for it. Simply put, it&#8217;s one of the very finest WiiWare titles to date.</p>
PlatformWii
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor rating12+
Release date:7 September 2009 (US), 4 September 2009 (UK)
Available platforms:Wii
Genre:Action
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