There are many words to describe Contra ReBirth, most of which are just four letters long. Without baiting the censors, let’s just say it’s hard. And we mean HARD! Not that that’s a criticism. There’s nothing we like more than a challenging shooter with that feeling of triumph when we finally beat the boss on level three…
Like all the best games in the long running series, it’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 – ever – blink. Even so, you’ll still die lots, but with every continue, you’ll get that little bit further as you learn when to duck, jump or just gun the boss’s weak spot mercilessly. It’s tough, but never unfair.
It’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’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 – you guessed it – giant missiles?
So long as you like your games retro and punishingly difficult, there’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’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’s eye – and it’s all the better for it. Simply put, it’s one of the very finest WiiWare titles to date.
Sep 10, 2009