Contra 4: Hands-on

Sept 4, 2007

Preceding a hands-on demo with Konami%26rsquo;s Contra 4, we were told its release would commemorate the classic run-and-gun franchise%26rsquo;s 20 year anniversary. Cool. We then got some back-story on original Contra commandoes Mad Dog, Scorpion, Bill Rizer and Lance Bean tackling an all-new extraterrestrial threat - the Black Viper. Fantastic. But hell, this is a Contra game, not a storybook so we really just wanted to be dropped into the jungle, armed with a damned spray gun. Still, despite a trigger finger itchier than Paris Hilton%26rsquo;s post prison private parts, our interest was piqued upon hearing confirmation that Contra 4 would indeed return to the roots of the original NES and SNES classics, abandoning the good-but-not-quite-Contra concepts of the series%26rsquo; 3D efforts on the PS2.

So, with story-time over, and a DS clenched between our prepped-for-punishment thumbs, we parachuted into 8-bit bliss. Anyone who%26rsquo;s ever landed in Contra%26rsquo;s lushly pixilated jungles only to immediately side-scroll into addictive and occasionally frustrating fun will feel right at home in Contra 4. The green foliage, blue water, steel bridges and concrete bunkers are all back. So are the countless bullet barrage-spewing enemies, brutal boss battles and flying weapon power-ups.

Matt Cabral
A full-time freelance writer based in Lizzie Borden's hometown, Matt Cabral has covered film, television, and video games for over a decade. You can follow him on Twitter @gamegoat, friend him on Facebook, or find him in the basement of an abandoned building hoarding all the canned goods, med-kits, and shotgun shells.