Thankfully, ASW recognizes just how frustrating the game can be and has created the Rising Mode to ease the frustration of players. Rising Mode allows players to accumulate points as they play the game which can be spent to power up their character(s) to make them more effective and better suited for the challenge. You will play through the exact same stages that appear in the Arcade Mode but are offered a chance to swing the tide of battle into your direction with improvements to your character(s). Every single enemy that you kill and checkpoint that you reach will net you points which you will spend in the in-game shop. There is plenty to buy and if you manage to acquire all of the upgrades offered, you will have one hell of a soldier on your hand that will cut through the competition like a hot knife through butter. Upgrades available in the store included things like stronger weapons, additional lives and character health, and even physical abilities which make your soldier more capable on the battlefield.
While Contra-purists may not appreciate the resulting gameplay after the numerous upgrades are applied, action game fans in general will bask in the insane action create dance your character is capable of reflecting bullets towards enemies while bounding over obstacles and dashing through the air. It takes quite a while to not only acquire a wealth of upgrades, but to master the various techniques and abilities opened up to you over time. As you learn them though, the fun factor of the game begins to rise steadily as the difficulty level decreases.
The game is meant to be played over and over and over again, which is something that may not appeal to the modern gamer. As modern as this game looks, the gameplay harkens back to the classic days of video games when titles were played repetitively and retained their charm with each and every replay. That old school charm is wrapped up with a sleek, new-school visual style and a rocking soundtrack that is as frantic and moving as the action. If you have played any of ASW’s recent games, you will be familiar with the work of Daisuke Ishiwatari who composed the score for Uprising. Ishiwatari also scored the various Guilty Gear and BlazBlue titles.
Hard Corp: Uprising sets a new standard for the aging franchise. Konami and ASW have managed to take everything that made the original titles great and make it “modern enough to stand up (technically speaking) against the competition in today’s market. Be warned though, this game isn’t for everyone; there is a part of me that almost wants to classify fans of the this game as masochists as the difficulty can be that brutal. Those who choose to join the fight are in for one hell of a battle but also a whole lot of fun. I truly hope that this is just the beginning of a major resurgence for the franchise and look forward to more punishment like this.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Hard Corps: Uprising is a treat for fans of the original Contra series. The game pays homage to the older titles in the series while making its own mark with modern additions and improvements. Expect a challenge though as the difficulty level of the game has been turned up to eleven. As long as you know what you are in for going in, you should be thoroughly happy enlisting for this battle...
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