Neo Contra


posted 12/1/2004 by Tyler Sager
other articles by Tyler Sager
One Page Platforms: PS2
Most of the non-boss enemies can be killed with one or two shots, which is a good thing because all it takes is a single hit to kill Our Hero. Thankfully the enemies are, for the most part, quite simple to avoid. The bosses are a bit tougher, but certainly not incredibly challenging. In the classic vein, a bit of pattern-recognition and a decent memory will help defeat most bosses, as they carry out their attacks in nice, orderly, and predictable fashion. Of course, most of the bosses have more than one form and change their pattern as they’re damaged, so it’s not a complete cakewalk.

Graphically, things look…well, ok. Neo Contra takes the top-down angle, so it’s sometimes difficult to get everything in view of the screen. Apart from that, however, everything runs smoothly, enemy deaths are sufficiently gore-filled, and it’s quite easy to tell which enemies are going to try to attack with a sword, which ones are going to try to shoot you, and which ones are giant spider-things. Sound is decent as well, although the voice acting is just about as cheesy as the dialogue it’s reading. The game never lasted long enough for me to become annoyed or attached to the music, so I’m rather neutral on that point. Controls are pretty easy, weapon swapping is a breeze. There are also controls for a strafing move, as well as a position-lock and a fancy, indestructible spin maneuver, but players will get varying mileage out of these.

So is Neo Contra fun? Well, I enjoyed the brief time I spent playing it. And I’m sure there are lots of ways to increase the replayability, if one is so inclined. There are quite a few things to unlock, from levels to weapons to special characters and various extras. A two-player mode is available as well. And one could easily increase their difficulty by focusing on one of the more…esoteric weapon sets. For me, however, I feel I wrung out all the enjoyment in this title in a little under seven hours. For Contra fans, or those who like quick, down-and-dirty, and just a bit mindless shooters, Neo Contra might warrant a purchase. That being said, however, this title just doesn’t have the longevity to get my recommendation.

A decent platform shooter that just ends up being too short. Passably fun while it lasts.

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