Title : Contra 3 : The Alien Wars
Publisher : Konami
Developer : Konami
Genre : Run and Gun
Players : 1 / 2 Player
Release Date : 1992
Estimated Value (as of today's date) $35 - $45
Forget about the Konami code, because it doesn't work in this game. Hell, this hellish joyride is surely going to make you piddle your pants and cry to your mommy. Sure, I'll go as far as saying it's not as difficult as the first game for the NES, but anytime you see the name CONTRA, you know you are in for a torturous albeit epic gaming experience.
One thing must be said about this game, the box art is amazing. Floating, fiery demon heads in the clouds. A giant skeletal robot thing bursting out of some hole in the wall, creepy bug robots, and angry marines blowing everything to smithereens. I'm sold!
This time, instead of invading the Alien turf and destroying them where they stand, the Aliens are COMING FOR YOU!! It's an all out "ALIEN WAR!" (hence the title) and these two primary color wearing marines are the world's only hope. Do you have what it takes to push the armada back from whence they came and save the galaxy from falling into an alien rule!?
Oh...yeah..forgot to mention. Bill and Lance aren't here anymore. Of course, they'd be dead because it's like 200 years in the future or something. This time, you're Jimbo and Sully....really...Jimbo? SULLY? Is this Monster's INC!? COME ON PEOPLE..Konami..you are bad with names.
Much like the previous Contra, this game is best served with a heaping scoop of 2 player goodness. After all, what better way to get a bullet to the face than with a friend? A friend and choosing the highest lives cap possible. Need I remind you...the KONAMI CODE DOESNT WORK! WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT!? Well, at least they let you choose up to 7 lives (like that's enough...)
Right off the bat, you can tell that Contra 3 is taking full advantage of the technological prowess of the Super Nintendo. You can't get much closer to the arcade classics than this version and it really went all out. This time, there aren't just simple side scrolling and back perspective levels as in the past. Now you've got motorbike chases, missile hopping, and mode 7 galore top down views....which I admit made me nauseous lol.
Gameplay, it remains exactly the same. Blast your way to victory, collecting power ups and destroying bosses. Why change a formula that's been working for a few games already? Hell, this is probably the closest you'll get to the original Contra (which is still the best to me)
Upgrades are the real focus in this game, and you've got all the classics like multi-shot, missiles, and lasers. But there's a few new ones like the flame thrower and barrier shield that will assist you. It's all about picking what's most comfortable to you. At least you dont have to rapidly tap buttons since the blaster cannon is already an automatic.
There's three difficulty modes that you can choose from in this game. You've got easy mode (which is honestly a bit too easy), normal mode (which reminds me of the original Contra), and HARD..which is basically asking to be killed. The real difference between all these difficulty settings is really how the enemies act, and react. Boss fights are the real kicker because bosses will actually introduce new movesets in harder difficulties as well as having less weak spots.
But, you better work your arse off to beat the hard setting, because that's the only way you're going to be able to see the TRUE ending. That's right folks.....you've gotta beat this game at least twice. Once in normal, and then again in hard to fight the REAL last boss, and get the REAL ending. I won't spoil it for you...because I don't know what it is...because I've never done it. HA!
What isn't there to love about this game? It's a visual masterpiece that's a huge step up from the NES versions, with fluid gameplay and excellent controls. My only qualm about the gameplay were those top down levels. Like I said, they were a bit nausea inducing with all that spinning around, but you get used to it and it is a nice change of pace.
Contra 3 also has one of the greatest soudtracks on the SNES. It's nonstop epic jams that make your palms sweat with agitation as you battle the incoming alien forces. I'm actually listening to it as I write this review ha.
If you're a fan of the Contra series, you can't pass this up. It's a must have. And if you call yourself a gamer, you need to at least challenge yourself to beat hard. I'll be trying again later on...here's hoping I can do it..but I won't.
Final Score (out of 5):
Until Next Time, Keep On Gaming!