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This is by far the best Contra. Contra III is so overrated, and I consider myself a Nintendo fanboy. There's just some things that Sega does that Nintendon't, and one of those is Contra. Hard Corps is absolutely ridiculous. Memorable characters, awesome music, fast gameplay. It's truly a bullethell game, more than any previous Contra.
Just making sure everyone knows this is the best contra game to date. Especially the Japanese version.
Japan isn't manly enough to handle a proper Contra experience, so they get wussy health bars.
Seriously, the health bar defeats the whole point of Contra in general. And HC isn't even the hardest one of the series, not with all the tools they give you (multiple characters, wide variety of weapons, the invincible slide) to counterbalance it. You take a hit, you deserve to get docked a life for the screw-up.
Konami intentionally made it harder for Americans on purpose. They are known to do this with other games also like the simpsons arcade and x-men arcade. They wanted us to suffer and waste quarters. I believe it's somewhat racist.
This game doesn't use tokens but that didn't stop them to still annoy us a little. The japanese programmed the game but if you want to pretend it makes you manlier or whatever then more power to you. Just stating the facts.