Review by HEMIstation

Reviewed: 12/28/04

Bill needs to retire

I like almost all of the contra games, even the Playstation One Contras. PS2’s Contra (Shattered Soldier) was awesome. Not because it stayed “true to its 2D roots,” but because it caught the wave of change but at the same time felt familiar. Neo-Contra feels as foreign as its cover suggests. This game is not contra. How dare Konami follow up a HUGE stepping stone (Shattered Soldier) with this abysmal excuse of a classic shoot ‘em up. Konami betrayed my trust, and the creators of Shattered Soldier stabbed me in the back with Neo-Contra.

Storyline: Well to be honest, I played this game for a mere 5 minutes, so I have only a vibe to go on here. The opening cinema basically spells it out for you, alien forces are back, and are in great number this time around. Who’s the world employed to save us? Grandpa Bill Rizer, who the government thawed out of a cryogenic freeze--- and a Thailandish Ponytail muscle head with a katana (Hey buddy, you should put that sword away considering the size of the bosses in Contra games) Perhaps his rubber band around his ponytail is a bit too tight.

Graphics: More color than Shattered Soldier. Which, in my opinion, was fine the way it was. Contra is supposed to have a dark atmosphere. The world is supposed to be facing extinction, yet Konami chooses to toss bright Fushia and neon Orange at us. Way to go.

Gameplay: The biggest gripe with Shattered Soldier was the absence of the Spread Gun. Neo Contra brings back the spread shot, along with some other cool weapon choices, I especially like the flame gun- reminiscent of the flame in Contra on NES. Perhaps Konami has too small of a brain to include more than 1 good idea in a game—a perfect showcase of this is that the JUMP ability is taken out of Neo Contra. That’s like limiting a car’s transmission to first gear. What a HORRIBLE idea. Not just that, but one of the intricate parts of contra is jumping from platform to platform- avoiding enemy fire and forging forward against the alien forces. I feel like I’m a rat lost in a cheese maze in Neo Contra. Somebody at Konami needs to be fired. And for the love of pete, can we please bring back the ‘footballs.’ Stop changing the game, if you want to make a strange shoot ‘em up, go ahead, but stop slapping Contra’s good name on it. It makes me ill how Konami continues to drag such a good name through the mud.

Bosses: Couldn’t tell ya. I played for 5 minutes and firmly concluded that this is the worst purchase I have ever made. I am going to EB Games a.s.a.p. to exchange this title for something else… ANYTHING else.

Sound: You should hear the background music for the opening cinema. It will make you cringe. It’s like Shakira and Britney Spears remixed some bad rock album. This game should consider itself lucky that I didn’t open my window and back-hand it into the backyard right then and there.

Challenge: Not up to contra standards. At least mission 1 I can say. You take the JUMP out, that sucks. You replace it with a DODGE attack, that was part of the ‘skill’ of playing a contra title--- pressing jump and wiggling the D-Pad to avoid the bullets and enemies. Who is this revelation geared to help?--- My grandma? All Konami had to do was build a Contra game off the same model as Shattered Soldier, add the footballs, add more weapon choices (and the ability to hold 2 guns like in Contra III for SNES), and add 3 or 4 more levels and an better ‘alien lair’ level—something that could eclipse Super C’s final level (Which Konami has yet been able to do in ANY contra). This game can only be considered a failure.

Characters: Bill has had it. Put him on the shelf please. Can we get some new blood? Some guys that look like the characters on the cover of NES’s original Contra? What’s up with the pony tail dude? Is Konami trying to be politically correct with this move? Let’s be real for a second, if the world is about to end, who is gonna fix it? AMERICA, get some muscle head red-neck marines for us to control—that’s a good start.

Decision Time: If you want to have your heart broken—PLEASE buy this game! If you are having a bad day, and think “This day couldn’t get any worse.”—go ahead and pop Neo Contra in your PS2 and prove yourself wrong. If you need a reason to hate Konami, again, this title is a MUST.

Konami—hear my roar— Classic music, Footballs, ability to jump, more levels, shattered soldier mold: YES!!!….. Shakira-Rock mix, Pre-chosen weapons, ‘dodge’, 5 levels, not shattered soldier mold: NO!!!

Rating: 1

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