Contra Hard Corps

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Shin Force ~ Genesis ~
Contra: Hard Corps :: Probotector
Geoffrey Duke
Reviewed
11.20.2015
Publisher
Konami
Developer
Konami
Format
16 Megabit
Origin
Import / Domestic
Available
Sep. 15, 1994
 ¥9,000
 (Japan)
Aug. 8, 1994
 $54.95
 (USA)
Oct. 14, 1994
 £49.99 
 (EUR)
Exclusive
Yes
Difficulty
Hard
Dimensions
2D
View
Side
Genre
Action/
Shooter
Player(s)
1-2
Options
6 Button
Requires
n/a
Importable
n/a
Intro
     > Contra: Hard Corps is a side scrolling shooting game created by Konami. This game is a part of the longrunning Contra series and is arguably the best 16 bit Contra game. Contra: Hard Corps is set after Contra III: The Alien Wars on the SNES which was a really great game. Back in the 90s I associated the Contra series with Nintendo consoles. However, Contra: Hard Corps was made exclusively for the Genesis, no doubt due to the huge market Sega had in the U.S. 

     > This is basically a run and gun game with huge robotic alien bosses, and weapons' fire and explosions everywhere. I have to say... this is awesome. If you love side scrolling shooters then you need to add this to your list of games to play. As usual, you can select different characters and you can select different firepower. You can shoot while moving or remain in a fixed position while shooting. You can also jump and slide to avoid enemy attacks. The game has very fluid controls which makes this a gamer's dream come true.

     > This game isn't easy. It punishes mistakes with a quick death, so you need fast reflexes. Non-stop action awaits. There's always a flood of enemies washing over you. I have no complaints. The difficulty is all part of the fun. Hardcore gamers will be in their element here.

     > Don't waste your time with the European version of Contra: Hard Corps. It was renamed Probotector and some content was cut for some inexplicable reason (some names and bosses were changed). The game allows the player to choose different paths that have different endings, and one ending was cut. The difficulty was decreased in the Japanese version too (you'd think it would be the opposite way around).

Graphics
     > Contra III: The Alien Wars is more colorful, and it was two years older than this. I'm just being fair here (shocking I know). Having said that, Contra: Hard Corps pushes the Genesis to its limits. The bosses are huge and animate incredibly well for the platform. There is weapons' fire and explosions everywhere. All things considered, the graphics are great for the platform. Gunstar Heroes and Shinobi 3 are more colorful, but given the sheer amount of action on screen at the same time the lack of color is forgivable. Contra has smaller sprites so it's doing more with less color.
Control
     > Most of the game is side-scrolling run and gun mayhem. Gameplay is responsive, fast and fluid. Need I say more?
Sound
     > The game has fast and prolonged electronic beats that reflect the environment. The game falls short in the music department, IMO. In Contra III: The Alien Wars the music was much more dramatic and clearer. The music sounds diluted and weak and a bit rough, but it's fast paced (like the game itself). The sound effects are fitting and not bad (they are in the same vein as the music).
Fun
     > This is arguably the best 16 bit Contra game. There are tons of huge and imaginative bosses. So many that it's easy to lose count. The game has a relentless pace and the music is reflective. Obviously it's not in the same league as Metal Slug or Princess Crown graphically, so it hasn't aged well. Anyway, if you can put yourself in the time period, this is great stuff.
Bottom Line
     > This is side scrolling, shooting bliss... As long as you can stand the punishing difficulty. Even if you are not a huge fan of shooters, make an exception for Contra: Hard Corps.
Ratings
Overall: 9.1 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 8.1 | Fun: 9.6
~ Geoffrey Duke ~

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