The box art for the insanely boss Contra!


The gameplay in Contra.

is a famed run-and-gun side-scroller arcade and NES game first released in 1987 by Konami. The plot of the game is simple yet very weird; two armed military commandos, named Bill Tizer and Lance Bean discover the plans of the Red Falcon terrorist organization to (of course) take over the Earth. So of course, they don't send for reinforcements, and don't make a plan, but just decide to charge the bases guns blazing, looking to stop them all by themselves.

This is another one of those games that was introduced to me by the Wiiviewer with his review of it for the PlayChoice10. I'd pretty much disregarded it on nintendo8 up until this point, but then it rushed into my mind and I decided to play it to see just how hard it is.

Turns out it's OK if you practice at it, but it's still pretty darn unforgiving. You can do singleplayer or two-player action, so that helps slightly if you and another person can work together well, but I think it's a bit easier when you can focus yourself.

There are a couple of things about this game that make it somewhat more playable; for one thing, you have an infinite supply of ammo, so if things are surrounding you from all angles, you can keep blasting away no matter what, which is fantastic, as there will be so, so many opponents you'll have to pay attention to.

The second is that there are ample power-ups in the game, which is quite helpful considering the fact that there are tons of enemies, and any advantage with these odds helps a lot. For example, you can get a beam upgrade, spinning bullets, a rapid-fire machine gun, and even a spreadshot. What's more is that as far as I can tell, you get to keep these power-ups until you die or pick up a new one. I couldn't actually figure out how to get past the first stage, but I got up to the end multiple times thanks to the good old upgrades.

The worst part about this game is that you're limited to three lives, and none of the upgrades give you an extra one (because this is an arcade game, and the sessions have to be short, it's a whole big thing). I yet again wish that they had modified this for the NES, but the game is still easily playable.

You may very well get frustrated with this game after a while, but the good thing is that you have certain key advantages (like infinite ammo, thank you heavens...), so you will get used to it. Plus, this game is available on the Virtual Console for 500 Wii Points, I assume.

As such, if you like guns and Rambo, and have a Wii (if they somehow manage to combine), then you should absolutely get this game, because it's fun, challenging, and insanely epic!