My Played Video Games Review: Contra Hard Corps for the Sega Mega Drive
Contra: Hard Corps, released as Contra: The Hard Corps in Japan, is a run and gun video game released by Konami of Japan for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994. It was the first game in the Contra series (released first on the Nintendo NES) that was released for a Sega platform and serves as the first entry in the Hard Corps subseries. It was known as Probotector in Europe and Australia.
I am reviewing this Japan Mega Drive version as this was the common version being played in my country during the mid-1990s. It was easier to play due to it having unlimited continues (unlike the USA version). And it also has the coveted secret cheat code for 70 lives to satisfy the wimpy players.
Set in 2641 A.D., 5 years after the "Alien Wars" that happened in the Contra Nintendo NES series. Alien cells that were kept at a military research facility are stolen in a terrorist attack. The Contra Hard Corps, comprised of Ray, Sheena, Fang, and Browny, are assigned to the investigation. They discover that retired Colonel Bahamut has turned traitor and that he has conspired with Dr. Geo Mandrake to create a biological weapon using the stolen alien cells as a form of blackmail to overthrow the government. Through their efforts, the Hard Corps sets out to restore the peace.
The Graphics and Sound
The graphics are awesome. This game looks damn good considering it was made in the early 1990s. There is no breakup or slow down, and the huge bosses animate smoothly. There are lots of huge explosions and even some cool special effects like the boss fight against the giant robot who chases you down the highway. Enemy designs are excellent and sometimes crazy. The characters are kind of small so the bosses look more scary. This game has got some of the best graphics on the system.
This game has some very good, fast music. It is one of the best action game soundtracks on the console. There is hardly a bad tune in the bunch, it is all good. A bit low-quality though. The sound effects are good too, with lots of explosions and even a few voices. The voices are grainy, but get the job done.
This is the classic formula Contra where you run and jump and shoot enemies to destroy. The game allows you to have different sets of weapons (4 total and bombs) based on which character you prefer to play as.
A new great feature is a slide move which performed just like a Mega Man slide. This move is not only useful for evading attacks but makes your character invincible while doing it and deals damage to the enemy if connected. Master the slide and you have mastered the game. And finally, the final new feature was the opportunity to make story decisions that affect your path through the game and decide which ending you will see. There are six endings in all which makes for good replay value.
The controls are great with a 6 button controller. There's a button to jump, fire, and switch weapons. The X, Y, and Z buttons are used to fix your firing position making it useful in boss battles.
Contra Hard Corps is a worthy title in the run and gun shooter genre. The challenge may be for experienced Contra players, but patience will get you through it eventually even if you have never played any of the Contra series before. It is among the greatest of its kind and deserves to be in your Sega games collection.
Play this Japanese version or the harder USA version on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console or on a damn good emulator.
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