DS: Contra 4 Review

Video game industry is one of the fastest evolving industries of our time. Having said that, it is also needless to say that some things never change. I remember playing the original Contra on a coin-up. It was a feverishly addictive experience. More Contra titles came and went across various gaming systems, but the core gameplayremained. Two highly armed mercenaries running across the screen from left to right, single-handedlyovercoming thousands of enemies to once again protect the earth from evil.

Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS/DSi systems feels genuinely vintage from the moment you open the game box. The first lines you will read in the game say "An experience so classic, it is almost coin-up". In fact, you´ll find it hard to resist searching your DS for a coin slot. The game production values are fantastic. It does not try to be modern. It hasn´t lost its identity over the years like so many other once strong franchises. No. It just takes everything we knew to a completely new level of intensity. The action is fast-paced, the game is unforgiving and the action-packed gameplay is extremely challenging. You will die a lot. Truth be told, you´ll probably die on your first or second enemy, but with each new try, you will progress a little further into the game. Simple as it is - one Rambo-like hero against masses of enemy soldiers - the game is extremely rewarding to play. Whether you´re gunning your way through the jungle, secret research facilities a razed city or an alien hive, you´ll never lose the sense of immediacy and an overwhelming thrill.
The game sports arcade-like 2D visuals with a lot of special effects going on in the background. The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic, one of the best we have heard on the DS, if not one of the best we have heard, fullstop.
The game has a wireless multiplayer (of course it does. It is Contra, after all!) and a challenge mode that will keep you quite busy once you finish the main game mode. Which won´t happen for a while, at least not on the normal or hard difficulty.
There is also an easter egg in form of the original Contra. Once unlocked it is fully playable.

Contra 4 is a must have title for the DS. It is so good that you should buy the DS just to play this game.