Contra ReBirth Review

An instant action classic.

By juno2023. Posted 06/11/2010 13:00 1 Comment     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
A nostalgic new entry for a classic franchise
Poison Mushroom for...
Only five levels of run and gun goodness

Upon its release, the Wii Shop channel opened a plethora of doors as to what gamers could experience. On one hand, there’s an entire backlog of classic titles that are loved and adored by millions the world over, made accessible by way of Virtual Console; on the other hand, new titles that normally would not be given the green light now have a chance with the lower cost of entry to the market via WiiWare. However, developers also saw an opportunity to update classics, such as Mega Man and Blaster Master, by creating a new title that retains the double-digit-bit glory that makes their predecessors so endearing today. Konami, with its recent ReBirth series, has done just that, and Contra ReBirth follows suit of a classic being given a new entry while retaining the same simplistic features; not only does it retain what made the original titles so great, but it’s also a solid entry in its own right.

For those who have played any Contra title before– more than likely any reader of this review– a comment on Contra ReBirth‘s gameplay is unnecessary, as all of the same mechanics have been maintained. The Wii Remote is held horizontally, with the D-pad controlling the movement of the hero, and the 1 and 2 buttons handle jumping and firing. Not only that, but the graphics have the appearance of a Super NES title; while this may be a turn-off for some, by developing the title for Wii, characters can have more fluid animations, explosions can be even bigger, and the game can be all the more outlandish. Put quite simply, it’s a wonderful thing.

Contra ReBirth Screen

The audio of the game is serviceable, with the same MIDI soundtracks and sound effects that have withstood the test of time. That being said, including the occasional voice-acted grunt of “let’s party” or some other cliched ’80s phrase is campy and fits perfectly with the series. With respect to a story– well, what story? This is Contra we’re talking about, not The Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy. While a story is there, it certainly was not high on the list as to what the programmers– or gamers, for that matter– felt was important for the title.

With the same mechanics and graphics comes the same insane difficulty as well. At any given time, with Wii’s extra horsepower, there are tons of enemies on-screen, all firing lasers or jumping around in unique patterns, or doing something that could possibly be fun to watch, if only it weren’t so deadly. One-hit kills? Check. Insane jumps? Check. Barrage of bullets? Check. This is Contra, for better or for worse, and it’s easy to notice just how much care developer M2 took to retain the same old school feel for the title. The title also offers two player co-op for double the damage.

Contra ReBirth Screen

Alongside the immense difficulty as a potential drawback is the title’s length, spanning only five levels. For some, the varying modes of difficulty as well as unlockable characters may provide some replay value; for others, the great gameplay will need to suffice.

All in all, Contra ReBirth is a great game that is a must-have for any action gamer and any Contra fan. Some extra levels would have been nice, but when everything else about the title is in its place, this is a complaint that is to be brushed aside for anyone craving a classic title with something new to offer.

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