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Born for Wii: Contra (page 2)

Wesley Fenlon

Contra follows the time-honored traditions of over-the-top 'roidfests, bypassing any semblance of a narrative in exchange for shooting everything that moves. And there's a lot that moves. Each stage is merely an excuse for elaborate setpieces, massive bosses and endless streams of baddies to be mowed down.

Chances are, if you're still reading this you know exactly how Contra plays. Contra 4 left much of Contra III's gameplay system intact, which is absolutely a good thing: the simple, rock-solid design needed little tweaking more than a decade later. Two weapons can be held simultaneously and switched between on the fly. Take a hit and you're toast. Contra 4 ditches its predecessor's smart bombs but added the ability to power up your weapons.

So you know the deal: it's a tried-and-true formula that demands precision and dexterity. What does the Wii have to offer to lure Konami into the creation of Contra 5?

When bullets blot out the sun and a single hit can ruin that 1-Life Hard Mode run you've been training for, it's important to be able to see everything. This is Contra 4's biggest problem: though the bullets aren't as tiny as they could be, they can still be hard to spot. It's especially problematic when they're coming from the system's top screen. Some people might welcome the additional challenge, but I think Contra 5 would be better served by a good old television than a tiny LCD.

What Contra 4 did nail, however, were the graphics. They evoke the look of classic Contra while simultaneously delivering an amazing amount of detail in the crisp, lush backgrounds. The same craftsmanship and care would result in some really jaw-dropping sprites and fantastic environments on the Wii. Imagine 2D sprites that look as good as Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, but Contra. Mouth watering yet?

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