Super C (NES) review
"Winged soldiers come out of holes in the wall and glide to their level while mounted cannons provide a lethal distraction. And being distracted WILL lead to being dead on this level, as missing a jump and falling off the screen is as fatal as taking a round in the throat. As Scorpion and Mad Dog get closer to the top, an elevator catches up to them, forcing them to advance past these (and more) foes at a steady pace. "
Silhouetted against a fiery sky, a lone helicopter drops a pair of John Rambo’s most devoted disciples onto an enemy base. With machine guns, flamethrowers and other lethal weapons at their disposal, it is their mission to terminate all opposition with extreme prejudice. Common foot soldiers race into the fray, only to be immediately cut down in a hail of bullets. A helicopter descends into the battlefield, but is blasted into scrap metal in short order. Just another day on the job for Scorpion and Mad Dog.
But this is no ordinary mission, as anyone who plays Super C will soon find out. Scorpion and Mad Dog are against far more than an assortment of hapless grunts and tin birds, as an otherworldly foe has returned to turn the world into its own personal hell. Parasitic alien Red Falcon returns after suffering a humiliating loss to the humans in Contra, forcing the two burly alien-hunters to overcome its legions of monstrous allies.
Konami’s 1990 NES follow-up to Contra immediately establishes the perfect mood as Scorpion and/or Mad Dog descend from a gorgeously-drawn (by eight-bit standards) helicopter and immediately are thrust into the first stage. For the next few minutes, the player will be shooting soldiers appearing onscreen both in front and behind their hero, while also contending with rooftop snipers and other foes. For this and the next couple of stages, the opposition primarily consists of humans and their assorted vehicles and weaponry, but around the midway point, things start to change.
Suddenly, the brave heroes find themselves against a very different sort of challenge, as they inch closer to the repulsive Jagger Froid and demonic Red Falcon. Bug-like creatures skitter out of cul-de-sacs attempting to run them down, while pulsating blobs spew globules of an unknown, but lethal, material. Suddenly, the prospect of “merely” being pinned down by gunmen doesn’t seem so unappealing.
The action is fast, frenetic and addicting in Super C. The heroes have a number of excellent weapons ranging from the “kill anything anywhere” gunfire of the spread gun to the intensely concentrated bullet spray of the machine gun to the utter destructive fury of the flamethrower. Still, all that might not be close to enough. While none of the stages are particularly lengthy, they all have their share of tricky spots likely to remove Scorpion or Mad Dog from this world at least once. Just look at the fourth stage to get a glimpse of the insanity these two will face!
After a short corridor introduces the heroes to this green-tinted fortress, they soon find themselves forced to scale a massive shaft. This is where their fun begins. Winged soldiers come out of holes in the wall and glide to their level while mounted cannons provide a lethal distraction. And being distracted WILL lead to being dead on this level, as missing a jump and falling off the screen is as fatal as taking a round in the throat. As Scorpion and Mad Dog get closer to the top, an elevator catches up to them, forcing them to advance past these (and more) foes at a steady pace. But, just when it seems an impossible mission to endure the enemy onslaught any longer....it stops. Only to be replaced by the fortress’ guardian -- a gigantic gizmo capable of filling half the screen with lasers. No rest for the wicked, boys! Only the good die young!
And most of the game is like that, with scarcely a dull moment to interrupt the non-stop carnage. Konami even scrapped the less-than-enthralling “3-D” levels for a pair of overhead stages. The first of these provides most of those rare instances of tedium, as I found it child’s play to outmaneuver the handful of soldiers and tanks that futilely attempted to impede my progress. The second overhead stage was a different story, though. Taking place in the heart of an alien’s den, Scorpion and Mad Dog had to make a mad dash past monstrous insects and grotesque mouth-like organisms that would appear on the ground with next-to-no warning. An absolutely brutal challenge that caused me to expend far more lives than I’d prefer to admit, this level stood out as one of Super C’s highlights.
One of many highlights, as this proved to be one of those games where Konami seemed to do little wrong. As I said, the second level was pretty dull compared to the rest and I also thought the last couple of bosses were WAY too easy, but for the most part, Super C stands out as a quite impressive eight-bit action title. It grabbed my attention right from the beginning and the combination of great level design and aggressive, lethal enemies easily proved more than enough to keep my eyes glued to the screen until Red Falcon’s comeback tour had come to an abrupt halt.
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (July 12, 2006)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
If you enjoyed this Super C review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!