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C: The Contra Adventure (PlayStation) artwork

C: The Contra Adventure (PlayStation) review

"This easily could have been an instance of jubilation of multiple satisfactions... had Konami grown a brain."

This easily could have been an instance of jubilation of multiple satisfactions... had Konami grown a brain. I mean, Legacy of War sucked, big time, so logic would dictate the company would do everything in their power to ensure the successor would be a high quality product. But, for reasons that will forever mystify the universe, Konami allowed Appaloosa Interactive to, literally, take another stab at a Contra title. Nevermind Konami's stupidity for a second, Appaloosa could have taken this opportunity to redeem themselves, breaking free from being known as dolphin lovers that can't make a decent Contra game. Instead, they created a title no one would bother playing beyond the first 30 minutes. Except me, I guess.

All they had to do was play the source material, Hard Corps, and draw inspiration from that awesome title. However, after playing Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, I've come to the conclusion this development team either never played Hard Corps, hates Hard Corps, or really, really loves Contra 3. Most likely all the above, somehow. In Legacy of War, the only thing they bothered pulling from Hard Corps was the main character, Ray Poward. Then, interestingly, they used a remixed theme of Contra 3's first stage music for the game's bookends. This clear disrespect to Hard Corps irritated the ever-loving McMuffin out of me, but after a while, i.e., two months, I let it slide. Then I revisited C, after 12 years, and realized how much of a hard-on Appaloosa has for Contra 3.

The very first level in C is a remake of Contra 3's first stage, albeit, not a very good one. You're in a city, blue and red enemies charge from both sides, fire spits out from cracks, there's lava segments, and so on, all while ANOTHER remix of "that theme" plays in the back. However, this side-scrolling stage (!) is just so repetitive. It worked in Contra 3 because all these sections were short and to the point, but in C, everything drags on, making for a numbing experience. Doesn't help that everything has an ugly, blocky look to it. Oh, and the Contra 3 fanfare doesn't stop there; two other stages use two more remixes of "that theme", one mission objective screen tells Ray to attack aggressively, and the infamous robot wall boss and its two buddies make an appearance in the last level.

Appaloosa, have you no shame?

Three paragraphs later and I haven't really discussed the meat of the game, have I? The thing about that, is, the last time I played C was back in 1999, and for 12 years, everything was a blur. Now, I figured it was because it's been so long, but when I finally returned to the first PlayStation title I ever owned (pity me!), I discovered the truth: it's such an easily forgettable Contra game. The setting takes place in the jungles of South America, and that's the biggest knock against C; 99% of the game looks the same. Mostly in a third-person angle, you travel through brown, green, and gray environments that are indistinguishable from one another. If someone were to describe the game to you, they'd probably say you were taking an aftermath tour of a mudslide. It's really that ugly.

What's worse is there's not much variety in the action. Every level has you in a fight with the same two alien soldiers repeatedly, with the occasional turret or big-eyed Disney bug making cameos. And whenever Appaloosa switches things up, they kill it with more repetition. The second to last stage, for example, is a throwback to the original Contra's base corridors. Neat, huh? It could've been had they not drag it on forever with thousands of gates to blow away... See, the biggest challenge with C is not its difficulty, because it's more playable than LoW, but with the player's ability to stay awake long enough to complete it. Even then, they can't give you that challenge fairly!

I was actually priding myself in trudging through the borefest without using any cheats... until I reached the weightless elevator stage. Again, would've been an interesting change had it not been filled with repeating enemies, but I destroyed everything, killed the easy boss, and watched Ray land on the floor. Then nothing happened. The game glitched and froze. I retried the stage, and the same thing happened. I was stuck. At that point, I lost any interest I had left in beating the game the right way and started cheesing the remaining levels with cheats.

You can't even give me the pleasure of skillfully beating your adventure, Appaloosa?

C: The Contra Adventure may be more playable than Legacy of War, but it's still the greater atrocity. Why? Because C didn't have to exist, it was the most unnecessary thing to ever happen for the Contra series. Nevermind that Appaloosa butchered another Contra game for a second, the biggest fault lies with Konami, simply due to the fact they gave this development team another chance. Konami didn't use common sense here, especially from a business angle, and we're forever stuck with this sad moment in the franchise's history, and one of the most badass characters now has been reduced to a laughing sto... oh! OH! One more painful juicy piece of info you need to know: Appaloosa gave Ray Poward a voice. Sadly, he sounds like Jack Nicholson trying to do his best John McClane impersonation.

"Check, please!"

"Who's your daddy!?"

"Tastes like chicken!"

Damn those dolphin lovers.


pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (January 23, 2011)

"Whatever." - Michael Wilson, 47th President of the United States

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JoeTheDestroyer posted January 23, 2011:

And so the trilogy draws to an end...

...Or is there a Hard Corps game I don't know about? Anyway, good review pickhut! I had always seen this game in stores, thought, "Maybe I should pick that up sometime," and then remembered how shitty Legacy of War was.

One thing:

If someone where to describe the game to you,

I think you mean "were." Small thing.

Again, good review.
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pickhut posted January 23, 2011:

Gah! How could I miss that? Thanks for the catch, and thanks also for the comments on the review.

I just hope the upcoming Hard Corps: Uprising (I dunno if you were being sarcastic) coming out next month will be good.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted January 23, 2011:

Oh, right. Forgot about Uprising.

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