Contra III: The Alien Wars

I think I played the original Contra game so much because the developers were kind enough to include a magic code that gave me enough lives to be able to finish the game without too much trouble. But that also had the side effect that I got reasonably good at the thing. A sequel did come out a bit later that I didn’t actually spend much time with at all, for some reason, but then a sequel to that came out for the then newfangled Super NES, and I decided to give it a shot.

I don’t really know how Contra III fits in with the whole Contra timeline, I thought I remembered blowing up the queen alien’s heart at the end of the original game, several dozen times, in fact. But, maybe the events in Super C, the one I didn’t actually bother with, actually explain things… but I wouldn’t count on that.

But, in this game the aliens are alive, well, and are decimating the planet. So you have to take control of your shirtless musclebound hero-type guys and walk headlong into the gaping maw of the alien army invasion. Of course your Enmuscled Toughguy(tm) perishes if he’s so much as grazed by pretty much anything, so you have to use your fantastically honed reflexes to guide him unerringly toward the end of the stage. The only tools at your disposal, other than acrobatics, are the various forms of heavy artillery that just kind of float into view every once in a while. Which is actually pretty much the same as the first game, but this time you can hold two of the SuperGuns at the same time, and can switch back and forth between them as the situation dictates, which is actually pretty awesome.

I didn’t actually find this game too much harder than the old NES game that I cut my Contra teeth on, but I had a whole lot more trouble with it, and I’m pretty sure that it’s because there was no way to get a ludicrous amount of lives to kind of nullify the challenge a bit. The most you can start with is seven. Combine that with a limited amount of continues and the game suddenly gets a little bit tougher.

On my rental, though, I did manage to plow through the game on Easy mode, only to be greeted with an invitation to try a tougher difficulty level. Kind of a letdown, but OK. So I tried my hand at the next tougher difficulty and immediately got my head handed to me. And then, before I really got started on ‘Normal’, my time with the game was up. Though I understand now that I would have had to have bested the game on ‘Hard’ to fight the real end boss and see the actual real ending, so I’m not too broken up about it.

One Response to “Contra III: The Alien Wars”

  1. The AMerican Mutt says:

    You should come over and try the PS2 version with me. It’s balls hard, but funs as hell.

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