In the game Contra you play either a man or a woman soldier and basically you have to just work your way from level to level just blasting away everything in your path. At the start of your game play you have the option of choosing from one of four levels. When all of these four levels are complete then you have the chance to go on to further levels but be warned it is not as easy as it sounds. Each of the levels are hard to complete in one player mode so it's a good thing that you can select between levels if you get stuck on one or board of one because otherwise it could send you a bit funny. Every character you come across is an enemy so it's just a matter of working your way through the levels destroying everything. Be careful though as you are up against many kamikaze enemies. Unlike many shoot-em-ups the game makers have added many bosses into the game and rather than finding yourself blasting away smaller opponents all of the time you will find that you are battling boss after boss after boss. Many of the bosses you come across have been well thought up and are accompanied by some nice stylish graphics. The player you have to work your way through the game with has a selection of three weapons to help you destroy your enemies. You have a grenade launcher, rapid-fire machine gun and a flamethrower and a nice touch is that each of these weapons has two options of how you fire them. You will find that different weapons are better for attacking different opponents and all the weapons that you have will be very useful through out the game. The games game play is very fast so you will have to make sure that you are on the ball when you play this game. If you are not careful you will find your self loosing lives at a rapid rate and before you know it you will have to start the level again. As you play Contra you will find that there are grenades, bullets and all kinds of harmful objects like gasses coming towards you all of the time. You really have to watch all angles of the screen because enemies' bullets will often float onto the screen from above, below and behind you and just one hit makes you loose a life. Many of the bosses on the levels are very hard to defeat and you will find your self having to play one level again and again. When playing the game I found that as well as needing skill to dodge bullets and jump obstacles you also need a good memory because when you die on a level you are always sent along way back, to nearer the beginning of the level, and as you start again you will find that all of the enemies appear in exactly the same place. Once you have found a successful way and weapon choice for defeating an opponent all you have to do is remember this and you will find it a lot easier on your next go. Rather than being shocked when a boss or enemy appears you will just find that if you have a good memory you will know what is coming for you.
When you play the game Contra in one player mode the game is fast and furious, but where this game stands out from the rest is in it's two player mode. Contras two player mode puts the game into a whole new perspective on the game. In two player mode both players a man and a woman both appear on the screen at the same time and its all the same levels and bosses, you play just get to blast away the enemies with the help of a friend. I found that the two player mode was much more interesting than the one player mode, it was as if the game was designed for two players rather than just one. In two player mode each player starts off with eight lives and if you loose all of your lives you can use the other players lives to help out, that's if they have enough to spare you.
For a while it was really nice to see this style shoot-em-up again there have not really been many releases out like this on the Play Station 2 and so it was nice to play and old skool style game again. The game is really easy to for any game player to get into and it is very addictive as well. You will find that if you are killed by a boss you just want to go back again and again to defeat them, every time you have another go you will find yourself getting a bit further and further into completing the level. The games controls are very easy to master and you are given a nice array of weapons for the job in hand. The game can get slightly frustrating in places though and it can get annoying if you have to do a level over and over again. If it's a two player your after I would definitely recommend this game, its nice to see this style game again but it would have benefited from some new ideas.
7 out of 10