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Old 04-23-2012, 11:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pirated Games Part 8: Super Contra II (NES / Famicom)

The Eric Corp Gamer's Retro Uprising Exclusive Review 34
Pirated Games Part 8: Super Contra II (NES / Famicom)

First, Mario, then Sonic, then Mortal Kombat, then Street Fighter II, and now they had touch Contra, one of the most popular game series made by Konami.

Unfortunately like with any other franchises that are hugely successful, pirates make so many "original" versions and hacks of the Contra games, mainly the ones on NES for the sole purpose to make money. There are the 3 things that happened:
1. A hack of the original games on NES that does more than graphics
2. A simple graphical hack that just changes some of the graphics
3. A game with an attempt at the Contra gameplay or a port of a later game with an original engine

Today's pirated game to review is Super Contra II, which is a perfect example of choice 1 above.

What game is this basically? A pirated hack of the pirated hack of Contra on NES
Changes from the original? Title screen, level layouts, cheats to keep special weapon after dying, invincibility lasts until end of level or fall off and die, ending (:P)

REVIEW

Graphics:
C-
Well, since this is a hack of Contra on NES, the graphics remain the same from the actual game. The sprites of the protagonists, enemies, and bosses are decently animated, but are quite detailed, crisp, and colorful for the early days on the NES. The backgrounds are more mixed in terms of looks: the early levels are okay and nothing special, but they do improve in the later ones in detail and appeal. If I were to grade the graphics of the original Contra, I would have grade it at least a "B-" or a "B". However, this pirate doesn't do this justice by putting all this random clutter on the screen, which gives the impression that the game is messing up and showing garbled text and graphics all over. At least the impressive quality that Konami left behind remains here sorta, but here it is marred with the effort of pirates, or lack thereof.



Gameplay: F
The gameplay is the same as the original, where you take control of (a/two) military commander(s), Bill and Lance through eight levels (six side-scrolling levels, and two 3d-style levels) to destroy the alien entity "Red Falcon." If I were to be playing the official game, I would be happy and pleased with the fun factor of the gameplay with great level layouts, decent variety of special weapons and items, and actual challenge that is by design that slowly increases as the game progresses, which is all complimented with intuitive controls. This would grant Contra an immediate "A". For this hack, the level layouts have changed for the absolute worst. Instead of thinking the level design thoroughly and taking the gameplay elements into consideration like an actual professional level designer, all they did was just put whatever they want into the game with no reasoning and expect the player to just accept that. Imagine you are painting a house, you would usually use a paintbrush to make clean strokes to make sure your house looks visually nice and presentable. Then, someone comes out of nowhere, grabs your paint can of a different color and throws all the paint straight to the house, leaving it a colored mess. That's this game. It doesn't help that you'll be expecting deaths that are cheap more often than you would normally due to bad design and glitches where you fall through things like the water in the first level. After a few minutes of playing, you find that it is not worth it and the fact there is no satisfaction of beating it, as the game is just simply cheap for all the wrong reasons, considering all the ridiculous layouts to boot. However, the game is actually not as hard as the original Contra, once you play this, due to the advantages like 5 lives instead of 3, and that invincibilty lasts until you fall off and die or until the end of level. Why did they make these dumb choices like this? Did the developers think we needed help like we can never beat a difficult game? Come on! Only recommended to people who think that the difficulty of Contra is too much.


Controls: A
Since this is a hack of Contra, the control scheme is the same as the aforementioned game, which is great. The walking, jumping, and the 8-way shooting are simple to understand and work well with the action of the game. The jumping may throw off some people, as your characters still moves in the air in the direction you pressed on your D-Pad, even though you are not holding it, unlike most games, where you need to hold left or right to move while jumping. But chances are, you'll be holding the D-Pad the whole time while you're doing this, so this is barely an issue. The controls remain the way they should: simplistic and easy to get into.

Sound: A
Like with the controls, it remain the same for the better. I believe the soundtrack for Contra needs no introduction, as it still remain one of the most memorable and catchy songs on the NES that would really pump you up to the extreme as you are progressing through the game that will prevent you from stop playing this. Solid.

Enjoy the masterpiece that is Contra's soundtrack:


Replay Value: F
Due to the awful design choices the pirates decide to do with the graphics and gameplay, there is no reason to play this, unless you like to see the hilarious (in a bad way) ending at the end. Not worth 60 minutes of your time or so.


Overall: D-
Super Contra II is a huge insult to the original Contra in so many ways that it's depressing: awful level layouts with ridiculous cheap deaths. But the difficulty isn't as hard as that of Contra, which ponders the point of playing an easier version of the game? While it isn't like all-out bad like some I've reviewed before, it suffers from being pointless and boring, which takes away from the enjoyable experience of the game. It's sorta playable, but after a few minutes, you will ponder about why in the world are you playing this when you can play a more worthwhile game instead? You know, like the real Contra instead!


If you don't feel like finding where the ending is in the video, I copied the ending from word to word, typos everything:
"YOU'RE BRAVE SOLDIERS AND FEARLESS HEROES. YOU HAVE CROSSED THE ILANDS. GONE THROUGH THE TUNNELS. SPANNED THE HIGH MOUNTAINS AND LOFTY HILLS.PASSED THE SNOW FIELDSAND FIRE DRAGONS. BROKEN THROUGH THE OBSTACLES. DESTROYED ALL OF THE FIRMBLOCKHOUSES AND ACCOMPLISHED THE TASK SUCCESSFULLY AT LAST. HOWEVER. THE SOUND OF THE BEATING WAR DRUM AND BLOWING IN FRONT IS CALLING YON. THE BRAVE SOLDIERS. TO GO TO THE BATTLEFIELD. LET'S CONCIEVE TOGETHER A NEW BATTLE. (Great ending, right?)

DISIGNERS (:P)

F. D.
U. A.
Z. Y.
A. O.
N. U.

ALL RIGHTS SERVED (Served with what? Some food?)

PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS. THANK FOR YOUR
COOPERATION. (What is this a YouTube video? What's the point of this?)

DISIGNERS

F. D.
U. A.
Z. Y.
A. O.
N. U. (Why did they repeat this twice? Is it necessary?)"

2012 Eric Corp Incorporated

Last edited by ECInc2XXX; 04-23-2012 at 11:31 PM..
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