Super C – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date: February 2, 1990
Nerd Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
Since my brother-in-law came into town this week for the holidays, we decided to revisit some old favorites. Since we already knocked out Contra, we had to go ahead and knock out Super C as well before moving onto Contra III: The Alien Wars. This game brings back all kinds of great childhood memories and a level of frustration that can only be known to NES and earlier gamers. The classic guerrilla style jungle shooter, Contra, has been continued in this sequel, first in the arcade again, and shortly after, on the home console.
Super Contra (Shortened to Super C in NA release) was released in Europe and Australia as Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces. The NES version of the game contains three new stages that the arcade did not have, these are vertical scrolling, side view stages where the protagonist(s) are jumping from landing to landing, and falling into the vertically moving screen results in instant death, so be a team player if two player co-op is the way you roll. The NES also has a new final Boss.
With only 8 stages, this game has the ability to be over a little quicker (again this will only seem quick in any sense of the word if using Game Genie codes for infinite lives) than the original title. Although this one is not quite as difficult as the first, it is still extremely hard, that’s why there’s a button code for 30 additional lives (the famous Konami code), they knew we’d need it. As always with games that are released for the arcade first, 3 lives and one shot you’re dead, means game overs are just a way of life. If dying constantly and starting over frustrates you, then I would suggest you go buy a PS4 and let the big dogs take care of the real games (PS I’m not one of the “Big Dogs”, I had to use codes to beat this game). These were games of an age where the word “Challenge” actually meant something.
Gameplay: Bill (Mad Dog) Rizer and Lance (Scorpion) Bean are at it again, saving the world from aliens, Vietnam style. The weapon favorites (and not so favorites) are back, like: The Shotgun (Spreader), this gun continues to be my top favorite, even if I only have it for a few short seconds before I die and lose my upgrade; The Laser Gun, still my least favorite, I don’t know why you want this…it sucks; The Fire Gun, the weird cork screw of fire has been replaced with a kind of Mega Man blaster, that can be charged to have quite a devestating blast on the weaker enemies; and of course the beloved Machine Gun, I really can’t decide which gun is my favorite here, I really like the ability to just hold down the “fire” button.
Again we are fighting tons of soldiers (apparently aliens in soldier skin), aliens and robots, a great mix for lots of endless action. Super C replaces the “over the shoulder/ 3-D” stages with over world (top view) stages, although most are typical side view with inclines and some minor platforming (especially in the vertically scrolling stages). Like before, jumping and shooting is essentially the entire game, with a big dose of dodging. The aliens are a little more original in this sequel, they don’t look like something out of a James Cameron flick at least. In fact the final boss of stage 8 is mildly disturbing, some kind of fossilized robot spider with a woman’s face, a little creepy.
Story: The story doesn’t really differ from the first… there isn’t one. Lance and Bill are part of an elite group of guerrilla soldiers code named “Contra” that are dispatched again to eliminate the alien threat, but what do you really expect from an arcade game? This game apparently takes place one year after the events in the previous Contra. And the Aliens have returned to wipe out human existence as we know it, but Mad Dog and Scorpion will be saving the day, once again, in violent, guerrilla tactics and merciless destruction.
Controls: When I say the controls are simple, I mean it. Obviously the controller only has two action buttons, so how hard could it be to figure out what they do? If you have never played a run and gun before, it won’t take you long to feel the sense of urgency this game bestows on the user. No, you can’t just sit in one spot and re-evaluate your life, the enemies with never stop coming, you must move, quickly if you want to have any chance of surviving. This is why, when playing two player co-op, it is essential for both players to be constantly moving forward together, if one is lagging behind, he can get his partner killed, and we really don’t have lives to spare around here.
Graphics/Sound: Improvements have been made since the first game, It’s not quite SNES but it’s close, and I love the color schemes and the annoyingly slow bullets look allot smoother. Let’s not forget the music…all I can say is crank that up! Electronic dance music can only mean one thing…It’s time to kill us some aliens!
Replayability: Honestly I think most of my favorite NES titles have endless replayability, they were just great games. It was a time when games were made for the gamers who wanted a challenge, games like Battletoads, Donkey Kong and the original Contra were just so stinkin’ hard, but I could just get a little farther each time, that they kept me coming back for more.
Overall, if you loved the original, then you will love this one. If you have never even heard of the series, then your in for a real treat. I think anyone who calls him/herself a gamer, should be required to play this game (or it’s predecessor) at least once, but once you pop you just can’t stop.
**WARNING** DO NOT TAKE YOUR DEATH OR GAME OVER FRUSTRATIONS OUT ON YOUR CONTROLLER OR CONSOLE, THIS DOES NOT END WELL.
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