They are vague, but they are still there. Fond memories from when I was nine or ten years old, blowing shit up. Working together with a friend, yet, at the same time, competing for supremacy… and for the spread gun. I still remember ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A’ and the rejoicing when it was finally completed. Yes, if you had an NES in your youth, or knew someone that did, chances are you’ve had at least one encounter with Contra.
If you find yourself being nostalgic about those memories, and if you find yourself saying: “they don’t make games like they used to” — then you’ll think Contra: Shattered Soldier is absolutely brilliant. If, on the other hand, you are one of those new school gamers, then no saves, 3 continues, 3 lives (by default, though that is the requirement to actually “beat” it), and one touch deaths are going to frustrate the hell out of you. I just can’t see any new school gamers appreciating Contra for what it truly is — a game of pattern recognition dressed up as a shooter. Not that it’s a bad thing.
Seems as though Blast Radius has relaunched the Nintendo.ca site. Pretty nice. It was agreed a while ago, at work, that, in general, sites for video game companies really suck and that Nintendo is the only one doing something interesting. Compare the three consoles: XBox, PS, GC. Especially check out the GC Europe site. There is no comparison.