Konami has recently released a new game titled Hard Corps Uprising. This is essentially a Contra game without the name. No one quite knows why Konami left the Contra name out since that would have been marketable to a wider audience. When you start the game you will hear the familiar Contra music. As you go through the game you notice the levels are heavily inspired by Contra and that you shoot power ups out of the sky in the exact same fashion. Your characters even have some of the same movements and same enemies to deal with. The graphical style of this game leans more towards anime. I have heard that the Konami code works for this game as well, however, I was not able to get it working myself.
Amongst all of the similarities that this game has with the Contra franchise there are some differences as well. You have a couple of different modes to play with between the “Arcade” mode and the “Rising” mode. In the “Arcade” mode you simply play the game with preset abilities and just worry about not getting shot. This is the mode that “hardcore” gamers will probably enjoy because it is punishing and can be ridicuously difficult. There are cheap deaths and everything that an old school gamer would remember from these types of games. In “Rising” mode you play through the game and earn points along the way. You then use your points in the store to upgrade and customize your character. You can upgrade items such as your weapons, how many health bars you have, action chip maneuvers and more. What makes Rising mode so good is that if you can’t seem to get past a level you can replay others to run up your point total until you can afford that upgrade that you were looking at. Once you are suitably powered up you can then return to that spot that was giving you trouble and, hopefully, pass it. Hard Corps Uprising has two characters with Bahamut and Krystal respectively. There is also an online mode where you can connect to Xbox Live and play with others online as well as locally. As is the case with most online games, playing with a friend definitely makes the title more fun.
The levels also offer a decent amount of variety but I won’t spoil any of it here. The storyline of the game is pretty simplistic with an oppresive government running the show and you need to get to the person in charge. Going through the story you will fight some pretty big bosses and you’ll witness some big blockbuster moments as you are battling for your own survival. There are cheap deaths in the game and some unforgiving checkpoints. If you make one mistake it might be the end of the game but that is what is appealing to a lot of gamers. Generally speaking, games were much harder back in the 8 bit and 16 bit days, an era where this type of game (i.e. Contra) really thrived. It is great to see it return so that a new generation can experience the madness. It is even better that the developers thought to give everyone a choice as to how to experience this title. Whether you want to play it in Arcade mode and test your skills or build up your character’s power in Rising mode you will find this game to be one of the hardest available on XBLA or PSN. If you were a fan of these titles back in the day then you owe it to yourself to give this game a chance. With a free demo being available to download you really don’t have any excuse for not giving this game a chance. Whether you want a blast from the past or an introduction to the genre, Hard Corps Uprising is worth a shot.
- You have the ability to replay levels to power up your character
- A fun but difficult old school side-scrolling shooter
- Some will find the game's difficulty to be too much
Summary: A Contra game without the actual name. If you enjoy those old school titles then you should enjoy this game as well.
- Format: Xbox 360/PS3
- Developer: Arc System Works
- Publisher: Konami