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Dais Oct 12, 2007

Wait, so they thought to put in a probotector reference, but no sound test? what the shit?

Stephen Oct 12, 2007

Dais wrote:

Wait, so they thought to put in a probotector reference, but no sound test? what the shit?

Are you sure that is not a "standard" rather than a bonus feature?

Dais Oct 12, 2007

If sound tests were considered a standard, I would be a much happier man than I am now.

XLord007 Oct 12, 2007

Angela wrote:

Unlockable Games – The NES versions of the classic Contra and Super C are now unlockable.

Sweet.  Of course, considering how hard Contra IV is probably going to be, I probably won't be able to unlock them, but sweet nonetheless.

Ashley Winchester Oct 12, 2007 (edited Oct 12, 2007)

XLord007 wrote:
Angela wrote:

Unlockable Games – The NES versions of the classic Contra and Super C are now unlockable.

Sweet.  Of course, considering how hard Contra IV is probably going to be, I probably won't be able to unlock them...

Haha, spoken like someone who's had a lot of "fun" playing Contra.

Angela Oct 19, 2007 (edited Oct 20, 2007)

Ashley Winchester wrote:
XLord007 wrote:
Angela wrote:

Unlockable Games – The NES versions of the classic Contra and Super C are now unlockable.

Sweet.  Of course, considering how hard Contra IV is probably going to be, I probably won't be able to unlock them...

Haha, spoken like someone who's had a lot of "fun" playing Contra.

Looks like he's gonna have an absolute ball with this one.

Chris's E For All impressions.  The gist of it: the game is hard

http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/10/han … .html#more

IGN's impressions are up as well, along with videos showcasing the entirety of level 1.  Virt's music score is sounding pretty great, and your character's scream of death is just too manly.  LET'S PARTY!! 

http://ds.ign.com/articles/828/828528p1.html

From the videos, it looks like lock-on angle shooting isn't evident..... yikes, true old-school!

EDIT: ^Hm, perhaps not.  I wasn't aware of this control scheme shot from Comic Con, which clearly shows that the R button is designated to "stationary stance."  Guess the player in the video simply didn't choose to use it?

XLord007 Oct 21, 2007

Angela wrote:

Looks like he's gonna have an absolute ball with this one.

Yeah, sounds that way.  I really don't see the value in making the game so difficult.  I bought Contra: Hard Corps for around $10 when they reprinted it years after the death of the Genesis and I think I've beaten the first stage about once since I've owned it.  Of all the Contra games, I think Operation C has the most approrpiate difficulty level.  It's not easy, but doable with practice.  I also like Neo Contra a lot.  It's pretty easy just to get through it, but you have to do everything perfectly to see every level and get the true ending.

Angela Oct 21, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

Yeah, sounds that way.  I really don't see the value in making the game so difficult.  I bought Contra: Hard Corps for around $10 when they reprinted it years after the death of the Genesis and I think I've beaten the first stage about once since I've owned it.

Well, Hard Corps was the extreme.... I don't think they're aiming to make it THAT difficult.  Judging from the videos, the challenge looks to be somewhere in between the original Contra and the Normal mode of Contra III, which is just perfect to me.   Watching the videos two or three times, I reckon I could scrape by pretty easily myself - the level design doesn't look like it sports cheap shots; you just need to give it your all as far as concentration and reflexes go.

Out of curiosity, how well did you fare with the original Contra, Super C and Contra III?

GoldfishX Oct 21, 2007 (edited Oct 21, 2007)

Angela wrote:

Out of curiosity, how well did you fare with the original Contra, Super C and Contra III?

I find Contra 1 to be very easy. Even when I was playing through it with the 30 life codes for support, I realized I was gaining more lives than I was losing and I just input the code when I feel impulsive at the start. Probably the equivalent of Megaman 2...Not hard, but just a joy to take 20-30 minutes to play through. Although that can be attributed to heavy memorization at a young age.

I can finish Super C on a good run, but it depends on blind luck at times (such as dodging those bubbles on the forth level and such and keeping my fire shot). I think it's probably the most well-made Contra game I've played.

Contra III...HA! I'm happy to get to the 3rd level's boss. But it's a rush while I'm still alive in it. I'll finish this bastard one of these days.

And the odd mention...I'm finding out now I don't really like Shattered Soldier all that much. Yes, it's difficult, but I just don't have that much fun sitting down to play it. Maybe it's the level designs or the controls (which feel kind of loose compared to the tightness in the NES games) or the weapon system, but it feels very lackluster to me. At least, unlike Contra III, my life will feel complete even if I never finish (or play) it again.

Need to try Hard Corps and Operation though. And I am most certainly looking forward to Contra IV.

Sami Oct 22, 2007

I'm pretty hyped about CONTRA FOUR, but I'm still apprehensive about the gameplay. Will it be as good as Shattered Soldier and Hard Corps? Only way to know will be to play it, and I do expect it to be great. The awesome bonus content is really good incentive, too. Probotector and other bonus characters possibly including Lucia, Contra, Super C, interview with Nakazato? Let's attack aggressively!

XLord007 Oct 22, 2007

Angela wrote:

Out of curiosity, how well did you fare with the original Contra, Super C and Contra III?

I never played much of the original Contra, but what little I did play I never got very far, even with the 30-life code.  In Super C, I always played 2-player with the 10-life code and I'm pretty sure we could routinely get to the last stage, but we never finished it (or at least I don't think we did).  In Contra III, which is one of the easier Contra games IMO, I was able to beat the normal mode and get about halfway through the hard mode.  In Shattered Soldier, I'm pretty sure I never got past the third stage on easy mode (you know the part after the mecha where you're figthing this drill thing and there are spikes and it's basically impossible to dodge anything).

Anyway, I'm sure you'll have no problem with Contra IV, but then you have proven your insanse skill with twitch games many times (I couldn't even beat Ikaruga).  From the previews I've been reading, Contra IV sounds extremely hard.  The real question is whether or not I will be motivated to stick with it.  The last super-hard game I forced myself to master (and ended up loving) was the original Mega Man Zero, but a game has to be pretty special to find that perfect balance of sado-masochism.  With Super Mario Galaxy coming out the day before, Contra IV's gonna have to be freaking amazing to really get my attention, though I'm still definitely buying it.  If I can tear myself away from Galaxy long enough to give it a fair shot, I'll be sure to post on how difficult I'm finding it.

Stephen Oct 23, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

In Contra III, which is one of the easier Contra games IMO, I was able to beat the normal mode and get about halfway through the hard mode.  In Shattered Soldier, I'm pretty sure I never got past the third stage on easy mode (you know the part after the mecha where you're figthing this drill thing and there are spikes and it's basically impossible to dodge anything).

I can't beat Contra III on normal (get stuck on the third stage fighting that mecha spider boss while on a ladder).  Contra I was considerably easier for me.

Sami Oct 23, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

In Shattered Soldier, I'm pretty sure I never got past the third stage on easy mode (you know the part after the mecha where you're figthing this drill thing and there are spikes and it's basically impossible to dodge anything).

I've played Shattered Soldier to death and I have no idea what you're referring to.

Personally, I find Megaman Zero stupidly hard compared to the Contra games. I consider even Hard Corps less difficult.

Ashley Winchester Oct 23, 2007

Sami wrote:

Personally, I find Megaman Zero stupidly hard compared to the Contra games.

Never understood why Capcom thought making the Zero series so "challenging" <laugh> was a good idea. Oh sure, it takes longer to beat the thing but I don't know if I'd call it "fun."

Angela Oct 23, 2007

The first of the Contra 4 review scores is out.  The latest issue of Nintendo Power gives it an 8.5.

Dais Oct 24, 2007

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Sami wrote:

Personally, I find Megaman Zero stupidly hard compared to the Contra games.

Never understood why Capcom thought making the Zero series so "challenging" <laugh> was a good idea. Oh sure, it takes longer to beat the thing but I don't know if I'd call it "fun."

please give some examples of the difficulty which is not actually challenge, please.

Sami Oct 24, 2007

"Challenge", ha! How about the incredibly inane controls for starters? Hateful death/continue mechanic? Cheapest robot masters ever? Incomprehensible elf mechanic? Face it, if you enjoy those, you really need to get into hardcore S&M.

Dais Oct 24, 2007

Thank you for alluding to problems (in a way that may seems suspiciously hyperbolic) without actually detailing or defining them!

Actually, that's sarcasm I'm can't maintain. HOW are the controls "inane"? How is the death/continue system "hateful"? How are the robot masters "cheap"? How are the cyberelf mechanics "incomprehensible"?

Ashley Winchester Oct 24, 2007 (edited Oct 24, 2007)

Dais wrote:

Actually, that's sarcasm I'm can't maintain. HOW are the controls "inane"? How is the death/continue system "hateful"? How are the robot masters "cheap"? How are the cyberelf mechanics "incomprehensible"?

HOW are the controls "inane"
The button setup to use your sub weapon is so over complicated - seriously. I eventually said screw it a just paused the game every time I wanted to use another weapon. Zero 2's Chain Rod (I believe it's Zero 2) isn't easy to use either.

How is the death/continue system "hateful"?
I honestly can't remember how the continue system works beyond the first game but in the first game you start with 2 lives - that's it (less you pick up an extra life) - when your lives are gone, your done - you must reload an old game where you actually have extra lives.

How are the robot masters "cheap"?
When it comes to "cheap" bosses I always remember the one on the train in Zero 1. The part of the boss you have to strike is on the right part of the screen, you’re on the left and between you are four pistons that go up and down up towards the ceiling. You have to go onto these pistons to strike the boss while avoiding being crush and boosted into spikes AND the fight is TIMED as well. The time issue isn't so bad but it's so damn easy to slip up and die - couple this with the limited continue system.

How are the cyberelf mechanics "incomprehensible"
I don't know if I'd call the cyberelf mechanics "incomprehensible" so much as I'd call them "self defeating." In RMZ1 when you use a cyberelf it causes your rank to go down, the more powerful the cyber elf the more you lose. Items such as life gauge extensions and subtanks are granted by these elves as well as other effects like removing all the spikes from the ENTIRE game. You get a special cyber elf if you go through the game without using an elf (which IS insane, at least to me) but if you can beat the game with next to nothing why would you need a special cyber elf (Jackson) to make it easy again? RMZ2&3 sort of fix a few things but your ranking affects even more things in those games (like gaining different armors and EX attacks) your still discouraged from using elfs if you want the bigger prize... the whole idea of discouraging the use of power-ups just never sat well with me.

Please excuse me if I mixed up any details, I haven't played the games for so long.

Angela Oct 25, 2007

DS Download Station Series Vol 7 has a variety of sweet new demos, including Ninja Gaiden, Cooking Mama 2, Phantom Hourglass, and yes...... CONTRA 4!  I've had my DS on in sleep mode since 8am this morning, and I absolutely refuse to turn it off. :p

The demo covers the entirety of the first stage, right up to the base tower boss - and ends just as you're about to fight its second form.  There's no music, sadly, but other than that, it seems to look and play exactly the same as the near-final build that the IGN videos showed off.

So, does it play well?  My god, yes, does it ever.  I played through the demo about a dozen times so far, and everything feels absolutely perfect.  The controls are exacting to the hair, so you'll be able to make every jump, every shot and every intended grappling hook maneuver with complete ease.  The pacing of the level is what impresses me the most; they've managed to include every single element that makes the Contra run 'n gun genre such a blast, from the variety of enemies that range from running drones, grenaders who actually aim at your position before tossing, ground cannons, and wall cannons..... to Contra-centric stage designs like slopes, multi-layered platforms, hand rails, and being able to duck into the water.

The dual-screens work even better than I imagined, and the blind spot in between is handled admirably; enemies and their shots (not to mention yours) are calibrated perfectly as they travel from screen to screen; it isn't like they're mismatched after their transitions, like some DS games tend to be.  It looks to add an effective challenge, as you really do need to keep your eyes darting between screens.  As for the grappling hook, it's really a sweet addition.  They give you plenty of chances to try it out, and it's an intuitive new gameplay feature; you just need to watch for when you're swinging up, because it's completely automatic, and you might find yourself slamming into a bullet if you're not careful.  That part the IGN video showed off, where you shoot the power-up, drop down, and use the grappling hook before falling?  Yeah, it really is as fun to pull off as it looks. :)

And then there's the new weapon system.  Being able to swap out any one of your two guns is a far more useful feature than I thought, especially coupled with the new "double powered-up weapon" concept.  It's great to have that flexibility to essentially be able to choose the weapons you really want - and the sharing aspect should make for some pretty engaging co-op play.  The powered-up weapons themselves are freaken cool; you're gonna marvel at the look and strength of a twice-souped up machine gun or spread shot. :)  It's just too bad that if you forfeit a powered-up weapon, it automatically reverts back into a normal weapon.

The graphics are terrific.  The onscreen characters are surprisingly large for a portable game, making the heavy action easy enough to see; folks who worried about having to squint because of the insane amount of stuff happening on the small screens should rest easy.  And perhaps it's a bit of a blessing to not have the music included, because here you'll be able to hear every carefully nuanced gun shot, enemy shriek, explosion, and hit collision sound effect.  And believe me, they're incredible sound effects; so much better than the gimpy-awkward sound set that Contra III had.

Here's an obvious word of warning: make doubly-sure you're playing this badboy on a DS with good diagonal controls.  There are some DS models (Lite ones, to be more specific) that have ridiculously crummy directional controls on their diagonals, which, of course, is a complete no-no for a game like Contra.  As much as I love the Lite, I can actually see this game playing better with the arguably superior d-pad of the original Phat DS. 

WayForward looks to be on the ball.  The demo has already managed to rock my socks off, and I'm praying like crazy that the full game manages to do the same.

GoldfishX Oct 25, 2007 (edited Oct 25, 2007)

Angela wrote:

As much as I love the Lite, I can actually see this game playing better with the arguably superior d-pad of the original Phat DS.

*plants a wet one on DS phat*

She's armed and ready. That was the exact reason I went for the original one. Especially after the tiny D-pads on the GBA/GC (though the Lite one is a million percent improvement, I haven't tested it extensively and just prefer the larger pad). It works like a charm on my old NES games.

Sounds great. With the exception of Metal Slug, these type of pick-up-and-play shooter platformers have become a precious rarity.

BTW, wrong thread, but did you get the chance to see the Ninja Gaiden DS demo?

Angela Oct 25, 2007

GoldfishX wrote:

BTW, wrong thread, but did you get the chance to see the Ninja Gaiden DS demo?

Nah, not yet.... I really don't wanna take off Contra. ;p  I'll likely use my other DS to give it a try, though - along with Cooking Mama 2 and maybe Jam Sessions.

By the way, I'd just discovered a slight kink in the goodness of C4's armor.  It's a minor thing, and something I'll probably get used to - but you can't go straight from a ducking position to a down-pointed stationary stance without letting go of down first.  Contra III and Shattered Soldier had it so you could continue holding down in a ducking position, and then pressing the stationary stance button at the same time would automatically put you in the down-pointed stance.

But on the other hand, I noticed that WayForward took the care of allowing you move all the way to the absolute ends of the left and right screens.  How many times have we accidentally trailed the screen away from a power-up where it appears on the edge, and invisible borders prevented us from getting said weapon?  Now you can acquire that weapon no problem, no matter how off-screen the power-up is.

Gosh, I'm having fun dissecting this game.  ^_^

GoldfishX Oct 25, 2007

The original Contra had it too. That sounds odd, but not something I noticed before. Of course, now that it's not there...See if I notice myself dying extra times.

But on the other hand, I noticed that WayForward took the care of allowing you move all the way to the absolute ends of the left and right screens.  How many times have we accidentally trailed the screen away from a power-up where it appears on the edge, and invisible borders prevented us from getting said weapon?  Now you can acquire that weapon no problem, no matter how off-screen the power-up is.

One of those things...It's hard to explain how annoying it is unless you've been there. And Contra is extremely guilty of going there. So that's good to hear. Sometimes, I get the power-up if I lay down (since it lengthens the sprite).

XLord007 Oct 26, 2007

Quick question for you, Angela: Are the weapons manual-fire or auto-fire?  I know the vast majority of Contra games make them all be auto like they should be, but Contra and Super C had you button mashing to shoot and you only got auto if you had the machine gun power-up.  How's it work in C4?

Angela Oct 26, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

Quick question for you, Angela: Are the weapons manual-fire or auto-fire?  I know the vast majority of Contra games make them all be auto like they should be, but Contra and Super C had you button mashing to shoot and you only got auto if you had the machine gun power-up.  How's it work in C4?

You can actually go at it both ways, but the game feels like it's built more for manual-fire.  Holding down the button does provide auto-fire, but your shots come off less rapidly and in more steady bursts; if you view the IGN videos, you can see that whoever was playing was using auto-fire.   Manual yields a far quicker rate of fire, and you generally have more control over your shots; in other words, yeah, the shooting scheme is molded more after Contra and Super C.

Being that's it's on a portable system, the auto-fire would be a good alternative.  This also leads me to wonder if they're planning on implementing auto for the original Contra and Super C? I really got spoiled on PocketNES.  :p

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