From "Great Games with Aaron and Ami-chan!" at GOC...Contra III: The Alien Wars
Ami: "You want some of this, Red Falcon? Aaron and I are wiping you out no matter how many lives we lose!"
Me: "I'm with you, Ami-chan! He's getting what he deserves for killing hundreds of innocent people in Neo City!"
(Mona walks in front of the camera)
Mona: "Hi, everyone! I'm Mona, vice president of WarioWare Inc."
(She clears her throat to get the audience's attention)
Mona: "Currently, Aaron and Ami are busy taking on the final boss himself in the final level in Contra III: The Alien Wars
on the SNES. They're playing this game on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console; yes, it really is available for download on the VC at 800 Wii Points. Until they're done with Contra III
, I'll fill you in the details."
Ami: "No need, Mona-chan. Since this review is on, we're pausing the game by opening up the Home menu."
Me: "We already took out Red Falcon's first form before pausing, so don't worry."
Mona: "Great! ;mona2 "
Ami: "Anyway, Contra III
, also known as Contra Spirits
in Japan, takes place in the year 2636 AD. Both versions take place on the same date. Red Falcon arises from the dead for a third and final assault on Earth, only this time, he takes no prisoners. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean are called forth for the third time to put him--and his almost-unstoppable alien brethren--down for good."
Me: "The US version differs slightly--since the first two Contras in the US took place in the late 80s, Bill and Lance were renamed Jimbo and Sully."
Mona: "It may have brought up some confusions on the Contra timeline, but Konami remedied this by stating the fact that Jimbo and Sully were descendants of Bill and Lance (aka. Mad Dog and Scorpion)."
Me: "Either way, it's the same game. On the title screen, you have three difficulty levels to choose from: Easy, Normal, and Hard. You can also choose to start with 3, 5, or 7 lives. For starters, I suggest starting with 7 lives, and on Easy to get the gist of Contra."
Ami: "Contra III
on Easy is a little joke (although a little bit tough for beginners), so once you get the gist of what you're supposed to do, you'll be ready to take on Normal. Normal is a little harder than Easy, but not as tough as Hard mode is. However, even though you're playing on Normal, you might have a bit of a tough time, so I advise sticking with 7 lives until you get better at this game."
Mona: "There are six levels in this game; levels 1, 3, and 6 are your typical side-scrollers. Level 4 is still side-scrolling, except you're riding on a futuristic motorcycle, and basically going through the entire level Gradius-style."
Me: "As for levels 2 and 5, they're overhead levels like from Super C
, but they're a little different now. Here, you'll have to go around the map destroying the enemies, but your main goal is to search and destroy the five alien generators placed all over the level. After that, you'll be whisked to a boss fight (which is your "checkpoint", in case you get a Game Over). Oh, and your guy can go prone now (hold the B button) to avoid enemy shots. You can also change where you're facing by using the L or R buttons (this is essential for level 5, because of the spinning spots), and you can strafe around by pressing left or right on the D-pad."
Ami: "Contra III
is the first game in the series to have 'checkpoints'. You still have to start over at the beginning of a level when you get a Game Over, but if you manage to get halfway through the level, that's another story. Let's say that you ran out of lives during the boss fight against a giant Terminator-like robot named Robo-Corpse (known as Big Fuzz in the Japanese and European versions) in level 3, and you choose to continue. Instead of restarting at the beginning of level 3, you'll start at the point after you took down the spiked robot."
Mona: "This game may be short, but there's a lot of bosses that you'll have to destroy in order to move on ahead. The stage bosses are usually large, and take up about half the screen."
Me: "Now for the weapons: You no longer have a 'peashooter' to begin with. Instead, you begin with the machine gun. Yes, all of your weapons are auto-fire now. You still have some classic weapons, like Spread Gun (which isn't as powerful as it was back in the first two Contras), Laser Gun (longer, and like a flamethrower when it comes to overhead levels), and even the Homing Missiles (or 'Hunter Gun') that appeared in Operation C
on the Game Boy."
Ami: "The Flamethrower isn't exactly a 'new weapon', although it is different now. Instead of shooting fireballs, it now shoots a stream of fire like the flamethrower you see in real life. as for the Crash Missiles (or 'Crush Gun', if you prefer), they leave a trail of explosions on contact, despite short range. Of course, one can recognize it from the Flame Gun back in Super C
Mona: "The Barrier's still around, and you can even use the super bombs (known as the M-80,000 Helio Bomb) instead of just having to pick them up. At the start of the game, and upon respawning after dying, you have 1 super bomb to begin with. Press the A button, and it unleashes a large explosion that kills all on-screen enemies, and inflicts damage on bosses. You can stock up on super bombs by collecting them from shooting down the power-up blimps, up to 9 super bombs. However, if you get hit, your super bomb count goes back to 1, so be careful out there!"
Me: "Here's a couple new things: You can hold two weapons at once (press X to switch weapons), and even stand around while shooting in all directions by holding the R button. Getting hit will only cost you the weapon you're using, not the one you're not using."
Ami: "Let's say you have the Homing Missiles, and the Flamethrower. You're currently using the Flamethrower, but you accidentally fall into a bottomless pit, You lose a life and your Flamethrower, but your Homing Missiles weapon is still intact."
Mona: "Here's another cool thing: you can use both weapons at once! Hold L and R buttons, and your guy does a pose by holding two guns. Press the Y button, and he jumps around, shooting in all directions. BUT! If you get hit while doing this, you'll lose both
weapons, not just one, so be extra careful when doing that! In overhead stages, your guy spins around instead of jumping."
Me: "And now, for 2 players. You may be thinking: 'What's the difference between 2 Players A and 2 Players B?'. You and your partner still occupy the same screen in side-scrolling levels, but the major difference between both modes happens only on overhead levels. In mode A, it's a split-screen mode where you and your partner split up to cover more ground. Some consider this a 'VS mode', but in my opinion, it's to cover more ground. You can take out the generators shown on the top part of the map, while your partner does the same on the bottom part."
Mona: "As for mode B, the two of you are stuck on the same screen in overhead stages. Yes, this is harder than mode A when it comes to overhead stages, so unless the two of you are really good at Contra
, I suggest sticking with mode A. Teamwork is a must in mode B, since both of you need to move in the same direction(s) to get to where you're going."
Ami: "Before we end this review, we'd like to talk about the ending you get depending on the difficulty level you're doing."
Me: "On Easy, you get this message that asks you to try again on Normal mode, and that it's only the beginning. As for Normal, you get a message that dares you to beat Hard mode in order to see the real ending."
Ami: "Back in my home country, we got the real ending upon completing Normal. The Japanese version of Contra III
(aka. Contra Spirits
) offers the real ending to players who beat the game on Normal or Hard. The US version, however, offers the real ending only
on Hard (as well as the real final form of Red Falcon after killing his brain form)."
Mona: "The Japanese version has unlimited continues, making it a little easier than the US version, even on Hard. The US version, on the other hand, has limited continues. Easy gives you 2 continues, while Normal and Hard give you 4."
Me: "In closing, Contra III: The Alien Wars
is, without a doubt, the best in the series, despite having only six levels. Like Mona said at the beginning of this review, it is available not only on the SNES/Super Famicom, but on the VC at the cost of 800 Wii Points. I'm giving it a 9 outta 10."
Ami: "I'm giving it a 9 as well. Contra III
is in fact difficult at first, but once you get used to it, it's not impossible to finish. Just keep practicing, and you'll get better! I promise.
(Ami and I returned to our game, and closed the Home menu)
Mona: "I'm giving it an 8. See you guys next review!"
END OF REVIEW