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Parish
11-13-2007, 09:36 PM
For those of you who find Mario insufficiently manly, this thread's for you.

Contra 4
Konami | Nintendo DS | Manly Action | Nov. 2007

BOOM BABY

Calorie Mate
11-13-2007, 10:54 PM
I suppose I'll play this on BART to take my mind off how the Man is keeping me from playing Mario.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 12:15 AM
I beat this game last week. It was okay.

mr_bungle700
11-14-2007, 12:59 AM
This just in: Tomm hates Contra 4.

Anonymooo
11-14-2007, 01:06 AM
I'm buying this on Thursday--er, tomorrow. I reserve this spot to send mixed messages of love and hate to Tomm.

Makkara
11-14-2007, 01:08 AM
This just in: Tomm hates Contra 4.

Oh yeah? Well, then I'll buy it out of spite. That'll show him!

mr_bungle700
11-14-2007, 02:52 AM
Good plan. I'll buy two.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 07:51 AM
I'll buy six!

TheSL
11-14-2007, 08:11 AM
I'll buy it when I recover financially from Rock Band! (i.e. not yet :( )

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 09:47 AM
Now, what'd be real sweet is a 1up.com review.

Yup.

::tap::

shivam
11-14-2007, 09:50 AM
i'm kinda uncomfortable about playing a game with the dude who made it watching over my shoulder. what if i don't like it and tomm hates me forever?

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 09:54 AM
I won't spazz out guys I swear.

I'm just antsy now cause I'm awaiting all the feedback.

Remember - negative feedback is okay. It's the only way I'll learn (learn that you're wrong, and biased against Konami/DS/WayForward)

Egarwaen
11-14-2007, 10:19 AM
I'm just scared of picking this up because Contra hates me. Personally.

Seriously, I can't even get through the first level of Contra III. I know, I suck, surprising no-one.

Parish
11-14-2007, 10:42 AM
I hate this game because it means Konami paid Tomm to make his dream game but didn't do jack for me.

Balrog
11-14-2007, 10:52 AM
I bought this over my lunch today and convinced 2 guys in the store to get it as well. My two word sales pitch was "grappling hook".

ShakeWell
11-14-2007, 11:27 AM
I'll be picking it up this evening, and, if I can tear myself away from Mario, I plan on putting it through it's paces, because I need access to hidden characters and portable NES Contra games as soon as is humanly possible.

Color me excited as hell.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 12:01 PM
I bought this over my lunch today and convinced 2 guys in the store to get it as well. My two word sales pitch was "grappling hook".

You, sir, are a hero.



...still waiting for reviews. WTF are they?

Jakanden
11-14-2007, 12:02 PM
I don't own a DS. Sorry Tomm =(

Nicholai
11-14-2007, 12:25 PM
I don't own a DS. Sorry Tomm =(

Neither do I, though I did at one point have the old brick model but got rid of it. I am considering rejoining the DS world on the backs of Contra 4 and Final Fantasy III and eventually the IV remake.

It may be time to sell my copy of Persona for PS1 for the greater DS good.

reibeatall
11-14-2007, 01:17 PM
Want the EGM reviews instead, Tomm? They're right in front of me.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 01:18 PM
Want the EGM reviews instead, Tomm? They're right in front of me.

and me.

Sam, Greg, or Shane need to get off their butt and post the 1up version.

reibeatall
11-14-2007, 01:19 PM
Hey there Mr. Antsy-pantsy. I was just tryin' to be helpful.

JCDenton
11-14-2007, 01:20 PM
I'm just scared of picking this up because Contra hates me. Personally.

Seriously, I can't even get through the first level of Contra III. I know, I suck, surprising no-one.

If bad were a boot, you'd fit it!



Maybe all the reviews are late because it is too hard and no one can get through it. Then again, I don't know when/if review copies went out.

Edit: Ah, disregard the last sentence.

mopinks
11-14-2007, 01:23 PM
I tried to download the demo at my neighborhood Game Crazy when I went to pick up Galaxy, but they only had download station volume 5. :< ENDLESSLY LAME.

(also holy god game store employees stop trying to get me to sign up for cards and free magazine subscriptions and warranties and just give me my goddamned game)

djSyndrome
11-14-2007, 01:32 PM
I hate this game because it means Konami paid Tomm to make his dream game but didn't do jack for me.

You got your Dracula X. What more do you want?

ArugulaZ
11-14-2007, 05:00 PM
I haven't played the game yet... I'm too tired for its unique brand of maddening frustration. However, I HAVE leafed through the manual, and just want to say kudos to the designer for making it as faithful as possible to the delightfully cheesy Konami instruction booklets of the late 1980's. It's got the same font, the same black and white print, the same corny puns, and everything! Filet 'O Death? Ingrid Birdman? Dirk McShooter? How do you guys come UP with this stuff, anyway?

Balrog
11-14-2007, 05:17 PM
I played through the first 3 levels(on easy :() when I got home. Pretty good so far, the first level is Contra, Super C, and Contra III's offspring for sure. I will definitely have to play through a bunch before I can take on normal difficulty. Are there any top down levels? I prefer those over the base levels. So far I think the grappling hook is well implemented and doesn't turn the game into Bionic Commando(I will take a Bionic Commando sequel anytime though). Also, I'm glad that the top screen isn't just something lame like number of lives.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 05:52 PM
How do you guys come UP with this stuff, anyway?

I grew up playing games in the 80's.

ArugulaZ
11-14-2007, 06:09 PM
I got to the end of the second level (yes, on easy) before my battery and my lives ran dry. I've got to tell you, I REALLY like what I've played so far. I dare say that it's better than Gunstar Super Heroes, and I've never said that a Contra game was better than Gunstar ANYTHING before, so you know that's high praise. Here's a quick run-down of what I liked and what I didn't...

PLUS
* Awesomely fantastic graphics. Smooth animation, lush colors, enormous bosses... you just couldn't ask for more!
* The sound is pretty good too. I thought the music was going to rock a little harder than it actually does, but it still complements the action nicely.
* A weapon inventory system. If you don't like the weapon you've got, just press L to switch to a previously collected one. Viva la convenience!
* A gunlock button. Hold down R and you can aim in any direction without walking. It's a very handy feature in a game like this!
* Lots of surprises. I won't ruin any of them... just know that the gameplay will keep you on your toes.
* A hilarious instruction manual that's like a time warp to 1988. I cannot stress this enough.

MINUS
* The objectives in each stage aren't always well explained. I didn't know Lance could cling to grassy cliff walls until I leaped at one in frustration.
* I can imagine this game kicking my ass from mountain to shore on the Normal and Hard difficulty levels...
* Diagonal firing isn't as spontaneous as it probably should be in an intense shooter like this one. I chalk this up to the DS rather than the game itself.
* Dumb voices. Were these really necessary? The stupid, Schwarzenegger-quality catchphrases seem like a misguided attempt to make the game seem even more macho than it already is. Take a lesson from the new Mario games and just say no to voices for the sake of voices!

VsRobot
11-14-2007, 06:31 PM
Tomm,

I really dislike all the tacked-on DS stuff. Why do I have to blow on the mic to put out grenades? Why do I have to draw a drawer at the end of every level to get to the next one? What's even worse is the voice-recognition sections, which are uniformly terrible. I keep saying "BLUE" "BLUE" during that color-coded boss battle, but it never registers.

PSYCH! (Those were all lies!)

My real thoughts:

The game is pretty difficult, but so far it feels fair. I liked at the end of the jungle level, when I think I've beaten the final boss, the game says "uh, wait, you aren't even close to done, now do it again but while you're hanging off of a hovering helicopter."

The exploding zombies in the second level felt pretty metal-slug-ish, not that that is a bad thing. Haven't made it past the second level yet, but I only had about 20 minutes to play while on my lunch break. Can't wait to dive in more fully.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 06:33 PM
* Dumb voices. Were these really necessary? The stupid, Schwarzenegger-quality catchphrases seem like a misguided attempt to make the game seem even more macho than it already is. Take a lesson from the new Mario games and just say no to voices for the sake of voices!

Reference to Hard Corps actually.

However, thanks for vindicating several EMails I sent -- you can turn the voices off in the Option menu.

ArugulaZ
11-14-2007, 06:45 PM
Man, when people said you were heavily involved in this project, they weren't kidding! This series must really mean a lot to you, huh?

VsRobot
11-14-2007, 07:17 PM
I hate Neogaf.

I checked out the Contra 4 "Official Thread" and a mod posted in there that anyone whose impressions were "too positive" was a "viral marketer" and would get "banination".

So, basically, saying you want to "FHUTA" (don't ask) and that everything is "rape time" is fine over there, but liking a game isn't allowed.

Maggie
11-14-2007, 07:25 PM
I'm probably just going to give into temptation and watch videos of the bossfights on youtube or something. I doubt this'll ruin my enjoyment of the game any, since I won't be playing it for a long, long while and I've just got to know what the final boss is.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 07:44 PM
Man, when people said you were heavily involved in this project, they weren't kidding! This series must really mean a lot to you, huh?

I... was one of the Producers, yes. That requires some level of involvement :P

Level-based, 2D gaming means a lot to me. I am hoping this game proves there is still value to it.

Kishi
11-14-2007, 07:51 PM
I picked it up at GameStop and immediately cracked it open and started playing in my parked car. My DS only had about an hour's worth of battery life in it, but that was long enough for me, after many attempts, to get to the second mid-boss of Stage 4 on Normal. After another hour playing at home, I was able to get to that same mid-boss on one life, but naturally blundered through the rest of the stage and burned up all my Continues on the various aquatic perils in Stage 5. Hi Score: 136,900. So, the game is clearly hard, but still a far cry from impossible.

At least on Normal.

The rest of my comments will once more be provided in a convenient bulleted list.



+ The graphics are wonderfully lush (before I even started playing, I checked the credits in the instruction manual to confirm that they are indeed Henk Nieborg (http://www.pixinspace.com/gallery.html)'s work). As I said in the Contra 4 Superfan thread, the waterfall in Stage 2 has been spruced up nicely since July--as has the parallax effect in Stage 5, which now looks about on par with the bike level from Contra III.


- The color palette seems a little limited, though. Could the DS not handle 256-color tiles?


+ Naturally, the animations are as smooth as ever, from the player characters to the common enemies to the enormous multi-jointed bosses.


- Except for the way enemies freeze in a single frame as they reel back and explode. I know it's a reference to the old games, but when the rest of the graphics are of such higher quality, it just seems incongruent. Same deal with Bill's sprite appearing to have brown hair.


+ The game design is truly a measured blend of the run-'n'-gun platforming from the original Contra and the set-piece marathons from the later installments. And it just keeps upping the ante in both areas as it progresses. There's no overstating this.


+ As hard as the game is, if you can manage to snag one of the upgraded weapons, the odds seem to immediately swing in your favor. I'm sure I cracked a huge smile the first time I witnessed the effectiveness of the doubled-up Machine Gun.


+ Speaking of empowerment, Contra III-style Homing Missiles and Contra 1-style Base levels go together like chocolate and gun powder.


+ Being able to sacrifice a Continue to resume your game after Quitting--and even turning off the DS's power--is a cleverly hardcore approach to the quicksave mechanic. Very "Contra."


+ Regarding the music, I love the way certain tunes will trick me into thinking they're going to be remixes of old songs, only to spin out into entirely new (awesome) tracks. Of course, the remixes that do exist are highly pleasing, as well.


? Still haven't figured out the use for the Konami Code.

SlimJimm
11-14-2007, 07:53 PM
Level-based, 2D gaming means a lot to me. I am hoping this game proves there is still value to it.

Cybernator next plz.


With everyone gushing about this game I really need to go get it. Sounds a hell of a lot better than Puzzle Quest (which I should not have bought :| ).

ArugulaZ
11-14-2007, 08:05 PM
I... was one of the Producers, yes. That requires some level of involvement :P

Sure, but you've gone so far as to write the instruction manual yourself (at least, that's the impression I got from reading your responses). That goes above and beyond the responsibilities of a producer, who would usually delegate such responsibilities to other members of the staff.

Parish
11-14-2007, 08:28 PM
I dare say that it's better than Gunstar Super Heroes
I've had hernias that were better than GSH.

reibeatall
11-14-2007, 08:29 PM
Love the manual. You seem to be the only person right now that makes instruction manuals interesting.

ArugulaZ
11-14-2007, 08:35 PM
So a 7.5 is hernia country now? Dude, you're a harsh reviewer!

Eirikr
11-14-2007, 09:53 PM
Picked up the game today...for FIVE DOLLARS thanks to that buy Mario Galaxy, get a $25 gift card deal at Toys R Us.

I've so far only gone through my first batch of continues, but I made it to the end of stage 2.

I let my friend who is part of the Contra hard CORPS contingent try it out and he got to the end of stage 3 on his first 5 continues. He was fairly impressed by the game.

Tomm Guycot
11-14-2007, 11:27 PM
Sure, but you've gone so far as to write the instruction manual yourself.

Oh. That's because I love manuals. Everything once you open the box should be part of "the experience," and I have fond memories of reading the manuals on the car ride home cause, you know, your NES isn't there in the store when you buy the game... you gotta wait. (Thus, Contra's was Konami of old, Contact's was bizarre, and Steambot's was uncomfortably sincere in its explanations)

I still read manuals before I play a game, no matter how crappy they are (it is not an easy cross to bear).

More than any other, Contra 4's was my tribute to "the manuals of old." I'm glad everyone seems to like it (though credit for the font goes to Ryan Graff, one of our QA dudes, and the localization editor of Drac X Chronicles)

1) Hey, funny thing about the Konami Code is that it's from Gradius, not Contra. In Gradius you always do it while paused and it juices your weapons. You know, usually.

2) The stackable weapons were inspired by Cave Story!

3) That whole "everything in teh box is an experience" line is something I originally said as BS to get away with Contact.

But since then I've come to actually believe it!

Mightyblue
11-14-2007, 11:31 PM
MINUS
* The objectives in each stage aren't always well explained. I didn't know Lance could cling to grassy cliff walls until I leaped at one in frustration.
* I can imagine this game kicking my ass from mountain to shore on the Normal and Hard difficulty levels...
* Diagonal firing isn't as spontaneous as it probably should be in an intense shooter like this one. I chalk this up to the DS rather than the game itself.
* Dumb voices. Were these really necessary? The stupid, Schwarzenegger-quality catchphrases seem like a misguided attempt to make the game seem even more macho than it already is. Take a lesson from the new Mario games and just say no to voices for the sake of voices!You do realize this is entirely a love song to the early days of gaming where men were men, and often had carpal tunnel.

VsRobot
11-14-2007, 11:48 PM
1) Hey, funny thing about the Konami Code is that it's from Gradius, not Contra. In Gradius you always do it while paused and it juices your weapons. You know, usually.

A CLUE!

Parish
11-14-2007, 11:50 PM
So a 7.5 is hernia country now? Dude, you're a harsh reviewer!
Yeah, well, I try to stay conscious of the fact that my personal feelings about a game aren't necessarily the same thing as the game's objective quality.

Calorie Mate
11-14-2007, 11:56 PM
This game is hard. I approve.

Congratulations, you made a real Contra! It only took, like, 15 years.

sfried
11-14-2007, 11:59 PM
I've had hernias that were better than GSH.
...
Yeah, well, I try to stay conscious of the fact that my personal feelings about a game aren't necessarily the same thing as the game's objective quality.

Hey, I wouldn't put down Gunstar Super Heroes that much. It's still a good game in its own right...like Neo Contra (except I still hate that helicopter level. Even NC had kickass dudes running on top of chopper blades).

That said, I'm glad Contra 4 is getting "teh awsome" from people. But the one thing I'd like to hear is the difficulty. A buddy of mine says it's easy, but then again, he's a long time Contra fanatic, and I don't know what mode he's playing it in.

Maggie
11-15-2007, 12:10 AM
I usually read the instruction manuals, too, or flip through them when I'm not playing the game. But it all goes back to the fact that I'm one of those weirdos who won't emulate games or watch shows online because I want (or "need") a physical package for it to feel right. If the cover is cool or the manual is fun, that's a bonus, but I'll read/enjoy it regardless. I just like to have something tangible to go along with the game or whatever.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2007, 12:14 AM
Oh. That's because I love manuals. Everything once you open the box should be part of "the experience," and I have fond memories of reading the manuals on the car ride home cause, you know, your NES isn't there in the store when you buy the game... you gotta wait.

Then boy are you going to dig this one!

http://www.atariage.com/manual_thumbs.html?SoftwareLabelID=608

I got this game last month on eBay, and was shocked to discover that Lucasfilm had put as much thought into the instructions as the game itself. You get tons of information about the backstory, the characters... even tech specs for your hovercraft, which wouldn't have been possible to include on the cartridge. I can completely understand when you say that a good instruction manual contributes to the gaming experience, because in Ballblazer's case, that experience is incomplete without it.

mazoboom
11-15-2007, 12:26 AM
I still read manuals before I play a game, no matter how crappy they are (it is not an easy cross to bear).

I do this as well. It's gotten easier these days as manuals have become one and a half pages of instruction plus notes page. Oh, and the "how to put in game" page.


3) That whole "everything in the box is an experience" line is something I originally said as BS to get away with Contact.


Thanks for BSing! I love the Contact manual.

or watch shows online because I want (or "need") a physical package for it to feel right.

I'm the same way about physical packages, but I'm confused about one thing: Do you not watch television either and you only buy box sets or something?

Kishi
11-15-2007, 12:29 AM
Tomm, do you know what they're going to call the game in Japan? I wonder if "Contra Spirits 2" or something would carry the same connotation for them as "Contra 4" does for us.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2007, 12:52 AM
More to the point, is Contra popular enough in Japan to justify a release in that country? I've heard that Castlevania is not fondly regarded by the Japanese, and I imagine that a game as appealing to Americans as Contra might be the same way.

Maggie
11-15-2007, 01:05 AM
I'm the same way about physical packages, but I'm confused about one thing: Do you not watch television either and you only buy box sets or something?

Yeah, oddly enough, if it's a series I'm really into, after I watch the first few episodes to establish that I do or WILL like it, I stop watching it, then buy the set. I've done this with House, 24, and Heroes so far.

Gredlen
11-15-2007, 01:18 AM
I've yet to buy Contra 4, but I look forward to the manual! I like to get cool stuff with the box, and I love it when manuals do something more than the basics.

This is why I was extremely disappointed when I bought the boxed release of Half-Life 2. I also, however, like digital distribution, so I enjoyed purchasing the Orange Box over Steam. I suppose part of the reason there is that I knew there wouldn't be anything special in the box this time.

ReyVGM
11-15-2007, 02:31 AM
I finally got the game and I got to say it's better than I expected!

The music is great, the graphics (which kind of looked so-so on early videos) are great and the gameplay is tight! Finally a great Contra sequel.

Nice to see the museum listing all the games released. Although it didn't mention the MSX Contra which it looks like a NES port but it is actually a different game with a lot more levels and a different and WEIRD last boss :P

Also, I was shocked to see that those NES Contra screenshots in the museum section were taken straight out of my site (VGMuseum) :D

I'll flip if the game actually gave thanks to it in the credits. I haven't beaten the game but I know the Contra HQ got mentioned.
Nice to see games recognizing fan sites on the credits :)

Gredlen
11-15-2007, 02:56 AM
Also, I was shocked to see that those NES Contra screenshots in the museum section were taken straight out of my site (VGMuseum) :D

This is disturbingly recursive. A museum site for video games being used in a museum section of a video game?

sraymonds
11-15-2007, 04:54 AM
I seem to like stopping bullets with my body :(

Balrog
11-15-2007, 06:34 AM
Did anyone else miss the opportunity to get inside that on-rails vehicle?

I know I didn't.

reibeatall
11-15-2007, 07:25 AM
Hey guys, don't let Tomm or Balrog know that I had to put it on easy because I suck.

Edit: Maybe it's just me, but he Waterfall effects are disorienting me. I don't get dizzy/motion sickness/vertigo while playing video games, but this one made me pause it for a few seconds to catch my cool.

ShakeWell
11-15-2007, 09:02 AM
Got to the Harbor boss... I like it, but it's Hard Corps fucking hard. I mean, I haven't memorized the stages yet, but it's definitely harder than 1, 2 or 3. Unless you have a powered up F. I rocked the Waterfall boss in almost no time with a double F, it's almost game-breaking. The fact that it's so damn hard to get saves it from being so. On that note, what's the double H like, because it seems like there's never more than one per stage, which I would imagine makes it insanely good. I also love that playing on Hard gets you original Contra music.

I only have two complaints thus far; 1) I don't like how the bullets fly in the Base, they seem to increase in speed as they get closer to you, and it throws my timing, 2) Harbor boss killed me between screens, and I couldn't see what the hell was going on. The screen gap hadn't been an issue until then.

Otherwise, great work, dude. I approve.

Current High Score: 93,875 (I know I can do better)

Tomm Guycot
11-15-2007, 10:12 AM
Tomm, do you know what they're going to call the game in Japan? I wonder if "Contra Spirits 2" or something would carry the same connotation for them as "Contra 4" does for us.

I know all, but can say none.

Anyway, so here's the part where I get weirded out everyone's addressing their feedback to me personally. I know we like thinking I"m an attention-whoring blowhard, but it still kind of weirds me out >_>

I just don't want people thinking I'm trying to take all the credit or anything (except for the manual :P). Simon Lai, Matt Bozon, Sean Velasco, Cole Phillips, and myself were all involved in the creative process, and all the hard-working folks of WayForward put a lot of blood and sweat into the game to make it actually exist.

Without them, it's just me and Simon on a streetcorner drunkenly spouting what our ideal Contra COULD have been.

Thanks for all the feedback though guys, it is valuable and people besides me do end up hearing about it.

Kishi
11-15-2007, 10:21 AM
On that note, what's the double H like, because it seems like there's never more than one per stage, which I would imagine makes it insanely good.

The powered-up Homing fires three missiles per shot rather than one. Jam on the button a little and you'll quickly have a huge swarm of them clearing out the screen for you.

I haven't tried the powered-up Flame yet. Sounds good.

Tomm Guycot
11-15-2007, 10:28 AM
It's interesting to me how everyone has entirely different favorite weapons.

I never use Homing or Laser, but people seem to swear by them. That is awesome.

For those of you who think EASY makes you less of a man (yes I know the manual says that verbatim) the game is like Guitar Hero--you are meant to play ALL the difficulties.

Man down, get used to the game on Easy. You'll be amazed at how good you are on Normal afterward.

sfried
11-15-2007, 10:33 AM
I'd actually like to say thank you to Matt Bozon for making another kick-ass game (the other being Shantae) and virt for making the music awsome.
That said, are there plans on releasing a soundtrack, cause I would definately get it along with Dracula X Chronicles' and SMG's OSTs. Now if only I could get myself a free DS off a Stacker game...

Parish
11-15-2007, 10:34 AM
Simon Lai, Matt Bozon, Sean Velasco, Cole Phillips, and myself were all involved in the creative process, and all the hard-working folks of WayForward put a lot of blood and sweat into the game to make it actually exist.
Yeah, but they don't interact with us hoi polloi like you do.

ShakeWell
11-15-2007, 10:52 AM
Yeah, and people like Balrog and I are lowly midwesterners, making us extra hoi polloi (yes, I know that doesn't really work in any grammatical sense, but you know what I mean so fuck off).

Also, thank you for not actually making a non-powered up F totally suck deez nutz like in Contra 1.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2007, 11:15 AM
All the weapons are fairly well balanced, something I forgot to mention in my original assessment of the game. That really impressed me. In the original Contra, I would head straight for the spread shot and conscientiously avoid all the other weapons. In this one, I don't have to be so picky, since all the weapons are fairly effective.

However, I will say that I don't like the way the machine gun looks. Those two streams of really large orbs look like they belong in the ball pit at a Chuck E. Cheese, not in a war zone.

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 12:32 PM
I stayed up 'til 5 am last night, beating the game on easy. It was a blast. Having automatically powered up weapons is just plain fun. The Machine Gun so far seems to be the "broken" weapon. It takes down bosses pretty fast. I've been avoiding the spread shot because it doesn't seem to deal out the hurt quite as much.

The "snatcher" boss from 3 takes some getting used to with the perspective and all. It looks like every shot of his should hit you when he's really shooting both above and below at different intervals. You've just...got to...memorize.

ShakeWell
11-15-2007, 12:57 PM
For those of you who think EASY makes you less of a man (yes I know the manual says that verbatim) the game is like Guitar Hero--you are meant to play ALL the difficulties.

I took this to heart, Tomm, and went ahead and beat the game (insofar as one can) on Easy. Then I moved on to Challenges! I think I'll hit the main game on Hard next, actually. I like the music more, and I think that going through on Normal will be hard enough that if I don't just go directly to Hard, I won't want to spend the time/frustration to do it later.

Unlockable spoiler: Beat 4 Challenges to unlock NES Contra, beat 8 to unlock NES Super C.

reibeatall
11-15-2007, 12:58 PM
The "snatcher" boss from 3 takes some getting used to with the perspective and all. It looks like every shot of his should hit you when he's really shooting both above and below at different intervals. You've just...got to...memorize.

I was just coming in here to comment on this fight.

Umm, I didn't like it. The perspective really just ruined it for me. There would be times where it would look like the fire was hitting me, and nothing happened, then it looked like the fire was in the same place, and I was getting killed. I went through 9 lives on him until I finally pulled out my M and just went crazy.

"A cornered fox is more dangerous than a jackal."
I was the fox.

mopinks
11-15-2007, 01:16 PM
I suck hard at this game, and it is awesome.

it's burning with murder-everything-in-sight giant-testicled spirit!

Maggie
11-15-2007, 02:31 PM
Thanks for all the feedback though guys, it is valuable and people besides me do end up hearing about it.


Oh, in that case... ah... future games need more terrible, amateur voice acting. I am available.

I will work for porn. I mean.. as a payment, not IN it.

Unless.. no, Konami doesn't do that.

...Unless...?

Aaaaanyway, that even creeped me out. Question for anyone who has beaten the game: Are there any neat unlockables or anything (other than the original games, of course, which... if shattered soldier had anything like that, I'd probably STILL be making out with that game. Just kidding. But not really)? I spent about a month on Shattered Soldier just to get the S ranking and watch some bizarro dog (well, ok, Rocket Knight) video, so it doesn't take a lot to please me in this regard.

Gyah, my lack of a DS is really killing me here. And youtube still doesn't have any neat boss videos yet. Love (of Contra) hurts.

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 02:33 PM
Aaaaanyway, that even creeped me out. Question for anyone who has beaten the game: Are there any neat unlockables or anything? I spent about a month on Shattered Soldier just to get the S ranking and watch some bizarro dog (well, ok, Rocket Knight) video, so it doesn't take a lot to please me in this regard.


There's a whole challenge mode just for that!

Maggie
11-15-2007, 02:37 PM
Wait, challenge mode? This sounds promising. But I guess I won't look into it further. If it turns out to be something awesome, it'll probably break my heart.

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 02:38 PM
Wait, challenge mode? This sounds promising. But I guess I won't look into it further. If it turns out to be something awesome, it'll probably break my heart.

You have to unlock it though - I had it waiting for me when I beat easy mode, but then I've heard it unlocks when you reach stage 4 on normal.

ShakeWell
11-15-2007, 02:40 PM
You have to unlock it though - I had it waiting for me when I beat easy mode, but then I've heard it unlocks when you reach stage 4 on normal.

False. I did that before I beat it on Easy, and it didn't open up. Maybe if you beat stage 4 on Normal...

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 02:50 PM
False. I did that before I beat it on Easy, and it didn't open up. Maybe if you beat stage 4 on Normal...

Interesting. I definitely did not beat stage 4 on Normal, but I did reach there. I did that before I beat the game on easy, where after i did notice that the challenge mode was available.

Tomm Guycot
11-15-2007, 03:02 PM
Challenge Mode unlocks when you beat the game

(on any difficulty)

For every 4 challenges completed, you unlock something.

1) Contra
2) Super C
3) Probotector (character)
4) ???
5) Profit

shivam
11-15-2007, 03:03 PM
that ??? better be simon belmont.

Parish
11-15-2007, 03:37 PM
He's only unlockable in TMNT II.

sraymonds
11-15-2007, 03:48 PM
Matt Bozon? That names sounds so familiar.

Since Tomm's given his official permission to play on Easy, that is what I'll do.

And Brandon, you should drop the money for a DS and join us.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2007, 06:11 PM
I think he writes for IGN and makes lackluster shooter/RPG hybrids in his spare time.

sfried
11-15-2007, 06:29 PM
Don't forget about Lucia. And Jimbo and Sully as well.

Kishi
11-15-2007, 06:51 PM
Before it's too late for anyone else, sfried, that gentleman, is apparently referring to the other unlockable characters. By name. Helpful!

Anyway, on my latest run, I got close to the end of Stage 4 before dying for the first time, cautiously passed Stage 5, and then steadily bumbled my way through 6, 7, and 8. I didn't need to use a Continue until Stage 9, where I quickly used up the rest of them, as well. I did manage to get a glimpse at what appears to be the final boss, though. Hi Score: 236,225.

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 07:59 PM
I did manage to get a glimpse at what appears to be the final boss, though.

Is it...classic?

Kishi
11-15-2007, 08:11 PM
When I saw it, I found it to be simultaneously surprising and horrifying and comforting.

So, yes.

Maggie
11-15-2007, 08:16 PM
What did it look like? The waterfall boss looked awesome, so the bar is raised high.

Eirikr
11-15-2007, 08:26 PM
When I saw it, I found it to be simultaneously surprising and horrifying and comforting.

So, yes.

Does his name begin with a G and end with an A?

Hell, I could probably say the name and no one else would know who it was. But I won't!

Kishi
11-15-2007, 08:33 PM
What did it look like? The waterfall boss looked awesome, so the bar is raised high.

The waterfall boss is outdone by Stage 4. Believe.

Parish
11-15-2007, 08:37 PM
Does his name begin with a G and end with an A?
Goltana? Oh man, I've always wanted a Contra/FFT crossover, but I never dared to dream...

Torgo
11-15-2007, 10:08 PM
I picked up the game today, but it was something of a bittersweet experience.

Clerk: Contra 4? Nice.
Me: Yeah. Shoulda pre-ordered, but...
Clerk: *looks at box* 20th Anniversary? God, now I feel old...
Me: Everything I've heard about it says it's good and really faithful to the old school games.
Clerk: Awesome.
Me: So... uh, you guys sold much in the way of copies?
Clerk: Well... you're the first one.
Me: What.
Clerk: Yeah..
Me: *sigh* That's a shame.

So yeah, getting Contra 4 was awesome. Finding out that no one else has bought it there yet, not so much.

As for playing Contra 4, it's good! I need to dig into it a bit more and let it digest, but the first impressions are really strong; I don't have near the amount of nostalgia for Contra most of you guys do and I'm totally digging it.

I can't stress enough how badly more games need to have music this awesome.* Also, while you must bear in mind that I love cheesy voice work (see: Dynasty Warriors), I like the corny one-liners.

*No, really, I can't.

VsRobot
11-15-2007, 10:23 PM
I kept praying that I could get some sweet unlockables without having to beat the game, but I knew deep in my heart that this wasn't going to be the case. It's really hard to beat games like this with such limp wrists, I guess. :(

Thank goodness I actually have a name to curse when I fritter away 20 lives and my last two continues trying to get past the boss at the end of stage four. I can shake my fists at the heavens and yell "TOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYY KOOOONNAAAMMMIIII" and feel a little better. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to figure out what this infernal cartridge expects from me.

So, uh, what's Konami's policy on replacing my DS if I snap it in half because of this game?

Here's a true story: the seventh time I died in two seconds against that stage 4 boss I cussed so loud that I woke up my wife. She thought something terrible had happened. I gravely informed her that it had. "I lost all my guys." She didn't show much empathy.

So, in conclusion, I love this game, even if it doesn't love me back.

PS Contra 4 is selling okay at my store, but probably because I'm there to evangelize it. It's hard coming out this time of year for even an amazing game to get noticed.

Calorie Mate
11-15-2007, 10:40 PM
When I was picking up Mario, I mentioned I'd be back in 2 days to get Contra 4. The clerk at the counter had to ask me what system it was for. Luckily, the other clerk told him off for not knowing about such an awesome game, so all was well.

Tomm Guycot
11-15-2007, 11:08 PM
When I saw it, I found it to be simultaneously surprising and horrifying and comforting.

So, yes.

I'm dying to know what he means by this.

shivam
11-15-2007, 11:12 PM
do the different characters play differently, or is it just skins?

Parish
11-15-2007, 11:30 PM
I'm dying to know what he means by this.
Translation: it looked exactly like his mom.

Tomm Guycot
11-15-2007, 11:38 PM
Translation: it looked exactly like his mom.

Contra is slowly altering Jeremy into a much different, angrier, more violent person.

ArugulaZ
11-15-2007, 11:44 PM
do the different characters play differently, or is it just skins?

The defaults aren't even skins; they're palette-swaps. I'm hoping the hidden characters will be a little more diverse.

Kishi
11-15-2007, 11:58 PM
I'm dying to know what he means by this.
Spoilers: My first reaction was "It's Gabba!!" It was surprising because I'd gathered from some of your comments pre-release that he (as "Red Falcon") wouldn't be showing up; horrifying because I know from past games that Gabba don't mess around at all; and comforting in the same way the reappearance of all the other classic Contra bosses were.

Of course, by the time I realized it was Black Viper, not Gabba, I was already at Game Over.


More recently, I beat the game! After plenty of false starts, I got to Stage 9 with twenty lives in reserve, having only died twice along the way.

The stage is a lot easier when you show up equipped with a powered-up Spread (combined with the superhuman "Contra high" that comes from long play sessions), so I didn't die at all there until the short auto-scrolling section right before the final boss. Once I got to the fight proper, I gradually picked up on his patterns and finished the game with fourteen lives remaining. As the credits rolled, the tension uncoiled from within me, and my entire body began to tremble.

Hi Score: 303,300.

Maggie
11-16-2007, 12:17 AM
Spoilers


More recently, I beat the game! After plenty of false starts, I got to Stage 9 with twenty lives in reserve, having only died twice along the way.

The stage is a lot easier when you show up equipped with a powered-up Spread (combined with the superhuman "Contra high" that comes from long play sessions), so I didn't die at all there until the short auto-scrolling section right before the final boss. Once I got to the fight proper, I gradually picked up on his patterns and finished the game with fourteen lives remaining. As the credits rolled, the tension uncoiled from within me, and my entire body began to tremble.

Hi Score: 303,300.

Can you feel your left arm?

I don't really know any of the villains by name (other than, I guess, Red Falcon and Blood Falcon) so I'm gonna have to look this, er, Goltana guy up.

Eirikr
11-16-2007, 12:23 AM
For those of you who can read Japanese, here is one of the best Contra sites out there: http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hzk/kommander/contra.html

It doesn't yet list Contra 4 but it has some nice bestiaries for those interested.

Maggie
11-16-2007, 12:25 AM
That bestiary will help, since google yielded completely baffling results.

Eirikr
11-16-2007, 12:29 AM
That bestiary will help, since google yielded completely baffling results.

Of particular interest then will be Contra III's bestiary (http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hzk/kommander/con3enemy.html).

Eirikr
11-16-2007, 12:39 AM
It doesn't yet list Contra 4

I take this back. The guy seems rather excited about Contra 4 and even recently posted "コ―――ォゥンンントゥラ フゥォォォォォォゥアアァァ!!!!" (Cooooonnntra Fooooooooooooourr!!!) on the main page (http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hzk/kommander/index.html).

reibeatall
11-16-2007, 12:19 PM
sfried, look at the post right above yours.

sfried
11-16-2007, 12:33 PM
sfried, look at the post right above yours.

Ah sorry. Didn't refresh soon enough. Deleted.

Ben1842
11-16-2007, 01:05 PM
I'll be giving my review of the game in video form. (Video Game Take Out Episode 13)
There aren't any spoilers in it past level 3 so if you haven't played it much it wont ruin it for you. I didn't want to show as much as usual because the game is new.

It'll be up Sunday night-ish for anyone interested. (that means you Tomm lol)

Tomm Guycot
11-16-2007, 01:07 PM
It'll be up Sunday night-ish for anyone interested. (that means you Tomm lol)

Cooooonnntra Fooooooooooooourr!!!

shivam
11-16-2007, 01:26 PM
ok, i gotta know. when the title screen comes up, does it have the same music as contra 1? Tah Teh Tah tuh tuh...TANAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Tomm Guycot
11-16-2007, 02:13 PM
ok, i gotta know. when the title screen comes up, does it have the same music as contra 1? Tah Teh Tah tuh tuh...TANAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

You will find:

* The same title screen music
* The same level clear music
* the same game-over music
* The "Classic Konami Pause Chime"

Buy the game.

Sporophyte
11-16-2007, 02:25 PM
I want to buy this game but the philistines around here don't have it yet. Don't people understand there is an army of alien invaders I need to gun down?

reibeatall
11-16-2007, 02:31 PM
Should've preordered. Even Tomm told you to. (http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8472080&publicUserId=5477956)

Sporophyte
11-16-2007, 02:45 PM
It's true I should have, alas I must pay the price for expecting to be able to buy things once they come out.

reibeatall
11-16-2007, 04:15 PM
Does it make me less of a man if I'm grinding in Factory for extra lives?

mopinks
11-16-2007, 04:19 PM
yes.

(note to self: grind in factory for extra lives)

Tomm Guycot
11-16-2007, 04:36 PM
Didn't you read the manual!?

This isn't some RPG

Merus
11-16-2007, 04:53 PM
Didn't you read the manual!?
Come on Tomm, that's from the weapons section. (Note: do not have Contra 4, waiting on delivery from parts unknown/YesAsia.)

Sami
11-16-2007, 06:06 PM
Unlocked Challenge mode, now I've been playing nothing else (except a little of original Contra). Awesome feature. Can't wait to see more of the unlockable characters. Voices are great, I definitely keep them on. True Contra feeling. Music is fantastic, Base stages were a great surprise.

Favorite weapons thus far have been S, M, C and H, all great for different situations. Haven't been that excited about L and definitely haven't seen much use to F, the level 1 of Fire doesn't seem worth keeping for the upgrade. Need to play more, but this could be one of the very best DS games made, top 3 or top 5.

reibeatall
11-16-2007, 06:13 PM
Before Contra 4, I was a scrawny pale girly-man.

After beating Contra 4 on easy, my chest is full of hair, and my biceps have tripled in size. I can't wait to see how manly the rest of this game makes me.

Maggie
11-16-2007, 06:15 PM
I showed the Contra website to my dad today over AIM and he got excited about it. Also commented on how depressing it was that it's been twenty years since the first one came out, which... yeah. Little bit.

Er, and he also didn't know that the DS had two screens, which he found baffling. We were all like that once.

Kishi
11-16-2007, 10:28 PM
Well, that's it for Challenge Mode! It certainly lived up to its name, though; the missions that required you not to run all over and shoot constantly (in basic Contra fashion) were especially maddening. The speed runs were probably my favorite, as victory requires the use of every shortcut you can possibly manage, turning each stage from a battlefield into an elaborate puzzle of movement.

It's clear that a lot of effort went into the unlockables, too. No matter how dispiriting some of the tougher challenges were, it was all worth it, looking at these. Of course, to a fair extent, the journey was it own reward, too. And if nothing else, it's done a lot towards preparing me for Hard Mode.

shivam
11-16-2007, 10:48 PM
alright, tommy konami. you got me to buy it. it better be good.

shivam
11-16-2007, 11:18 PM
holy SHIT this game is hard.

three continues and i couldn't even beat the first boss on easy mode. man, i've been playing rpg and strategy games for too long. my reflexes are totally atrophied.

Tomm Guycot
11-16-2007, 11:47 PM
It's all part of my insane quest to turn my gamer friends back into gamers.

See you in Brawl, suckers!

shivam
11-17-2007, 12:17 AM
i just wish there was a way to get weapons and not die immediately afterwards.

Kishi
11-17-2007, 12:51 AM
Stage 1

Machine Gun: It's right there at the beginning. No sweat.

Flame: It comes flying in from behind the second standing gunner, right along your path. Shoot him down, pop-pop, and grab it.

Spread Shot: It's right before the first turret, on the bottom path. To get it easily, approach from the water and shoot the panel as it comes into view. If you don't break your stride, you can even run peacefully past the turret before it thinks to fire at you.

Machine Gun: It comes flying in on the top screen, high above the first destructible bridge. At the most, you'll only have a couple joggers to deal with here, so feel free to stop in your tracks, aim at the sky, and shoot it down.

Crush: All by itself on the bottom path, just before the second destructible bridge. Falling down to get it means sticking to that path for a while, though.

Spread Shot: Also along the bottom path, just a short distance ahead of the Crush. It's accompanied by a turret and perhaps a grenade-thrower up on the high path, but the latter is easy to dodge if you keep moving, and the former is as slow a shot as ever.

Laser: Floating along the top screen in an area with no enemies. It's yours for the taking.

Homing: The only pick-up in the stage that really requires any special finesse to acquire. You'll see a weapons panel and a turret below your feet. Just to be safe, take out the turret with whatever you have, being careful not to shoot the panel. Once that's done, stand over the panel, shoot it open, and drop through the ground towards the deadly abyss. Since a Contra man falls faster than any weapon, you'll grab it before it falls off the edge of the screen; then just deploy the grappling hook before you do. You'll be carried to safety in style.

Crush: Another one that simply flies in from the right of the top screen. However, unless you're using a weapon that covers a lot of area, it's likely you'll be too busy handling the huge rail-tank thing to be able to pluck this one from the sky.

Flame: This one comes in near ground-level towards the end of the stage, probably as a pity prize in the case that you died and lost all your good stuff during the rail-tank sequence.

Laser: Comes in along the top screen, right behind the Flame. Don't ever say Contra 4 never gave you a freebie or two.


I hope this helps get you off to a good start.

VsRobot
11-17-2007, 06:55 AM
Could someone come over to my house and unlock Challenge Mode for me?

kthxbye

Sami
11-17-2007, 08:15 AM
You need to be a MAN and do it yourself!

And possibly also a masochist. Pacifism 3 is murder.

shivam
11-17-2007, 10:52 AM
so i made it to level 2 and i ran into six of those explody guys right in a row, and then a fucking dog thing fell on me.

this game makes me feel like i am 8 years old again, and completely useless and futile at gaming, waiting for RPGs to come out so that i can regain some self confidence.

also, flame is my favorite non spread weapon, mainly because it hits things and they die.

Tomm Guycot
11-17-2007, 11:36 AM
Nerd things.

FAQ! FAQ! FAQ!

shivam
11-17-2007, 11:40 AM
never mind.

i'm noticing, though, that i'm getting better and better at this as i play. it's like those 20 years of gaming have finally amounted to something =)

chud_666
11-17-2007, 11:58 AM
"It's all part of my insane quest to turn my gamer friends back into gamers.

See you in Brawl, suckers!"

haha! Tomm you rule!

So Tomm, other than 4, which is your favourite Contra? Mine is Hard Corps....

ShakeWell
11-17-2007, 12:43 PM
It's all part of my insane quest to turn my gamer friends back into gamers.

See you in Brawl, suckers!

Fuck yeah, you will. I finsta Pwn your sorry ass, Tomm! We'll see who make who whose bitch, then, won't we?! WON'T WE!?

shivam
11-17-2007, 12:44 PM
this game is like a bully that just won't stop punching me in the face.

Tomm Guycot
11-17-2007, 01:13 PM
So Tomm, other than 4, which is your favourite Contra? Mine is Hard Corps....

Contra (NES) is my favorite. I just think it has the best balance of all the Contra elements.

Of the "new school" (post Contra 3) boss rush games, I think Hard Corps is my favorite.

ArugulaZ
11-17-2007, 03:31 PM
Is it possible to beat the skeleton boss with the standard shot? I suspect that it isn't, because I've blasted those gears to kingdom come and the skeleton always pulls the doors apart just before I'm able to close them. It would really suck if you lost all your weapons by the time you reached him... then beating him would be an impossibility, and you'd have to sacrifice all your lives just to start that stage over from the beginning. Makes me wish the designers had shown a little mercy and threw you a bone every once in a while during boss fights, like Metal Slug had.

VsRobot
11-17-2007, 04:33 PM
This game is not immediately satisfying the way Contra 3 is.

The reason I say that is that when I play Contra 3, my only goal as I start each new game is to get further than I did the last game. I'm not worried about beating it, and I probably never will accomplish such a feat. That doesn't bother me, so I can still have fun every time.

This game, however, is holding something back from me, a reward that I can only get if I beat the game. Now, when I play, no matter how far I get, I feel like a failure because I didn't beat the game.

I still like the game, but I'm so frustrated at how useless I am at these sorts of run'n'gun twitchfests that I feel like putting it aside so I can focus on a game like Mario Galaxy, that fills me with a sense of wonder, not the sense of dread this game causes me each time I lose a guy, knowing that I'm one step closer to having to start over, my goal not obtained.

I guess I don't deserve the unlockables, but I would still like to have them. :'(

ShakeWell
11-17-2007, 04:37 PM
So, Tomm... I don't wanna know what it is, but do you get something for beating the game on Hard, or just for doing the Challenges?

Sarcasmorator
11-17-2007, 04:40 PM
Great game. Great manual, too! I'm not joking. I hate how flimsy and lifeless so many modern manuals are, and it's awesome to read one wiht personality for once.

ArugulaZ
11-17-2007, 04:58 PM
I guess I don't deserve the unlockables, but I would still like to have them. :'(

What he said. In fact, if I can't EARN the unlockables, I'll find a way to take them by force! All it takes is the right cheat code, and they can't stay hidden forever...

reibeatall
11-17-2007, 05:01 PM
I like how you guys added the infamous code in, but even with it, you'll need skill to beat the game. You can't just life-up your way through it.

VsRobot
11-17-2007, 05:28 PM
I like how you guys added the infamous code in, but even with it, you'll need skill to beat the game. You can't just life-up your way through it.

I'm "playing" on EASY, so I don't even get the nostalgia hit of entering in the code.

Tomm Guycot
11-17-2007, 05:50 PM
The reason I say that is that when I play Contra 3, my only goal as I start each new game is to get further than I did the last game. I'm not worried about beating it, and I probably never will accomplish such a feat. That doesn't bother me, so I can still have fun every time.

This game, however, is holding something back from me, a reward that I can only get if I beat the game. Now, when I play, no matter how far I get, I feel like a failure because I didn't beat the game.

I don't really understand this complaint.

Contra 3 has no additional stuff once you beat it. The idea behind Challenge Mode is giving this game as much replay and depth as a "modern game."

It isn't withholding anything, since if you never unlock the other features you're essentially playing a game with the same depth as Contra 3.

As for the "unbeatable boss with default gun" it is technically possible to 1-life this game with the default gone. NOTHING "requires" a weapon or dying. Nothing.

Just tap faster.

reibeatall
11-17-2007, 06:05 PM
Is there a particular reason that you guys made it so you could discard your weapon?

VsRobot
11-17-2007, 06:10 PM
I don't really understand this complaint.
Contra 3 has no additional stuff once you beat it. The idea behind Challenge Mode is giving this game as much replay and depth as a "modern game."


Contra 3 not having additionally stuff for beating it is why I don't feel bad for not being able to beat it. I feel satisfied with the fun I've had, even as I send all my guys to glorious early graves. The only goal I have as I start each new game is to match or exceed my personal best.

However, I really want to beat Contra 4 and get the opportunity to get those unlockables, so matching or exceeding my personal best gives me no satisfaction whatsoever.

It's not a complaint so much as it is me feeling sorry for myself for being so bad at video games.

ReyVGM
11-17-2007, 07:37 PM
I guess I have to ask this question...

Does it have multiple endings?
Or maybe a hidden and/or longer ending if you beat the challenge mode completely?

Or does it have the classic "beat the game in hard to see the full ending" deal?

reibeatall
11-17-2007, 08:55 PM
Or does it have the classic "beat the game in hard to see the full ending" deal?

On Easy, it ends after Level 7. According to the instruction manual, there are 9 Levels. I don't know if that means that Normal has 8 and Hard has 9, because I'm too bad at it.

Tomm Guycot
11-17-2007, 10:03 PM
You play the entire game on Normal and Hard, but the message is longer on Hard and you get a different picture.

Zeroneight
11-17-2007, 10:06 PM
I just beat it on Easy, but now the Challenges are kicking my ass. So I'm taking a break and hopefully my hands will recover...

Kishi
11-17-2007, 10:26 PM
Is there a particular reason that you guys made it so you could discard your weapon?

It's supposed to come in handy for multiplayer. If your partner dies and loses the weapon he was holding, you can make his life easier by throwing him one of yours. And if you have a powered-up weapon, you'll just throw him one of its "levels," powering down yourself but making sure you both still have at least one.

In single-player, I've found it can also be useful if you screw up and grab, say, one Spread for both of your guns. You can throw out one of them, switch over to the other, and then pick up the discarded one again for a single powered-up Spread.

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 01:44 AM
Well, I'm glad everyone is enjoying the game. I was so moved by your positive feedback that I wrote a song about my feelings.

(to the tune of... well, if you haven't played Portal yet then you're wasting your life)

This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here:
HUGE SUCCESS.
It's hard to overstate
my satisfaction.
Konami/WayForward...
We develop hard games
because we can.
For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are n00bs.
But there's no sense crying
over every profane shout.
You just keep on trying
'til your continues run out.
And the Challenges get done,
And you unlock a lot of fun
For the people who are
Still alive.


Have you started Galaxy?
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though I didn’t make that game,
It’s decent.
I worked really hard, though.
WayForward's not exactly close to home.
I had to drive 100 miles away,
and on a weekend no less!
Thanks to hours of "gap" meetings
you can shoot in straight lines.
All our freetime took a beating,
But we released it on time.
So I'm glad the game's depraved
(mostly cause you cannot save);
With practice maybe you'll be
Still alive.

As for the graphics...
I think i prefer to stay sprite-based.
Maybe someone else can make
3D Contra.
Maybe Appaloosa...
That was a joke. Ha ha!
Fat chance.
Anyway, this soundtest is great;
Oh, I guess it's unlockable too.
Look at me still talking when there's producing to do!
(Though after Shane's 7.5
I wish I wrote the reviews).
I've got concepts to contrive,
Dead franchises to revive,
For retro gamers who are
Still alive.


And believe me I am still alive.
I’m in the Harbor and I'm still alive.
I’m playing Hard Mode and I'm still alive.
While you're dying I'll be still alive.
You've quit on Normal yet I'm still alive.
Still alive.
Still alive.

Ben1842
11-18-2007, 01:52 AM
That was awesome.

Did Shane really give it a 7.5? I'm gonna have to read his review and see why.

*edit*
I read it. It seemed pretty fair but I disagree that it was too safe. I think that's just what Contra needed. A heavy focus on gameplay without any gimmick being added.
I really think that sometimes the old way is the best way. I do kinda wish easy mode was easier (like maybe not loosing your weapons when you die or something), but overall I think it's a great game.
a 7.5 is not bad anyway. I'm sure it's not what you're hoping for but it's very respectable for a retro style game made by the studio that made Ping Pals. If I had heard that I would have thought there way no way this game could be good. Who knew?

I decided to leave the whole Ping Pals thing out of my review, because I don't think people should be penalized for improving. Bringing it up all the time diminishes the good games that come after it. IMO.
I think Contra 4 should have the chance to stand on it's own. (and it does so quite well)

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 02:12 AM
There are so many factors that go into development that mentioning old games by a studio is meaningless. In the case of Ping Pal's it's just petty and insulting.

PP clearly wasn't the best efforts of the developer. It was a rushed project that a publisher hired them for. Everyone needs to eat. What I'm saying is, it wasn't a case of "improvement." WayForward's licensed games are all solid platformers. Just like the Treasure and Konami of old.

Maggie
11-18-2007, 02:13 AM
As for the graphics...
I think i prefer to stay sprite-based.
Maybe someone else can make
3D Contra.
Maybe Appaloosa...
That was a joke. Ha ha!
Fat chance.


Ok, I'll admit it, that WAS pretty good. Still hate you, though. Hate you so hard.

Someone totally needs to sing that in a computerized voice, though.

I'm being so sincere right now.

Zeroneight
11-18-2007, 02:58 AM
Yeah, I thought the Ping Pals thing was a low blow. Why didn't Shane mention Shantae instead?

Also, which DS are you guys playing with? I only have access to a DS Lite, and I'm wishing the buttons were a little farther apart. Can't remember if the orginal DS was that different, though. I'd kill for the ability to play this with an SNES controller (legally).

ArugulaZ
11-18-2007, 04:37 AM
Don't worry, I'm sure Nintendo will give the Japanese one with the purchase of thirteen other DS games. -_-;

As for the Ping Pals thing, I think it's really hard for game developers to live down their failures, even if 90% of their output is excellent. Look at Howard Scott Warshaw! He made Yar's Revenge, one of the best games for the Atari 2600, yet all anyone remembers is E.T.

Ping Pals was especially unfortunate, because it could have been a hit with the pre-teen crowd if Nintendo hadn't blindsided the game's developers by adding a wi-fi chat program to the DS hardware. Pictochat obsoleted Ping Pals before it was even released!

I don't hold that mistake against them, though. WayForward has made too many pig's ears into silk purses for me to punish them for that one failure. I AM still a little irked by Sigma Star Saga, but that's mostly because it didn't live up to its full potential... it was a perfectly fine adventure game chained to one of the worst side-scrolling shooters ever made. If more time was spent polishing up the shooter half of the game (and I mean a lot more time...), I'd probably be singing its praises too.

Sami
11-18-2007, 08:35 AM
Wow, that was a great song.

Unlocked the Nakazato interview last night (literally), was surprised that Nakazato was also involved in Vandal Hearts! Now if only that Vandal Hearts DS (or Wii) would materialize from somewhere... *wink wink nudge nudge*

Oh, a great thing about the music: even through the DS speakers, it's really loud and awesome (REALLY LOUD, just turn the volume up to hear how hard it rocks), but on headphones, you hear all kinds of cool things aside the blaring awesomeness, like tortured moans in Harvest Yard. Great stuff.

Kishi
11-18-2007, 08:49 AM
It's funny to think this game is an overall better audiovisual experience than either of the Castlevanias on DS.

cartman414
11-18-2007, 09:23 AM
Bringing up Ping Pals instead of Shantae in reference to WayForward is kind of like only bringing up Broken Arrow on the subject of John Woo instead of any of his Hong Kong signature flicks. Tsk tsk tsk Shane. No excuse for ignorance on this one. (Would leave this on the review comments page, but I'd be barred from doing so, because I don't even have the game yet as of this moment.)

Topic: I'm picking up Contra 4 at Fry's today for $20. They were sold out at the Costa Mesa location, but they have 1 left at Anaheim, and I just managed to reserve that copy. Nee-ha!

Sami
11-18-2007, 10:27 AM
Broken Arrow! Now that's a Contra movie, a guy destroys a helicopter with nothing but a handgun!

It's funny to think this game is an overall better audiovisual experience than either of the Castlevanias on DS.

Yeah, noticed that too. The graphics/music/sound effects are simply outstanding and put the DS Castlevania games to shame. Contra 4 is stunning to see and hear. And man, that Contra 4 logo... that's simply the manliest Contra title screen ever.

VsRobot
11-18-2007, 10:50 AM
I love the game but I have a suggestion for the sequel. (Yes, I want a sequel. GET TO WORK.)

Put in a sensor that will unlock some cool bonuses if the game gets covered in manly tears. I don't know how game development works, but if there is a way to differentiate tears of frustration from tears of hopelessness, and have each variety open a different cool unlockable, that would be awesome.

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 11:09 AM
things about "blindsided developers".

But that's what I'm saying. You're assuming all these games were near-and-dear to WF's heart.

Don't get me wrong, they do the absolute best they can on whatever schedule/budget they are given. To assume that they didn't know about Pictochat, or that they were watching sales with crossed fingers chanting "C'mooooon Ping Pals!" is absurd.

Every game a developer makes does not "come" from that developer. Some are given by a publisher. (for example: Contra 4) Sometimes the developer loves the game and it's a dream project (for example: Contra 4) and other times it's a game they're able to make, so they have to to stay in business.

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 11:11 AM
I love the game but I have a suggestion for the sequel. (Yes, I want a sequel. GET TO WORK.)

Put in a sensor that will unlock some cool bonuses if the game gets covered in manly tears. I don't know how game development works, but if there is a way to differentiate tears of frustration from tears of hopelessness, and have each variety open a different cool unlockable, that would be awesome.

What if you cry both at the same time?

VsRobot
11-18-2007, 11:14 AM
What if you cry both at the same time?

The game sends a signal over the Wi-Fi connection and the next day a pretty pink dress arrives at your house.

BONUS: You get to put the Wi-Fi logo on your box art!

mopinks
11-18-2007, 01:31 PM
I finally put enough time into the game to beat the stage 2 boss - with nary a spare life remaining, mind you - and breathe a sigh of relief! then the game decided to remind to never assume anything in a video game is dead, ever. A LESSON WELL LEARNED.

the happy ending to this story is that I went on to beat stage 3 without losing a single life. hooray!

mopinks
11-18-2007, 03:37 PM
UPDATE: I beat the game (on easy, of course) and discovered that a friend of mine did some of the sprite work for the game. neat!

he's a whiz kid with pixels, so you can totally thank him for helping to make the game so darned pretty.

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 04:10 PM
UPDATE: I beat the game (on easy, of course) and discovered that a friend of mine did some of the sprite work for the game. neat!

he's a whiz kid with pixels, so you can totally thank him for helping to make the game so darned pretty.

What things did he create?

Maggie
11-18-2007, 04:24 PM
What things did he create?

You realize, by the way, that in non-forum conversations, we're going to refer to you as "Our friend, Tomm, who worked on a game you might have heard of..."

mopinks
11-18-2007, 04:28 PM
What things did he create?

I think he was listed under 'additional' art, so he probably didn't do too much. he does a good amount of freelance work for WayForward, (http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,244761/) so I guess it's not too surprising!

reibeatall
11-18-2007, 04:40 PM
You realize, by the way, that in non-forum conversations, we're going to refer to you as "Our friend, Tomm, who worked on a game you might have heard of..."

We already do. (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=1066&highlight=my+friend+tomm)

Maggie
11-18-2007, 04:46 PM
We already do. (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=1066&highlight=my+friend+tomm)

Ah, he wasn't proven back then. Contra 4 could've gone either way, we didn't know. In those days, I was still telling people how me and Ian McKellan were totally buds on the internet.

Traumadore
11-18-2007, 06:27 PM
Alright, I got this yesterday and I've played it quite a bit since then.

The difficulty is great, and very rewarding. I started on normal and used all my lives to get one glimpse of the final boss before it charged up it's laser. I cheesed out to easy, and beat all 7 levels on my fourth try on a single continue.

I'm curious when people talk about the stage 4 boss, do you mean the whole rocket segment, or just the giant robot? If it's just the robot, I don't get people's seeming frustration, I beat it losing one life even the first time.

One final note, I breathe a sigh of relief in the base levels, they are considerably easier to memorize than the normal levels, way fun though and a good opportunity to recharge weapons (to lose in the second screen of whatever comes next).

I like how this game has brought all of my old, nearly forgotten Contra and Contra III memories back to life. And I feel like it is excercizing a long atrophied skill.

mr_bungle700
11-18-2007, 07:05 PM
Unlocked the Nakazato interview last night (literally), was surprised that Nakazato was also involved in Vandal Hearts! Now if only that Vandal Hearts DS (or Wii) would materialize from somewhere... *wink wink nudge nudge*

Okay, now that Contra 4 is out, Vandal Hearts is first on my list of DS Games That Need To Exist Right Now.

(I actually love Vandal Hearts more than Final Fantasy Tactics. Don't tell anyone.)

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 07:06 PM
I think he was listed under 'additional' art, so he probably didn't do too much. he does a good amount of freelance work for WayForward, (http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,244761/) so I guess it's not too surprising!

I was just wondering if he told you.

Since he can now, since the game is out.

Calorie Mate
11-18-2007, 07:07 PM
Ah, he wasn't proven back then. Contra 4 could've gone either way, we didn't know. In those days, I was still telling people how me and Ian McKellan were totally buds on the internet.

That's Sir Ian McKellen to you!

mopinks
11-18-2007, 07:29 PM
I was just wondering if he told you.

Since he can now, since the game is out.

I don't hear from him much anymore, now that he's been seduced by the glitzy high-fashion world of spriting. :<

Maggie
11-18-2007, 07:32 PM
That's Sir Ian McKellen to you!

Kell to his friends.

But I suppose you wouldn't know that, would you?

Kishi
11-18-2007, 07:50 PM
Even though I never had to use a Continue, I still didn't break my previous Hi Score. That's all right, though: I finally beat Hard Mode.

Calorie Mate
11-18-2007, 08:10 PM
Kell to his friends.

But I suppose you wouldn't know that, would you?

It's been so long since either of us haven't used pet names that I don't even remember.

Traumadore
11-18-2007, 08:11 PM
First of all Kishi, I am jealous of you in the extreme. I am still struggling to get to beat level 4 on normal. Second of all, I also have a gargantuan high score from when I played through easy on one continue that I have yet to topple.

Looking for tips on how to handle the rocket grappling segment!

I always lose at least 5 or 6 lives there.

Kishi
11-18-2007, 08:41 PM
1. The best strategy for the "Missile Hugger 3000" fight is pure misdirection. When you're above him, he'll climb up to swipe at you, and when you're below him, he'll climb down to do the same. Now, he can climb faster than you, so unless you want to risk some really close calls, begin moving up or down past him while he's still finishing his swiping motion. He'll most likely miss you every time, but just to be safe, don't stop moving until his hand has found its mark--and isn't on you.

2. Using the previous strategy, try your hardest to make it out of the fight with either a Spread or Homing in hand. These, especially the former, will make shooting down the incoming projectiles much easier.

3. Even though you'll be holding Down to shoot at the rising projectiles for the first half of the flight, be sure to let go when you're about to make a jump to the next handle. Otherwise, you'll just release the one you're already holding. I died several times in the beginning to this basic mistake.

4. In many cases, the next handle will be closer to you than the arc of a full horizontal jump would take you, and if you overshoot it at first, it can be hard to compensate on the descent. In these cases, just pull backwards lightly as you reach the height of the jump and make minor adjustments as necessary as you descend in order to ensure you land safely. This is probably the part where I had the most difficulty, but it's not too bad after a bit of practice.

5. Bear in mind as you climb back up the handles that "bottomless pit" deaths in Contra don't require you to disappear off the edge of the screen, as in your Marios and Mega Men; just touching the edge is enough. So in addition to watching for new handles and shooting the skies clear, be sure to keep ahead of it.

6. I won't spoil the final section, where you have to avoid the flames from the missile's boosters. Just pay attention to the visual cues, and you should do well. And if it's really just too much, you can always practice on Easy Mode, where you're given much more time to make each move.

Traumadore
11-18-2007, 08:55 PM
Yeah, I did it on easy mode, but I still have heck of problems. I have gotten used to fighting the MH3K, but most of the missile flight is composed of me respawning until it puts me up on the thrusters.

I can't seem to make those jumps connect, and I havent been able to ascertain if the grapple hook can be used as a last attempt to grab a hand hold.

Thanks for warning me about the faster reaction times with the thrusters though. I guess i'll just have to practice.

ArugulaZ
11-18-2007, 09:37 PM
I finished the easy mode with a couple of continues to spare. Unless there's an infinite lives or invincibility code out there, that's as far as I'm going to go. The challenges are just too much aggravation for me to stand... clawing your way through half a stage, only to be nicked by a bullet from the edge of the screen and robbed of all your progress is just not my idea of fun.

The easy mode is greatly appreciated, though. It's just the right difficulty for average players, and lets the less masochistic among us enjoy the game without risking our insanity. Thanks for letting the rest of us in on the fun, rather than dismissing us as wimps and designing the game solely for cyborgs.

ShakeWell
11-18-2007, 11:05 PM
I've got concepts to contrive,
Dead franchises to revive,
For retro gamers who are
Still alive.

Start talking, Hulett. It's Rocket Knight, isn't it?

Also, unlockable question: Does Sheena (who is, in fact, a punk rocker) seem even less clothed than she was in Hard Corps, or is it just me?

Tomm Guycot
11-18-2007, 11:36 PM
Start talking, Hulett. It's Rocket Knight, isn't it?

I wish it was Rocket Knight.

As for Missile Hugger tips - one valuable skill you guys should get the hang of (if you hope to beat Challenge Mode) is jump climbing. Leap off a "rope" and then curve immediately back onto it, then jump again. It makes the fight w/ MH3K much, MUCH easier.

(There's also a grapple point above his head if you want to take the quick way AAAAALL the way up)

Jeanie
11-18-2007, 11:47 PM
Start talking, Hulett. It's Rocket Knight, isn't it?

Don't be silly. It's Sunset Riders, isn't it?

Oh wait, you probably can't tell us anyway huh?

Tomm Guycot
11-19-2007, 12:13 AM
It was just a line in a song, guys. I haven't even "revived" Contra yet. Go tell your friends to buy it.

Sami
11-19-2007, 04:59 AM
I finished the easy mode with a couple of continues to spare. Unless there's an infinite lives or invincibility code out there, that's as far as I'm going to go. The challenges are just too much aggravation for me to stand... clawing your way through half a stage, only to be nicked by a bullet from the edge of the screen and robbed of all your progress is just not my idea of fun.

The easy mode is greatly appreciated, though. It's just the right difficulty for average players, and lets the less masochistic among us enjoy the game without risking our insanity. Thanks for letting the rest of us in on the fun, rather than dismissing us as wimps and designing the game solely for cyborgs.

If you finished with a couple of continues, you certainly have a chance in Normal. Try it a few times, it's not impossible by any means. Hard is the one for cyborgs and Probotectors amongst us.

Some of later challenges are very tough, but there are also easy ones in there, at least enough that you'll get Contra and Super C unlocked. Things like Gunplay, the first two speedruns (for the second one, leap to the small railing in the bottom left corner and snipe away at your leisure), a couple of Mutt Hunts (2 is hard though) and others. Try different challenges out, you might see a way that enables you to finish a challenge without too much trouble. You don't always need or even should take the most obvious route in those ones.

Really, I think you'll draw more enjoyment from Normal, and once you've gotten into it, you should find the difficulty Easy-ed. It's not supposed to be finished on the first go, it's meant to be improved in, and once you do finish it, you'll be glad you did.

Sporophyte
11-19-2007, 10:30 AM
I finally got my hands on this bad boy and I'm loving it. Played one 2 player game and we got to stage 4 on easy, then just now I played my first solo game and made it to the boss of level 7 before perishing.

Also Tomm, thank you for all the effort you put into writing the manual. Too often they wind up bland and dull, but you have created something that I pass around to my friends to read, because it's just that awesome. (Well they were my friends till the one stole the spread shot, now it's time to throw down.)

ShakeWell
11-19-2007, 02:22 PM
Don't be silly. It's Sunset Riders, isn't it?

That would be HAWT. Fo' reals.

mopinks
11-19-2007, 04:05 PM
I had to spend a couple hours in the back of a car today, during which time I beat NES Contra solo for probably the first time ever.

what a lovely bonus!

Tomm Guycot
11-19-2007, 04:08 PM
I had to spend a couple hours in the back of a car today, during which time I beat NES Contra solo for probably the first time ever.

what a lovely bonus!

It doesn't count if you used the code.

shivam
11-19-2007, 04:10 PM
hey guycott, you should write an article for gamespite and tell us what the production of contra was like, and what you actually did. it would make for interesting reading.

mopinks
11-19-2007, 04:19 PM
It doesn't count if you used the code.

hey, baby steps!
I haven't played the game in 15 years, and this is the first time I've done so without letting my cousin handle all the hard parts.

I never did much like those spiky death vehicles in the snow field. :<

Kishi
11-19-2007, 04:28 PM
The only thing keeping me from one-lifing the original Contra is the jogger guys who pop into the screen to shoot at me while I'm trying to dodge the falling explosives in the snowfield.

Super C had the improvement of making it so that only certain joggers (the red ones) had guns, but then it squandered its advantage by flooding every stage with the normal ones. About half the game consists of turning around to shoot the constantly-spawning guys as they run up behind you.

Jonny2x4
11-19-2007, 06:45 PM
First time poster, long-time lurker. I felt the need to create an account here seeing how Tomm Guycott is related to the production of the game.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Contra IV as soon as I get the chance to. I really wasn't interested at first. I liked Contra: Shattered Soldier, but I wasn't too keen on Neo Contra. I had my doubts on Contra IV at first, but I've been hearing nothing but praise about it.

Anyway, I do have one small question. Was combining the old North American continuity of Contra with the Japanese canon an artistic decision by Wayfoward or something mandated by the higher-ups at Konami? I find it weird that the localization of Contra: Shattered Soldier and Neo Contra stay true to the Japanese canon and suddenly we have a new Contra game where we have two new characters named Mad Dog and Scorpion, and a new villain called Black Viper (not to mention effectively stating that. Not that anyone besides me cares about the Contra canon.

Kishi
11-19-2007, 07:12 PM
The game doesn't try to canonize the old American storyline so much as it incorporates select elements of it into the Japanese plot, to which it stays most faithful. The only contradiction this creates with the canon accounts of past games is that the hero of Operation C has been changed from Bill to Mad Dog and Scorpion. (The villain of that game being Black Viper instead of an unnamed superpower, as in the original Japanese plot, can probably be explained away as the latter being a front for the former.)

Jonny2x4
11-19-2007, 07:59 PM
Actually, its not just Black Viper and Mad Dog/Scorpion. The timeline of the official mentions "Jagger Froid" (which I believe was the American name for "Demon Emperor Gaver", the sixth boss in the game) and mentions Red Falcon as the alien entity, even though its just the name of the organizations. I might add the Japanese versions did have some weird names for their enemy characters.

Kishi
11-19-2007, 08:09 PM
Tomm's justification to me for Jagger Froid was "They're just names." Which is true. Something similar can also be said for referring to Red Falcon and Black Viper as singular entities; you can replace every "he" and "him" with a "they" and "them" without losing anything.

Red Hedgehog
11-19-2007, 09:42 PM
Guys, the next series Tomm is bringing back is totally Adventures of Bayou Billy. I hear he love it.

Jonny2x4
11-19-2007, 10:07 PM
I'm guessing that's true. Ultimately it doesn't matter what's the plot on the game's manual is, since most of the Contra games don't have any in-game plot at all and story could be about anything. The only exceptions are the Famicom Contra, Hard Corps and the two PS2 Contra games. Which is why the manual writers of the NES games had much leeway in changing the futuristic setting to a present-day one. Oddly enough, the European localizations of the Probotector games actually remained faithful to the Japanese plot, including the weird enemy names. They simply changed Bill and Lance with RD011 and RC008 (the Probotector robots).

My question is that whether Nobuya Nakazato (or anyone at Konami) suggested to follow a certain canon at first or did they simply tell you write whatever the hell you want.

Tomm Guycot
11-19-2007, 10:27 PM
or did they simply tell you write whatever the hell you want.

The plot came from my brain, and was tempered by Simon's brain.

One thing I want to point out is that this is a Konami project. I'm not taking away anything from WayForward (like I've said, without them kicking ass it's just Simon and I rambling to one another), but the project was born of Konami and proceeded under Konami guidance. It was a joint creative effort between a collective of Contra super-minds. (spanning both companies)

It's just hard reading reviews saying things like "WF made a good call including all that anniversary content!"

Anyway, the motivations were that we wanted a Contra storyline in the "classic" era but we didn't want to recycle Red Falcon yet again. Black Viper was the perfect choice.

The manual is "cracked out" because I wanted everything to feel exactly like vintage Contra upon opening the box. I think it succeeded. The storytelling you're supposed to go by is the ingame story, which doesn't include crazy humor or wacky alien names like Jagger Froid.

However, I also wanted to make sure everyone knew which timeline was canon, and not go back to the old NES "modern year" version (which some people still held up, believe it or not). However, I didn't want to mention games by name (Contra 1 - 2633) because it just seemed tacky. So I used events from the "cracked out" version of the storyline to keep things unified.

VsRobot
11-19-2007, 10:54 PM
So... I got to the boss of level four on one continue, and I had 10+ lives left to boot. I was feeling nigh-invincible! Then that fraking missile sequence at up 3 continues. That's something like 40 guys lost. Still, I beat it, and 5 and 6 weren't too bad, I got to the level 6 boss despite never having even seen those levels before.

Should I allow myself to hope that I can conquer this game on easy? I was honestly going to quit playing (forever!) until I found out that easy only has 7 levels. That seems almost achievable.

I'll try again tomorrow -- I sure as frak won't be playing Rock Band, after all!

I'm saving Mario for my rare days off -- I don't want to play it when I'm fried from work and in a bad mood already. Contra is a good game to play when I'm feeling all aggro. Maybe it was the anger, frustration and disappointment of the Rock Band announcement that inspired my awesome (for me) Contra 4 performance.

Tomm Guycot
11-19-2007, 11:06 PM
So... I got to the boss of level four on one continue, and I had 10+ lives left to boot. I was feeling nigh-invincible! Then that fraking missile sequence at up 3 continues. That's something like 40 guys lost. Still, I beat it, and 5 and 6 weren't too bad, I got to the level 6 boss despite never having even seen those levels before.

Should I allow myself to hope that I can conquer this game on easy? I was honestly going to quit playing (forever!) until I found out that easy only has 7 levels. That seems almost achievable.

I'll try again tomorrow -- I sure as frak won't be playing Rock Band, after all!

I'm saving Mario for my rare days off -- I don't want to play it when I'm fried from work and in a bad mood already. Contra is a good game to play when I'm feeling all aggro. Maybe it was the anger, frustration and disappointment of the Rock Band announcement that inspired my awesome (for me) Contra 4 performance.

Is your avatar a reaction to mine?

VsRobot
11-19-2007, 11:17 PM
Is your avatar a reaction to mine?

I wish I was that clever! It's a reaction to the combination of every game being too hard for me and my Rock Band dreams being cruelly dashed on the eve of the games release.

Kishi
11-19-2007, 11:27 PM
I just one-lifed the game on Normal. And so can you!

shivam
11-19-2007, 11:29 PM
the fuck i can. i'm just happy to one continue the first level. on easy.

Tomm Guycot
11-19-2007, 11:32 PM
I just one-lifed the game on Normal. And so can you!

...did Kishi just replay the game AFTER completing everything?

Oh man. It must be a real Contra.

Kishi
11-19-2007, 11:36 PM
You bet your Spread Shot it is. I may have to revisit some of the others before I can be sure, but I think it's now my favorite game in the series.

Traumadore
11-19-2007, 11:51 PM
I swear every time I play the rocket sequence i'm shaving hours off my life. I am now able to get to the rocket launch on one continue on NORMAL (I have been getting quite good at everything up till then!), and I still can't make it to the stage 4 boss.

I am getting slowly better at connecting my jumps to the grips, but once you run out of special weapons there is almost no way to defend yourself from the missile swarms. The normal bullets are just too small to hit with all the odd angles of approach, and contant motion going on.

At least my easy playthrough suggests that the stage 4 boss is pretty merciful once I actually get there, perhaps to compensate for the utter torture of the rocket sequence.

Can anyone tell me if there is a Challenge that involves the rocket sequence so that I can work on getting in some practice without playing for 30 minutes first?

It is also a shame that the harvest yards level was spoiled for me by the challenge mode long before I could get there on normal! I feel like it is just some pecualiar deficiency I have only for the dang rocket sequence.

cartman414
11-20-2007, 12:35 AM
Just beat easy mode, beat the first 5 or so challenges and unlocked NES Contra. (Boy, those monochromatically red powerup crests look so primitive.) I think my old-school Contra instincts are just starting to come back to me. I do wish I could play this with a Super NES controller though. At least I one-lifed Stage 1 normal. W00t!

Just a question, under special thanks, was Bender 'Bending' Rodriguez a reference to Bender himself or someone using that as a pseudonym?

Zeroneight
11-20-2007, 02:39 AM
I've done 21 challenges so far, and it's amazing how much my skills have improved. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm better at games in general now. I think I may even have a fighting chance at Normal! But the fish boss in Harbor is SO HARD without fully upgraded Spread.

Anyway, this is definitely one of the best and most exhilarating games I've played in a looooong time, and easily my favorite for DS.

ringworm
11-20-2007, 06:39 AM
So I finally cracked this badboy open last night and this shit is fo realz. I was pretty damn hardcore on Contra back in the day. My brother and I would challenge each other to see who could play through the game the most times on one continue (without the code, of course). My record was 17 times through, if I remember right, and I quit mostly because I was bored. So I figured all the talk of it being "hard" was relative, and my Contra skills would come back to me...like riding a bike.

I think I got to Stage 6 on all 5 continues on my first attempt on Easy. I have some work ahead of me...

JohnB
11-20-2007, 06:49 AM
So I finally cracked this badboy open last night and this shit is fo realz. I was pretty damn hardcore on Contra back in the day. My brother and I would challenge each other to see who could play through the game the most times on one continue (without the code, of course). My record was 17 times through, if I remember right, and I quit mostly because I was bored. So I figured all the talk of it being "hard" was relative, and my Contra skills would come back to me...like riding a bike.

I think I got to Stage 6 on all 5 continues on my first attempt on Easy. I have some work ahead of me...

I gotta say, I envy your free time.

ringworm
11-20-2007, 06:56 AM
I gotta say, I envy your free time.
You mean the free time I had when I was 8?

JohnB
11-20-2007, 06:58 AM
*laughs* Yeah. I envy the free time I had when I was 8, too. I sucked at Contra, though; my drug of choice was the first Legend of Zelda. I may have to play Contra 4 on my g6 lite, though- it looks fun.

Traumadore
11-20-2007, 08:36 AM
Well I play on the bus and before bed, and last night while my girlfried was doing homework. She started to get a little worried as I was slowly working my way up to progressively harsher curses.

I got to play alot so I'm hoping something "clicked" overnight, you know how that happens. I think it's my only chance to keep making progress.

ShakeWell
11-20-2007, 09:22 AM
On the last eight challenges, it's been hard to not throw my DS as one would an NES controller.

Jonny2x4
11-20-2007, 09:26 AM
Anyway, the motivations were that we wanted a Contra storyline in the "classic" era but we didn't want to recycle Red Falcon yet again. Black Viper was the perfect choice.

I actually would've liked to had seen Colonel Bahamut from Contra: Hard Corps as the main bad guy, considering that in Hard Corps timeline, Bahamut actually attempted to revolt against the Federation in 2639. But I'm guessing Hard Corps might had been too new-school. Oh well. Maybe for Contra 5.

Kishi
11-20-2007, 09:40 AM
I actually would've liked to had seen Colonel Bahamut from Contra: Hard Corps as the main bad guy, considering that in Hard Corps timeline, Bahamut actually attempted to revolt against the Federation in 2639. But I'm guessing Hard Corps might had been too new-school. Oh well. Maybe for Contra 5.

He'd have been ahead of schedule anyway. Contra 4 takes place in 2638.

Excitemike
11-20-2007, 09:43 AM
2638: The Year We Stopped Wearing Shirts

Tomm Guycot
11-20-2007, 09:54 AM
2638: The Year We Stopped Wearing Shirts

Never forget.



There is little point in making a "Hard Corps" styled Contra. Depending on your POV those either peaked with HC itself or with Shattered Soldier (this depends entirely on whether or not you like powerups).

Besides, Treasure long since perfected the "boss rush shooter"

The platforming-style games (run n gun), however, never got their chance to shine. Contra III was amazing, but already tilting toward boss rush leanings (watch the progression kids: Contra III - Gunstar Heroes - Hard Corps - Alien Soldier)

Simon and I far, far prefer the "old" Contras, and since those never really got to exist in pure form in 16-bits, that's how we wanted to make Contra 4. If Boss Rush is "Nakazato style" you should consider platforming to be "Tomm and Simon style."

I hadn't played enough Hard Corps when I came up w/ the story to screw with Bahamut.

Besides, if you killed him in 4 he'd be back in Hard Corps anyway - and we were trying to do AWAY with villain recycling.

Maggie
11-20-2007, 10:27 AM
Besides, if you killed him in 4 he'd be back in Hard Corps anyway - and we were trying to do AWAY with villain recycling.

Villain incinerating's more fun, anyway.

JCDenton
11-20-2007, 05:54 PM
Ok, so I just got the game. Haven't read the rest of the thread, but I'd like to say I love how it can kick my ass, even "knowing" the levels. I'm playing on normal and have gotten to the second room of level 3.

I did not play much Contra back in the day, but this is pretty awesome. I'm sure many hours of my life will be devoted to finally ridding this world of the alien threat.

That is all.

mopinks
11-20-2007, 06:03 PM
I'm slowly but surely squeaking my way through challenge mode (18 completed so far!). I appreciate that it unlocks after beating easy mode, because it's excellent training for if I ever decide to try beating the game on a real difficulty level.

Parish
11-20-2007, 06:19 PM
My copy finally arrived. Thumbs up SO HARD for the manual. You even used Eras Light!

j00ey
11-21-2007, 11:14 AM
WHY ARE SOME OF THE MUSEUM BOX ARTS ALL FADED LIKE YOU GOT THEM OFF EBAY? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE AND A DISGRACE TO TRUE CONTRA FANS

...is what some people might say. personally I think the game is pretty good.

Kishi
11-21-2007, 11:27 AM
In keeping with the natural progression of things, I've been trying to one-life Hard Mode. I can now get to Stage 7 consistently, and today's best had me about halfway through Stage 9 before dying.

I'd keep trying, but my poor left thumb is going to fall off if I don't give it a rest for a while.

shivam
11-21-2007, 11:46 AM
hey kishi? on behalf of all talking tyrants, i bid you to go fuck yourself. there's no way in hell that these mythic feats you speak of are even remotely true. no. way.




i'm so ashamed...

Tomm Guycot
11-21-2007, 11:52 AM
In keeping with the natural progression of things, I've been trying to one-life Hard Mode. I can now get to Stage 7 consistently, and today's best had me about halfway through Stage 9 before dying.

I'd keep trying, but my poor left thumb is going to fall off if I don't give it a rest for a while.

How the hell do you get through the Harbor? That air sequence screws me to hell every damn time.

Kishi
11-21-2007, 12:00 PM
You get screwed up, Tomm? Well...is it any part I didn't address here (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=73414&postcount=182)?

Excitemike
11-21-2007, 12:09 PM
Someone tell me I'll still be a man if I play easy mode.

JohnB
11-21-2007, 12:11 PM
Well, I'm sure your mommy would.

reibeatall
11-21-2007, 12:58 PM
Tomm said it was fine.

JCDenton
11-21-2007, 01:23 PM
In keeping with the natural progression of things, I've been trying to one-life Hard Mode. I can now get to Stage 7 consistently, and today's best had me about halfway through Stage 9 before dying.

I'd keep trying, but my poor left thumb is going to fall off if I don't give it a rest for a while.

I hate you so much....

I've now gotten to missile hugger guy on normal. I have long way to go.

Tomm Guycot
11-21-2007, 01:59 PM
You get screwed up, Tomm? Well...is it any part I didn't address here (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=73414&postcount=182)?

"Booster Panic" moves too quickly for me on Hard, I guess.

Eusis
11-21-2007, 07:01 PM
A bit late, but I finally got to checking around the GameStop demo. Yeah, this is kicking my ass, I've tried to get through a few times but have yet to actually beat it. Guess it's easy for me when I get it.

Oh yeah, I want to add something. WTF at reviews (or at least IGN's) saying these are SNES visuals. They're way better than what Contra 3 had, at least as much better as you can be with the DS resolution, much better animation and more detail.

Traumadore
11-21-2007, 09:44 PM
At least everyone seems to have trouble with the same part as me, I feel a little better about it. Also Badguy Blitz Five is like Robot Holocaust all over again, but with real robots and stuff. By far the most demoralizing challenge yet.

Zodar
11-21-2007, 10:06 PM
don't know if this has been asked yet, but how many hours could one squeeze out of this game getting to 100%? and that's not counting the doubtless hours one would spend retrying hard sections, either.

compared to, say, contra 3, how long is the main story?

Kishi
11-21-2007, 10:12 PM
don't know if this has been asked yet, but how many hours could one squeeze out of this game getting to 100%? and that's not counting the doubtless hours one would spend retrying hard sections, either.

compared to, say, contra 3, how long is the main story?

I'm hesitant to put a number on it since playing habits differ so much from person to person, but between completing Challenge Mode and beating the game on at least Normal, you should be occupied for quite a while.

The main game has nine stages to Contra III's six.

Tomm Guycot
11-21-2007, 10:13 PM
don't know if this has been asked yet, but how many hours could one squeeze out of this game getting to 100%? and that's not counting the doubtless hours one would spend retrying hard sections, either.

compared to, say, contra 3, how long is the main story?

Contra 3:

4 sidescrolling levels, 2 "alt" levels (that are horrible)

Contra 4:

6 sidescrolling levels, 3 "alt" levels (that are zomg3D!)
40 Challenge Levels
NES Contra
NES Super C

Playing straight through the Arcade mode, C4 is definitely longer than III. Plus you have all the bonus content outside of that mode. It probably took me 6 - 8 hours to do everything (beat game, beat challenges) but I haven't played the NES games yet and I already had the game mastered going in.

How much time you spend "learning" the game depends entirely on you. Kishi seems to have blown through the game (at least it seemed fast - I suppose maybe he gave up sleeping). Meanwhile, others got the game on release and haven't beaten Easy yet, so...

I would say if you're a Contra fan already, it will take 4 hours to learn Normal Mode, give or take.

However, there are challenges that took me 1 hour to do, so...

shivam
11-21-2007, 10:28 PM
the game will take you approximately till the end of time, because it's so fucking hard that you'll have to wait for immortality and regeneration to be able to beat it without your thumbs falling off.

cartman414
11-21-2007, 10:29 PM
My copy finally arrived. Thumbs up SO HARD for the manual. You even used Eras Light!

I totally noticed that too. So scary it's been two decades since those days. I remember Capcom used that font as well in their NES era booklets.

Sami
11-22-2007, 04:08 AM
However, there are challenges that took me 1 hour to do, so...

...it should have an ingame clock.

Design mistake in Contra 4 - confirmed!

JCDenton
11-22-2007, 08:50 PM
Ok, so I was in a Normal mode rut and decided to try Hard. If you haven't tried it yet, please do so. So awesome.

After getting destroyed, I decided to take a look at easy, only to end up blowing through the 7 levels and unlocking Challenge mode without breaking a sweat.

I'm sure everyone else has discovered this already, but challenges are great. Six down, 34 to go.

I really should play more Wii (Super Paper Mario, Metroid Prime 3) as I won't have access back at school, but I can't stop the Contra.

Traumadore
11-23-2007, 06:37 AM
Breakthrough: I beat the rocket sequence on normal, AND the stage 4 boss on my second continue. ( I did mention I could one life up till then right? so sad...) Then I got murdered by the chase level. Almost beat the fishy boss once, but I made a stupid mistake.

I am finding that my biggest problem is the twin serpents, since theres two, and very unpredictable, I end up losing a couple lives and all my powerups, turning the subsequent carrier ship from a cakewalk to a nightmare, courtesy of the enemy's homing missiles. Still not nearly as bad as the rocket, i'm sure i'll ace level 5 next time.

Ooh ooh, I discovered additional palette swaps for Lucia and Probotector. Select one of them, go to the challenge mode menu, exit, return to character select, and confirm the same character again to have red/purple Lucia, and blue Probotector. Sneaky!

Kishi
11-23-2007, 06:48 AM
Ooh ooh, I discovered additional palette swaps for Spoiler and Probotector. Select one of them, go to the challenge mode menu, exit, return to character select, and confirm the same character again to have red/purple Spoiler, and blue Probotector. Sneaky!

That's just a clue to the real deal. When one of the secret characters is highlighted, just press up, down, or X twice in order to access one of three alternate palettes. Two of the characters only have one palette-swap (the up-up one), but it's for a pretty specific reason.

Traumadore
11-23-2007, 07:18 AM
KIIIIIISHIIIIIIIIII!

Kishi
11-23-2007, 08:49 AM
A peaceful time has come (http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/snes/a/contra3.htm)!

I beat Contra 4 on Hard Mode in one life.