Everyone knows Nintendo Entertainment System games had a tendency to be overly difficult due to their recent ancestry with arcade cabinet design, and Contra is the best example of the difficulty curve somehow strengthening the appeal of a title. Even a play-through that takes advantage of the now famous Konami code, leaves the player wondering, what if? What if I played the game without the extra lives, what if I didn’t have the continues, what if I was actually feeding quarters into a machine for each mistake? The intensity of the bullet hell that is Contra shines through, and is a compelling play even today.

Reviewed on Feb 06, 2021