Retro Game Review: Contra

I don’t know how many times I will repeat this. One of my favorite gaming memories and the first game I have memory of beating is Contra. It’s been a while since I played it so I was excited to run through it again.

Reviewed on NES


I am fortunate to come from a good home and have two loving parents. That’s not lost on me, I know how lucky I am to be able to say that. My dad and I share a lot of memories but my first video game memory is with my mother. My mom and I played Contra together and loved every minute of it.

One thing I remember so clearly about Contra was how hard it was. We beat the game but only by using the Konami code. Either I don’t remember the difficulty as clearly as I thought I did or I just got really good at games because Contra was way easier than I remember. I beat the 8 stages with ease. No Konami code. I even ran through it without dying, which was very stressful toward the end.

The shooting and platforming are still perfect. Running, jumping, and shooting your way through each level to the boss was always fun. Most of the bosses were easier than I remember too, especially the final boss. I remember being stuck on that boss for a long time as a kid. It was so simple now.

I love the unique way you got new weapons in Contra, shooting them out of the sky. There is no better feeling when you shoot one and you see an “S” fall from the sky. As soon as you get that the game goes into easy mode.

The pixel graphics still look beautiful. Whenever I play a game from my childhood I’m always blown away when the game holds up and works. Contra definitely holds up and is still a masterpiece.

1992 Brian loved Contra, and loved the memory of playing the game with his mother and this was the first game young Brian beat. If I reviewed games then I would definitely review it as a 10/10

2022 Brian, thirty years later will still tell you this is a 10/10 game. Every aspect of this game holds up and being that it seems easier it’s still extremely approachable. Don’t be afraid to use the Konami code but I don’t think it’s as necessary as I once thought.

Final score 10/10

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