"The Apex of the Run-and-Gun Genre"
The original Contra for the NES... I must have played this game to completion hundreds of times since its release! From my humble beginnings running through the game with the classic "30 lives" code to simply being able to get through it with only losing a few lives, Contra has always been one of my favorite classics. That’s why Contra: Evolution for mobile was either going to be absolutely great or an absolute disaster (due to the hit or miss history of numerous mobile ports).
Contra: Evolution takes the original Contra and polishes it out by giving it a graphics overhaul. The game looks great with every platform, gun, and enemy in its right place to mimic the original. There are rarely any changes to the overall stages. The graphics and animations move smoothly, without slowing down, and they look sharp on the screen (I played it on an iPhone 4S). It’s great to go back over a game I have played so often and see things refurbished and feel brand new.
Now, the big thing on many potential player’s minds will be the controls. Contra: Evolution does a fair job of giving you decent control for a game that requires quick maneuvering and precise handling. With a virtual joystick on the right lower side of the screen (which can be moved) and a jump button on the other, it works quite well. Even on the iPhone, my thumb rarely got in the way of the action. Firing is automatic, which is both a relief and a necessity for this mobile port. Overall, once you get used to it, Contra: Evolution handles very well.
All the classic weapon upgrades are there. Best of all, you can keep weapons upgrades permanently as you unlock them. This leads to other parts of Contra: Evolution which have been updated, such as being able to select any level you wish, and jump between them once completed. This keeps things fresh, as you don’t have to keep starting the game over if you die, and you can practice / play the levels you love over and over again. Gold can be earned and used to unlock a slew of extras and boosts, along with new characters.
Contra: Evolution, in short, is the original Contra, updated with smooth 2D graphics and thrown onto the mobile platform with commendable controls. It’s everything an old school Contra fan would want in a mobile port, and new gamers will find it doesn’t feel dated at all. Contra is run-and-gunning at its best, and Evolution should show some of the younger crowd just how good this series used to be.
GameDynamo's Score for Contra Evolution (Mobile)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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