Contra tells the tale of Bill and Lance’s excellent adventure. Well, actually it is not as much of a tale, or an excellent adventure, but a button bashing pad biting action platformer (however you DO control Bill and Lance, the Rambo look-alike rejects).
Chances are that you have heard of the arcade and NES classic Contra, and whilst you may believe that old classics tend to provide simple and easy gameplay (cue Pong and Pac-Man), Contra only manages to be simple. Controlling either Bill or Lance you will progress through linear environments with a big gun, shooting in all directions (including diagonals!). Whilst this sounds simple enough, the limitations of movement and aiming means that you will need to dodge bullets and enemies, whilst returning fire, with a hint of disability. Frustrating are the times when you are juddering along a path, only to have an enemy stand up from a bush (with no indication of his presence) and instantly kill you. The same can be said from instant explosions, never ending platforms, appearing turrets and much more.
Whilst Konami have done well to stick to the original (being that of the Arcade and not so much the NES version), the game is extremely dated and may not be as fans remembered. Drudging through the levels can quickly become frustrating as continual death and surprise attacks ensue. The most promising feature of the near direct port is online play over Xbox LIVE, which can increase enjoyment greatly, if you are lucky enough to maintain a game which is lag and glitch free (something of which is rare).
Fans of the series may be blessed by this accurate port of the original, whilst new gamers should be hesitant. It would be a good idea to try the available demo before making a purchase, especially if you are short on temper and joypads.