Super Contra is a Xbox Live Arcade port of the popular arcade and NES game of the same name. In the game, you play as one (or two, if you have a friend) dudes that are looking to run-and-gun their way through hordes of enemies, as well as take down some very tough bosses along the way.

If you aren’t familiar with the game itself, the battles that you will encounter will take place in both a 2D side-scrolling fashion, as well as a top-down view. It affects the gameplay quite a bit. For example, in the 2D areas, you can jump and crouch, whereas you’re left to run around and fire like a madman in the top-down levels. Both of these viewpoints offer an immense amount of challenge, with fire coming from all over, as well as soldiers charging right at you while you are dodging bullets. (They touch, you die)

If anything else, the game stands out for how insanely challenging it is. Getting through the first level on single player is enough of a challenge, but trying to get through the entire game single-player would be legendary. Luckily, you can have a friend join in through local or online co-op to help you try and beat the game. The online works well, with no lag once so ever being experienced while playing. Super Contra’s graphics and audio have been left intact for the most part, save for a few minor improvements here and there. If you’re a purist, you can set these back to the original graphics/audio that you know and love.

Super Contra isn’t a very long game start to finish, but it’s back-breaking difficulty will give those looking for a challenge and nostalgia something to chew on for a couple of hours. Players looking for a more laid-back, easier experience would probably do better looking elsewhere, but hardcore Super Contra fans are getting a good deal at 400 Microsoft Points.

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