Genre: Run and Gun
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
Platforms: Arcade, NES, Amiga, MS-DOS
Feeling Like: Greetings…
It is I! RED FALCON! THE VILE, ALIEN WARLORD FROM KONAMI’S SUPER C FOR NINTENDO.
I was obsessed with this commercial. I saw it once as a kid late at night and it lived on in my memory as some kind of fever dream. I wasn’t sure I was remembering it correctly, but I do know that it scared the hell out of me and I didn’t want anything to do with a Contra game if it was going to be that scary.
Naturally, it wasn’t. Super C is an 8-bit run and gun shooter, a sequel to one of gaming’s all time classics in Contra. It takes what made the original great and doubles down on it, to mixed results. Much of it is the same and for whatever reason they called it Super C, instead of Super Contra or Contra 2. Hell, the “Super” kind of screwed up the naming conventions for the next game, Contra 3: Alien Wars. Maybe only one “Super” per franchise allowed?
Regardless, it’s still a blast and one of the best NES games available. If you know Contra, you’ll know this. Run, jump, shoot. Not a lot of buttons, not a lot of confusion on what to do. Power ups. Kill aliens and deranged soldiers. Gotcha. How to do it on the other hand…
It’s still relentlessly brutal. One hit and you’re dead. Enemies will continuously sprint at you and projectiles will come from every corner. If you don’t get a good handle on your aim and movement, you won’t get past the first level.
They switched up the third person stages to a top-down perspective and honestly I liked how it broke up the side scrolling levels. Anything for a respite; these areas always seemed a bit easier and as long as you have the spread gun, you’re sitting pretty. Despite it being nerfed in power from the first one, it’s still everybody’s go-to.
I feel like Super C was so little known at the time. Everybody I knew had played Contra on the NES, but I only tried Super C out way later in life when I was curious about how it held up. And, naturally, to confront my fears of the ridiculously amazing television ad. Did it come too late, or was it too much of the same?
It was different enough. The change in Bosses stand out the most in my mind. As opposed to giant oafs who just stand there shooting, Super C’s bosses have clearly been working on their cardio because they’re much more mobile here. Nothing outrageous or mind-blowing, but it does spice things up.
AND THERE ARE DIAGONAL RAMPS!
LOOK AT THAT!
Ok, not overly exciting, but the fundamentals are so strong that just changing the window dressing a bit is more than enough. I never got a chance to play with a friend and my lone session only lasted an hour or two, but that was all I needed. Super C is a pint sized pill of ass-kicking, the Konami on the NES special.
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