Hard Corps: Uprising

Hard Corps: Uprising

Rogue Corps may deserve its punching bag status, but to be honest, the Contra franchise was in a rough state even prior to Konami’s pachinko implosion. Hard Corps: Uprising was a 2011 installment that combined nearly impossible arcade difficulty with the modern tactic of locking characters behind day-one DLC. The campaign can be played in either Arcade Mode or Rising Mode. The former asks you to push through grueling stages full of cheap surprises and one-hit kills with minimal upgrades, while the latter is where normal people can pump themselves full of extra lives and health bars to try and have some fun with those same stages. It’s still not exactly the pinnacle of entertainment – several “test runs” will be required to accumulate the currency necessary to purchase some decent upgrades, but after that, you can legitimately enjoy the increasingly ludicrous action setpieces that Contra is known for.

Uprising tries to set itself apart with its character art style and an array of special moves, including vaulting over objects and reflecting bullets. The former looks great on its own but horrible when juxtaposed with the shabby polygonal backgrounds, and the latter, while cool in theory, is never more efficient in combat than just firing a gun at your target. Other aspects apparently suffered to include these luxuries, as well. The music is mostly forgettable, the controls are stiffer than they should be, and the sound effects and voice clips are laughably inappropriate. The addition of online capabilities to Contra’s traditional co-op is appreciated, but the gameplay isn’t any more enjoyable with a second person.

3.5/10
3.5/10

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