There are few things Dana Wessel loves more than old-school Nintendo games. Every week here at he takes a look back at a classic game to see how well it holds up in 2018 with a bit called ‘Remember That Game?’. Have a game you want to see him take on? You can tweet him or email him




Nintendo Entertainment System

Release date:

February 20, 1987 (Contra is now old enough to drink, FYI)




Say it with me!!! UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT B, A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everybody needs to live their life by a certain personal rule of law. Mine is that I don’t trust somebody who can’t immediately recite the Konami Code, made famous by the game Contra.

The code made one of the greatest Nintendo games even better. Those 30 lives the code grants you are necessary in order to tackle all eight beastly stages in this game. This game is TOUGH. I am convinced the speed-run videos you see on YouTube where people beat the game without dying were done by computers. No person should be capable of such a feat.

The thing that really made Contra standout back in the day (and still in 2018) was the co-op gameplay. Playing together at the same time as a friend was something of a novelty at the time, and no game did it better than Contra. I remember playing with my friends growing up where we would basically design plays about how we would take on levels. “You take the high road, I’ll fire from down in the water!”

This game holds up remarkably well even 21 years after its release. This is one of my “pick up and play” games that I jam out on at least a few times a month. It is so timeless and fun, especially when you are rocking out with the Spread Gun like a total BA.

It really is a shame that none of the Contra sequels could nail down the fun factor of the original. There is just no topping this game’s run-and-gun fun. It is without a doubt a top 20 NES game of all time.

Final score:

10 Spread Guns out of 10.

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