Contra Nintendo

Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX (Jon)

If you're old enough to remember digesting Contra III: Alien Wars on the Super Nintendo over several weeks of gaming bliss, you're gonna be a little miffed at our new friend here. True, EX runs like a dream on the GBA, bucking any slowdown problems plaguing its SNES granddaddy. The overhead-view levels that would have been hell to navigate on a tiny screen have been smartly replaced by new side-scrolling stages. And big, colorful graphics have no problems popping right out of even this hardware's wretched excuse for a screen. But some of the original (and best) Alien Wars features got dropped off of EX's bottom line. You can no longer hold and switch between two power-ups (picking up new guns will drop your older weapon). Oh, and super bombs? Kiss 'em goodbye. Plus, with the GBA's teeny screen, you've got even less room to maneuver when it comes to avoiding enemies and bullets. The result is a game that's frustratingly difficult. For Contra virgins, EX is a solid, if not daunting introduction; nostalgic Alien Wars fans are better left living in the past.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.

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