Ever have something you enjoyed a lot once upon a time, but quit following for no particular reason come back, and suddenly you can’t get enough?

Well, it’s been happening to me lately. And what it is, is just a little out of the ordinary, by my reckoning.

It’s not GI Joe or Thundercats or Silverhawks or anything like that, though, cool as all those things are.

It’s Contra.

For some reason, the other day, I had a desire to play Contra III: The Alien Wars, and I did just that. And for some reason, it’s just escalated from there. Now, I’ve gone through the first three games, and I’ve got a clammoring for more… I’ve checked out The Contra Headquarters, downloaded songs, read up on games I’ve missed… I’m really wanting to give “Shattered Soldier” for the PS2, but… well, you know. Still, I’ve heard that one be called balls-to-the-wall hard… and for some reason, that just encourages me. I guess working with someone to beat Contra III on Hard Mode… just once, some years ago… kinda gives you the feeling you can take whatever they’re going to throw at you.

Of course, Contra’s all about kicking your ass… but they somehow make it fun, which is something I find lacking in a lot of games now. It gives you such a feeling of “THIS time…”

I also tried Contra III on Hard Mode, just to demonstrate to Red the comparable difficulty, after I’d just blasted through Easy without losing any lives. Didn’t even make it to the first boss. Didn’t expect to. And somehow, that was alright. My only gripe is that what little ending they give you is on that Hard setting, and that means only one of two things… game enhancer, or team up.

One player is good, but two just has an extreme sense of satisfaction to it. I’ve chiefly kicked ass with two people, Wolf and my dad. And that’s part of why I want Shattered Soldier all of a sudden… to relive that kind of moment. I’m sort of wanting to get it as a sort of “gift” so he and I can kick some ass again… same with Wolf. Relive the old times, in a way. I think it’s one game that’s definitely emphasized teamwork with them like no other I’ve played.

Btw, bought one of those PSOne Contras on the cheap… no wonder, it was just so bad… I can’t even remember what made it so bad, I didn’t even play it that much. But it sounds like Shattered Soldier is gold. I’m curious about the upcoming one as well.

Incidently, Contra was like a part of growing up for me. My dad used to have a pool hall/arcade, and Super Contra was one of the two games we started out with. I had a ton of fun with that one, and got Super C for the NES as soon as it came out. It actually disappointed me a bit with all they’d changed in the port, but that’s Konami for you. Still, I’d love to find a way to replay the two original arcade versions… well, never got to play the first, but I’ve seen it. Neat stuff, all in all.

And… I guess that’s really all I’ve got to say on that for now.

LBD “Nytetrayn”