Contra III: The Alien Wars (Super Nintendo) Review

Contra III: The Alien Wars (Super Nintendo) Review 1
Contra 3: The Alien Wars is a 16 bit masterpiece

Do you like action movies? Have you ever wanted to play a game where you play as an action super hero from the 80’s or 90’s, Rambo or Commando.

Well, today’s your lucky day because in Contra 3 The Alien Wars, you get to do just that! Contra 3 was released on the Super Nintendo in 1992.

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It was one of those games I never had growing up. Instead a good friend of mine down the street had a copy. I remember all those days after school walking home and getting in a session, or ten. Seeing the levels in contra 3 broke my expectations for the first time.

Compared to the NES titles, There’s more enemies on the screen,  You’ve got planes flying in and shooting missiles at you. Even the bosses are massive, this one takes up like half the screen!

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What I like most about Contra 3 is that, most 2D games follow the same gameplay mechanic. Contra 3 really varies depending on what level you’re playing. Level one is a side scroller while level two is a top down shooter.

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level 4 features an auto scrolling biking level with a really cool segment where you are riding a chopper then have to jump around on missiles that are being fired at an alien ship.

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One massive improvement in mechanics are that now you can carry two weapons instead of only one powerup. If you die, you’ll end up losing your gun powerup and you can swap out for the secondary that you’ve picked up during one of the stages. So if you’re stuck on a section, you can always save your other weapon until the area is clear.

The graphics are complimented quite well with the action packed soundtrack. Each stage has a different track to keep things fresh. Listening to the soundtrack while running and gunning really gets you pumped up to progress. The Contra series was clearly influenced by movies Terminator and Rambo.

Take a look at the stage three boss, this definitely reminds me of the t800 from The Terminator movies. In those movies you had lead actors with giant muscles shooting at people with giant guns so in retrospective I can see why Konami had an idea to simulate what was happening in the motion pictures.

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T800 or Contra 3 Boss?

The controls department in Contra 3 are absolute perfection. Hanging onto railings while the fire below is trying to burn you or claiming up walls while the boss is trying to crush you to death.

The only real downside of Contra 3 is that it’s too short. Contra 3 only has six levels, which is really unfortunate. Adding a couple of levels would have really pushed this over the top for me.

If Super Mario World could have 96 exits as a launch title, Contra 3 could definitely have more than 6. If you’re new to the contra series, the difficulty might be a little intimidating.

The gameplay is fast and will really put your reflexes to the test. Don’t be ashamed if you have to put the life count to 7 and the difficulty on easy. This will definitely help you progress as you learn the gameplay mechanics and boss patterns.

Unfortunately there’s no Konami code to give you thirty lives right off the bat. I could have definitely used the Konami code when I was younger and would spend hours trying to beat the game with a friend.

Contra 3 is a top tier title for the SNES and definitely belongs in anyone’s collection. Definitely consider adding this to your collection.

SNES Classic Edition

It’s also been released on numerous Virtual Consoles and the Super NES Classic Edition.