Hard Corps: Uprising is what Contra fans have been waiting for, and a whole lot more.
Developed by Arc System Works, Hard Corps: Uprising is a prequel to the 1994 Sega Genesis game Contra: Hard corps. Uprising is the first Contra game not to carry the brand name in the title. The intention is to make the Hard Corps series into a brand new franchise and Arc System Works has delivered what could possibly be the best entry in the entire Contra franchise.
Hard Corps: Uprising features:
- Exciting run-and-gun gameplay with beautifully rendered 2.5D graphics from Arc System Works
- Arcade mode features 2D run-and-gun gameplay that stays true to the genre’s hardcore roots
- All new RISING mode allows players to train and level their soldier and purchase power-up items
- Classic and all-new boss battles to challenge and thrill
- Co-operate with gamers all over the world in Online Co-Op mode and compete via online leaderboards
The minute the game starts you will have a hard time trying to pick your jaw up off the floor. The game is beautiful. Anyone familiar with Arc Systems knows that they are no stranger to gorgeous hand drawn animation, especially in their series of Guilty Gear and and Blaze Blue games. Each level is constantly giving you something new to look at from a desert full of sandworms and jungles with tree-top snipers to underground caves to sneaking into a secret lab. The attention to detail is phenomenal and is hands down the best looking game released on Xbox Live Arcade to date.
The guitar heavy soundtrack to Rising is incredible. Listening to the shredding guitars of each level brings back memories of 8-bit and 16-bit gaming. It makes it nearly impossible to keep a smile from forming on your face. The sound effects are good but some of them seem like they are stock and that they you more than likely have heard them before, like the sounds of the motorcycles for example. The voice acting can be a little cheesy as well, but overall the sounds shortcomings are easily overlooked by Rising’s incredible soundtrack.
The game plays like your traditional Contra game. You make your way from point A to point B destroying everything in your path. Players are given two weapon slots that can be changed on the fly so you can decide which weapon is the right one for the job. Power-ups can also be collected giving you new guns like grenade launchers, spread shot, and the homing laser all of which can be upgraded to make them shoot faster and cause more damage.
Bosses are huge, tough, and plentiful. One boss chases you, while your driving a motorcycle, in mining vehicle that can drill below the surface to try and to drill its way up through you and at the same time your dodging machine gun fire and flamethrowers.
Sound to easy?
How about trying to avoid becoming dinner for a 500 foot Sandworm in a sea of quicksand while dodging laser fire and continuously spawning baby sandworms?
Thats just two of the four bosses in the first level alone, all of which require different tactics and strategies.
The real meat and potatoes of the game is the new Rising mode. This mode takes your score and converts it into a currency which can be used to purchase new weapon upgrades, extra lives and health bars, new abilities, and a faster dash speed. The prices of the upgrades are perfectly spread out, giving you the feeling that if you play just one more round you could buy the new ability that you have been saving up for that will help you defeat the boss that you have been stuck on.
If that sounds like it is making the game sound to easy and dumbed down, don’t worry there is also an Arcade Mode for the hardcore to prove their worth.
Arcade Mode is your traditional hardcore “Contra” experience. Players are given just three lives and and three continues to make it through all eight stages. Only the most experienced players will make it through this gauntlet of controller-throwing insanity.
Beautiful hand-drawn animation
Cheesy voice acting
Average sound effects
At $15(1200 ms points) this is a game every gamer should have in their library. Beautiful hand-drawn animation and an incredible soundtrack are a feast for both the eyes and ears, but none of that would matter if the game didn’t play as good as it looks and sounds. Fortunately, Arc Systems doesn’t disappoint by giving players fast and frantic shoot-em-up action that Contra fans have been craving for. From the unforgivably hardcore Arcade mode to the deep RPG style upgrade system of Rising Mode, this game will have you coming back again and again. Hard Corps: Uprising is an instant classic and the perfect game to kick off Microsoft’s Annual Xbox Live Arcade House Party.