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Contra: Operation Galuga Review

Overall - 70%

70%

Official Score

The soldiers of Contra: Operation Galuga have the right moves for this mission, but the steep cost, short length, and awkward perspectives lead to a less-than-perfect execution.

User Rating: 4.5 ( 1 votes)

The stone-cold classic Contra is back with some new moves – but the same great debonair flair – with the release of WayForward and KONAMI’s Contra: Operation Galuga. Should players attack aggressively in this run-and-gun, or is this retro revival more spray and pray?

Contra: Operation Galuga Review


Things are heating up from the offset of this title, with the terrorist group Red Falcon setting up shop on the Galuga Archipelago. They’ve been keeping busy, contending with a group of super soldiers sent to deal with them that are now MIA. If that’s not enough, gravity waves centered around the area hint at these baddies possessing an artifact of mass destruction.

What’s a soldier to do?

Enter Bill Rizer and Lance Bean of the EMC Contra Unit, no strangers to the perils of war. These two pec-tacular warriors – along with Lucia, Ariana, and others – set out to right this wrong through sheer firepower and spectacle.

No need to worry, though; these fearsome fighters have the skills needed for the job. Contra: Operation Galuga gives players a double jump, a horizontal midair dash, and even the chance to precisely aim at the hold of a button. Paired with two weapons (one primary and one secondary), equippable perks, even an Overload function that works in a pinch, and players will give Rambo a run for his money through their moves and grooves on the battlefield.

Of course, Contra: Operation Galuga has the challenge to put all of these factors to the set. The first jungle stage might seem like a retread of the arcade and Nintendo Entertainment System classic, but things go over the top (just like the Stallone movie!) with ice train chases, high-tech labs, and other exotic locales. There’s even tweaks to classic sections like the vertical climbing levels, always setting out to keep us on our toes. The average stage clocking in at approximately 10 minutes too – just enough time to make a bombastic entrance and exit.

This system proves to be fair for the most part, with reflexes and pure skill proudly shining through after all these years. Players will have to contend with a lot of bullets at any given time, and while the default system is a bit more lenient compared to the 80s originals, players will still have to bring their AAAA game to survive.

However, there were some cheap hits with the general way Contra: Operation Galuga is designed. By using a 2.5D perspective – 3D graphics on a 2D plane – we found that it can be hard to determine hitboxes in certain scenarios. There were also select sections where the perspective and even the direction changed, making our initial go-around a bit of a slaughter. Again, triumph comes from practice, but there are times we just can’t claim “skill issue” in good faith.

Just be warned that Contra: Operation Galuga is a short mission, clocking in at around two hours and change during our initial playthrough. The title is $39.99 as of this writing on Steam; while it encourages replayability, it does prove to be a bit light on content – even if it does support up to four players.

The soldiers of Contra: Operation Galuga have the right moves for this mission, but the steep cost, short length, and awkward perspectives lead to a less-than-perfect execution.

Contra: Operation Galuga Review

Reviewed On: PC
Release Date: March 12, 2024
MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: KONAMI
Alternative Reviews: GamingBolt, Player 2, Video Chums
Aggregate Scores: Metacritic, OpenCritic

Review Policy | Scoring Policy | Meet The Reviewer

Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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