|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: M2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Controlling your character is really straightforward, and you can play with just the Wii Remote turned sideways or with either the Gamecube or Classic Controller. The Wii Remote option seems the most fitting, and it works great. The D-pad moves your character and aims your weapon, the 1 button fires your weapon, and the 2 button lets you jump. You can carry two weapons at a time, and you simply give the remote a shake to switch out weapons on the fly.
There are only a handful of bosses in the game, but they are awesome! Bosses have recognizable behaviors, yet they don't follow set patterns. The A.I. will constantly work against you, so you'll need to keep a sharp eye out for subtle cues amidst whatever other craziness might happen to be going on around you.
Overall, the gameplay in Contra ReBirth is completely satisfying if you're up for the challenge, but the multiplayer is definitely the butter on the bread here. You can't play co-op online, which makes little sense in 2009, but if you can find a friend or relative with the moxie to lock and load with you, the Contra experience only gets better.
The presentation of ReBirth is probably pretty much what most fans want, but it doesn't quite mesh with the game's title. It looks good for what the developers are going for, though it isn't as detailed as Contra 4 on DS. On the flipside, the less-is-more approach makes it easier to see enemy fire, and frustration associated with graphical chaos is pretty much eliminated here. Still, it's hard not to wonder what the game would have looked like had Konami opted to go a similar route as Capcom did with Bionic Commando Rearmed (or perhaps even Shattered Solider).
The music and sound effects, too, are all classic fare, and we especially love the crunch heard from the Wii Remote when swapping out weapons. Everything has a very nostalgic quality, with weapons fire and explosions that offer just the right amount of "crazy" without causing audio overload. Each character has unique phrases they'll spout, but it's an element that's as abbreviated as it ever was.
Contra ReBirth is less of a rebirth than it is simply a reviving of the franchise. Obviously, that's going to be exactly what the doctor ordered for most long-time fans. The run-and-gun shooting holds up extremely well to this day, and the level design is almost pitch perfect. However, it's an incredibly short romp, offering only a smidge of the variety that's locked up in the annals of the series. The lack of online co-op is a real bummer, too. Price per pound, you're not getting much for your money here. But when you order the lobster, you know what you're getting. The game is a class act, and if you're okay shelling out the $10 for about an hour or so of gameplay, it will likely give you the fix you're looking for.
CCC Freelance Writer