Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Game Review: 'Contra: Operation Galuga'

 A reimagining of the original run-and-gun NES classic, "Contra: Operation Galuga" looks, feels and plays like a breezy blast of 1980s nostalgia.

Capturing the spirit and look of the original game while blessed with wholesale quality-of-live improvements and visual and storytelling flourishes, the game is rock solid in single-player but, like the original, truly blossoms when you're playing with a friends at your side.

Over the years, the "Contra" franchise had lost its way as it tried to fall on too many grenades, attempting to follow rather than lead. "Operation Gulaga" is a stubborn return to form, following the path set by the likes of Double Dragon," "Mega Man," "Sonic" and "Mario" as the franchises returned to the side-scrolling glory of old.

The old formula remains intact: You scour the background for power-ups, switching among your left and right hand, which can both hold a firearm with varied capabilities. You can also call for reinforcements, and the traditional platform scaling returns, buttressed by an ability that lets you hang from pivot points.

Outrageous battles, wild explosions and goofy cut frames grant the game its easygoing brilliance. This is a title clearly designed for gamers exactly like me, who grew up wasting away afternoons with a best pal while blasting through the endless reams of minions and larger-than-life boss fights. "Contra: Operation Galuga" is just about perfect for what it sets out to be.

Publisher provided review code.

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