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Contra 4
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Console: Nintendo DS
Year: 2007
RFG ID #: U-087-S-03760-A
UPC: 083717241287
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
T (ESRB): Blood and Gore , Fantasy Violence , Language

Genre: Classic Shooter
Sub-genre: Run 'n Gun
Players: 1-2
Controller: System Controls
Media Format: DS Card x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 240 of 7611 collectors (3.1%) have this game in their collection
  • 25 of 7611 collectors (0.3%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7611 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

Contra 4 is the highly anticipated Contra sequel for the Nintendo DS. Featuring stunning boss fights, large and varied levels, as well as a plethora of levels, Contra 4 is more than worth to carry it's title. Also the game is arguably the hardest Contra title to date and does not bother dumbing down this fact for newcomers.


There are very few games in which you manage to obtain a game over withing the first minute of playing then proceed to beat the game without continuing after a bit of practice. If a game manages to fall under the above criteria it has been expertly crafted to be a completely unforgivable merciless beast of a game however like a beast it can be tamed. Obviously my analogy is complete crap, but I did not feel like coming straight out and saying that Contra 4 is one of the hardest games you will ever play; however, given some practice it is possible for players to completely dominate any challenges the game may throw their way.

Konami has always been known for their bastardly hard games, and the Contra series is no exception. The infamous Konami code goes hand in hand with Contra. Blasting away at enemies and aliens while dying left and right has always been Contra tradition, and like Contra tradition the games have always been fair. If players die it is their fault. They were the ones who did not see the bullet coming, they were the ones who misjudged a jump, they were the ones who did not dodge successfully. With the foundation of the series focusing on non stop action and players dying from one shot, it is no wonder the series has become infamous for it's difficulty as well as heart pumping, balls to the walls action.

Contra 4 does not skimp on the difficulty, and it does not begin to even consider going easy on newcomers to the series. If anything the game is the hardest Contra in the series giving Contra Hard Corps a run for it's money. So that being said many would question what the allure is that garners so many players to get their ass handed to them. The simple answer is the sense of accomplishment we all strive for. Upon dying close to fifty times and then completing a level players are gratified. They find themselves in a state of euphoria in which they feel no obstacle can come in their way; at least until the next level starts and they proceed to die instantly.

Contra 4 is a throwback to the original Contra. As the series progressed the games began to take unique turns. Contra 3 focused on providing players with grandiose boss battles, Contra Hard Corps enabled players to choose how the game unfolds, the Playstation Contras specialized in being completely crappy, and the Playstation 2 Contras attempted to revert back to Contra 3's style of gameplay and introduce new players to the series. Contra 4 reverts back to the original Contra style which is run and gun, balls to the walls action.

Players find themselves running, dodging and firing constantly throughout the game without stopping to think what they are doing. Enemies come from every direction, and pop out where you least expect them in their attempts to kill players and inevitably cause more frustrations than imaginable. While this sounds somewhat overwhelming, and it is, the game is some of the most fun players will experience. Taking out kamikazes and snipers before they kill you is both highly rewarding and satisfying. Once players understand the twitch based gameplay and enemy tendencies they will manage to overcome nearly all obstacles the game can throw their way. Even though players may feel confident they will not die, there is always something new that will appear and kill them.

Players are given their choice of four characters to choose from, each of them essentially being a palette swap of one another. As players blast their way to the end of the level they will encounter various weapons which each provide a different firing style and rate of fire. These weapons range from the infamous spread gun with the ability to fire blasts that cover a large range to the flame thrower which hurtles circling balls of fire at enemies. Each weapon can be upgraded by collecting two of them before dying, and players can hold up to two weapons. While it may not seem like it, this adds a good deal of strategy to the game. Besides the guns, players are given the new ability to use a grappling hook to latch onto overhangs, helicopters, ceilings, etc. This adds a unique dimension to the gameplay and adds an excellent strategy element to what could have been a typical run and gun.

Each level is unique and spans two screens. Saying two screens means double the action may sound cliche, but this game and that saying go hand in hand. The top screen is a continuation of the bottom screen, so essentially the game plays on one gigantic verticle screen. This literally means that there are two times more enemies and two times more places for the players to go. Unlike previous Contra games, levels provide more than one set path through them. Players will find themselves running along a top path then deciding that maybe it would be better to drop down and take a new path. This style of level would have been near impossible without the inclusion of a grapple hook which, as stated before, enables the character to quickly ascend to new heights.

The actual locales and obstacles found in these very long levels vary dramatically. For the most part players will find themselves in a side scrolling level. However, many levels will also feature players climbing their way to the top of something, so instead of the screen scrolling from left to right it will scroll from bottom to top. Furthermore, there are unique levels which take place in corridors reminiscent of the original Contra where the screen does not scroll and players fire down the corridor. Regardless of the level, the obstacles to be found are unique. Players will find themselves riding on jet skies across the ocean, climbing a waterfall, running through a destroyed city, and climbing on a rocket to name a few different scenarios.

Perhaps the most intense moments of the game come from the boss battles. Simply put, the bosses are gigantic, hard, and will kick your ass. Many of them take up at least half of both screens, while some take up a quarter of one screen. Regardless, these battles are hard and varied. Players may find themselves riding on top of a huge bug which is running throw a city, or they might be fighting an enormous alien on top of a waterfall which ends in a climactic chase to the bottom of the waterfall. Regardless of the boss, they all have one thing in common; they are as tough as nails.

This game is extremely hard. In fact, upon completing easy mode the game essentially calls you a coward and informs you that the last two levels aren't available on easy mode. Luckily for players the game can be overcome and become fairly easy after practice. Enemies have distinct patterns and tend to come from the exact same places and bosses hardly stray from their programmed patterns. Essentially, if players take enough time, they can memorize the layout of the level as well as positioning and attack patterns of the enemies. Once this is accomplished the game becomes somewhat easy. The downfall to this, which will inevitably happen after enough playing, is that the sense of chaos and randomness is completely gone. Now instead of dying left and right players have become complete badasses who hardly ever die.

Upon completing the game on any difficulty a challenge mode is unlocked. There are forty challenges which pit players in scenarios ranging from a speed run, hostage scenarios as well as low ammo and no ammo runs to name a few of the scenarios. The challenge mode offers a vastly different style of gameplay as opposed to the arcade style of the main game as well as previous Contras. Completing challenges unlocks various rewards ranging from new characters that actually aren't palette swaps to the original Contra and Super C just to name a few unlockables.

Contra 4 does not skimp on difficulty and gives fans of the series what they want which is a balls to the walls action fest. The game is not cheap; if players die they are solely to blame. While the game may seem overbearingly difficult, after enough practice players will find themselves running through levels knowing what is to come. While this may seem like a plus, it sadly degrades from the hectic nature of the initial playthroughs of the game. The challenge mode offers a new gameplay style to the series which easily increases the overall value of the package. On top of the main two modes of play there are a plethora of unlockables which includes the original NES Contra and Super C. If players have the patience they will find themselves with one of the most hardcore and rewarding action titles money can buy.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

Back of manual
Health and Safety Precautions BookletHealth and Safety Precautions Booklet (C/NTR-USA)
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo SNES U S Contra III: The Alien Wars Konami 1992 Action
Game Trivia:

  • Arguably the hardest Contra to date.
  • Contains the title Contra 4 even though there were tons of Contras in between this game and Contra 3.
  • Contains the original Contra and Super C for the NES.
  • This is the first Contra game to contain Probotector (the European Contras were called Probotector and stared Probotector).
FAQ's/External Links:

Shimra's Contra 4 boss FAQ
Easter Eggs:

  • The unlockable characters are from previous Contra games. Probotector is from the European Contra games.
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Last Updated: 2022-10-28 20:04:57
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