January 1, 2003
Contra: Shattered Soldier - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price

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Absolute classic Contra. Ohh yar.
Do the updates never end? At this years E3 show Konami not only announced, but also showed off Contra: Shattered Soldier, an update with many similarities to the classic Super Nintendo game. Fortunately, this game has retained much of the 2D style of the earlier game, which makes it all the more appealing. As well as the side scrolling 2D sections of the game Konami are including some of the 3D isometric viewpoint action to mix up the action. This is one awesome looking game.

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Taken straight from the SNES game.
Contra: Shattered Soldier includes massive, screen-filling boss characters which are a Contra series staple, and will do everything they possibly can to keep players from proceeding through the multiple action-packed missions. Even the turtle looking boss from the first level in the SNES games looks to have made a return, albeit in much more graphical splendour, as seen in the picture to the left. Environmental threats such as swarms of bugs, aggressive enemies and alien encounters keep players on their toes and fingers near the trigger. When the action gets too intense; players can always opt to take on the enemy with a friend in the cooperative 2-player simultaneous mode.

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The main guy is one bad mother.
Featuring the gritty, futuristic character designs of celebrated artist and Comic Book illustrator Ashley Wood (Spawn, Aliens, X-Men, Star Wars), Contra: Shattered Soldier will take Contra and action gamers on a whole new roller coaster of harrowing gameplay, stellar visuals, and non-stop action. If you've played the original games, not the average 32-bit games, then you will know how much fun this series is. Its simple, easy to pick-up-and-play controls get players right into the game, while multiple endings and hidden levels will add substantial replay value to this update.

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Classic side scrolling action.
One of the great things about the original Super Nintendo game was the gameplay. It could keep you going for hours and Konami look to have made the right decision in keeping this game in the 2D style of the original. We can expect plenty of power-ups and possibly new weapons to use while the 2-player action makes a welcome return. There are few action games as exciting as Contra when you have a mate along for the ride, especially with the rock hard bosses usually on offer in the series. Many of the screenshots are indicating that several levels may taken almost directly from the original game, which is not a bad thing considering it's superb design.

With a release date of March 2003 pencilled in there is little doubt that Contra: Shattered Soldier will be a hit, if only for the refreshing 2D gameplay which seems to have gone AWOL of late. Contra: Shattered Soldier is should be another Playstation 2 winner.