I stumbled upon a game the other day in one of those fits of boredom that drive you to sift through your begotten game collection in search of something… something that can quench your hunger for some form of entertainment and found myself staring at the logo for an SNES title by the name of Contra III: The Alien Wars. A difficult game to say the least, the title pits the player against well… aliens in the midst of their invasion – all in an effort to, of course, save the world. So, now that the game's opening cut scene has been explained please hear me out: THIS GAME IS NO WALK IN THE PARK!!!

Last boss from level 1 of Contra III: The Alien Wars

In addition, a game was recently released on the PSN that I found had a strange, almost uncanny resemblance to this classic title. The game I am referring to is Hard Corps: Uprising. A title that borrows greatly from the classic series and its earlier derivatives but incorporates a number of RPG elements that make for a title that almost justifies the many deaths that you, the player, are bound to experience. The heavily anime-inspired title has the main protagonist wielding a gun that is far beyond the capacity for any human being to carry while running through levels, shooting enemies that, at times, make it rather difficult to advance without taking damage.For those of you who may read this and pick it up on the Wii's virtual console or Xbox Live Arcade I commend your bravery. For one, the game isn't hard to understand. It's actually quite easy to comprehend that once you gain control of the in-game character, you shoot everything that moves whilst picking up power ups and dodging all projectiles thrown your way. Truly, its a side-scrolling shooter that is simple in design. Yet, the terribly difficult part of the game is simply the degree to which the player is punished for failure. At the beginning of the game, the player is given 3 lives and 5 continues (credits) that, to an inexperienced player, will not be enough to get through the first level for their is no form of health whatsoever. From leaping out of the way of shots fired from every angle imaginable to consistently mashing down on the fire button in an effort to effectively end the lives of your enemies, the game has the player on the tips of their toes. A decent title overall, the game is a must play for hardcore gamers anywhere who are looking for a challenge. It is a testament to the great difficulty found in playing classic titles from a modern-day gaming heritage.

Konami did it again, this time its Hard Corps!

If you're looking for a challenge, pick up either one or both! But that's an important addition: damage. A mechanic that Konami, the developers of Contra, thought to be too much for burgeoning young gamers to have at their disposal. Hard Corps (though the name implies a number of puns that will not be referred to in this post) is an excellent addition to any game library. The developers, Arc System Works, even with the addition of a lot of mechanics fundamental to modern-day gaming, have stayed true to the title's classic roots even going as far as including boss battles that require, in some cases, extremely repetitive sequences that involve a great degree of perseverance (that's right… perseverance). All in all, a great title.

And no, I was not payed by Konami or Arc System Works.