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Contra: Shattered Soldier - One of the hardest and best co-op run 'n guns ever made

Coda

Member
May 18, 2013
6,263
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I wanted to give some love to this game because I think it's a game most people don't talk about these days.

It's become one of my favorite games recently. I never played it back in the PS2 era, only heard of it but I'm so glad I recently picked up a copy. Best decision I've ever made. I love run 'n gun games and have always preferred the Metal Slug series over the Contra series because of the beautiful sprite work but this game just nails everything about what a run 'n gun game should be; it's unparalleled gameplay.

The best part of this game is playing with a close friend and really trying to master the levels. It took us a couple days of on and off playing to really master the first two levels and even then we still get caught by a stray bullet or tricky setup. The fun comes from organically discovering and figuring out the best strategies to each section, which weapon is best suited for the job and how to overall just take it slow during tense moments.

Does anyone else have fond memories of this game? Everything about it is so cool and on point, the bosses are super cool as well. I think if you have a PS2 and an awesome friend who's into hard games you owe yourself to pick up this game and have it kick your ass. It only gets more fun the more you learn.
 

fvng

Member
Sep 25, 2012
5,971
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510
I have beaten Neo Contra fair and square but shattered soldier is too much for me
 

potatohead

Member
Aug 2, 2015
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280
It's really good, especially 2 player, like all Contra games.

I'm really bad at this one though, whereas I can play Contra III almost with my eyes closed for the first several levels.

This one is a tough cookie.
 

moltonasty

Member
Apr 11, 2013
4,970
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495
Flushing, NY
I actually beat this back in the day. No idea how though, cuz when I popped it in a few months ago it was just brutally difficult lol. Games these days making my skills soft man..
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
Jul 31, 2007
39,660
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So good, yet so impossible.
 

Osukaa

Member
Nov 11, 2013
1,167
304
540
Southern California
Love this Game!! Me and my brother ended up beating it together! BTW the propellers on the last level totally sucked!! We could never for some reason get through them without losing a life or 2 lol.

I hope one day Contra makes a return but then again its with Konami so it'll probably be a Pachinko machine or something lol. Metal Slug is cool but I grew up playing the original Contra so it has a special place in my Heart Drive.
 

leroidys

Member
Dec 14, 2008
12,660
0
0
It's so sad how underappreciated all of these old school action games were while they were being released around gens 5 and 6. Still need to give this one a try.
 

Z3M0G

Member
Jan 16, 2012
9,748
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Where did Contra 2 rank in difficulty? I once played through it 3-4 times in one sitting without getting hit...
 

evilalien

Member
Feb 24, 2010
707
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Best Contra IMO. Fantastic soundtrack and superb level design. Loved it so much back during the PS2 era that I got the secret ending after 2 and a half week of practice. I will never be able to do that ever again.
I'm in the same boat, having gotten the secret ending after weeks of practice around 14 years ago now. I'm sure I could still do it again with enough time to practice/derust but I am undoubtedly crap at the game right now.
 

KZXcellent

Member
Oct 1, 2014
5,981
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I have a lot of fond memories renting this game back in the day. I wish it'd get a PS2 Classic port for PS4.
 

Deadpool_X

Banned
Jan 22, 2014
3,053
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Game is so good. My best friend and I used to waste our afternoons playing this and Ikaruga after class back when we were in college. I wrote my first video game review based on this game, and got my first video game journalist job off of it. Good stuff.
 

Tain

Member
Jun 13, 2004
24,280
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horizonvanguard.com
Got Shin Contra on my shelf ready to play. I've dabbled and it seems dope, but I wanted to clear all the mainline prior Contra games first. I've 1CC'd the arcade original, Spirits, and Hard Corps, so that leaves Super Contra before I want to jump into this.

I found it cute that, much like the Megadrive generation games, this one has regional difficulty differences. JP version might actually be harder this time around? I forget the exact differences, but they involved lives/continues stock.
 

World SkiFree

Member
Jul 26, 2014
1,108
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I bought this game even before I picked up my PS2. It forced my hand, so to speak.

Just love this and Neo, although this is a very challenging game.
 

phileep

Member
Jan 23, 2010
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610
Incredible game with an absolutely amazing soundtrack. It's more of a sequel to Hard Corps than Hard Corps Uprising could ever hope to be. I remember the first time playing it being a little let down, but as I dove deeper into it I came to love it. My brother and I nearly perfected this game. We were completely in sync during our play throughs but for whatever reason the true final boss would always kill us at least once.
 

ys45

Member
Mar 21, 2012
1,853
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Montreal
Guys don't forget about the music ! Which was awesome too :)
So this game was suppose to be one of the hardest Contra ?

I remember when it released I managed the finish the game (true boss and all) with only 2 lives lost playing solo .

But I can't manage that anymore and I still think Hard corps on Genesis is the hardest Contra .
 

Teknoman

Member
Nov 7, 2007
61,371
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0
Houston, Texas
www.youtube.com
Guys don't forget about the music ! Which was awesome too :)
So this game was suppose to be one of the hardest Contra ?

I remember when it released I managed the finish the game (true boss and all) with only 2 lives lost playing solo .

But I can't manage that anymore and I still think Hard corps on Genesis is the hardest Contra .
I think Akira Yamaoka of Silent Hill fame was the composer (also did Sparkster).

Forgot I had this sitting on my shelf. I should dig it up and give it a spin. Is neo contra worth a pickup, as well?
Yes. It plays different and is goofier than most Contra, but is a fun shooter all the same.
 

Glowsquid

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Jun 26, 2014
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I forget the exact differences, but they involved lives/continues stock.
Hmm. Googling "Contra Shattered Soldier regional differences" doesn't bring up any relevant results and watching videos of Shin Contra, it doesn't appear to be any different from Shattered Soldier in boss difficulty or how the rank system is graded

The game increases your default life counts after a few hours of playtime, so it may be releated to that?
 

ZeroCDR

Member
Mar 17, 2007
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I really wanted to like this one but it is absurdly difficult. I feel like something is wrong when I can beat Contra 4 on hard, but I couldn't see what this game had to offer without gameshark assistance.

Admittedly this was many years ago, I haven't really given it another try since. I should correct that and see how I fare today.
 

Teknoman

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Nov 7, 2007
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I really wanted to like this one but it is absurdly difficult. I feel like something is wrong when I can beat Contra 4 on hard, but I couldn't see what this game had to offer without gameshark assistance.

Admittedly this was many years ago, I haven't really given it another try since. I should correct that and see how I fare today.

Once you figure patterns and which weapons are best to use in what bosses, you should be ok...for the most part.
 

sixteen-bit

Member
Aug 16, 2006
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Bill and Lucia look a bit like Adam and Morgan in that art.

This was a cool game. There was a Rocket Knight cameo ending IIRC. Makes sense since it's a Nakazayo joint too.
 

Coda

Member
May 18, 2013
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It's sweet that Ashley Wood (one of my favorite artists) did the artwork for the game too:

 

magnetic

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Mar 5, 2013
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I have really fond memories of of grim and oppressive it felt. I usually don't like that look, but it fell in this weird phase of polygonal PS2 arcade remakes that I loved. Like Gradius V or R-Type Final, rather cold and serious games.

Man, now I have flashbacks playing this on my shitty, tiny CRT TV in my first own apartment.
 

Oneself

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Apr 26, 2005
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I'm in the same boat, having gotten the secret ending after weeks of practice around 14 years ago now. I'm sure I could still do it again with enough time to practice/derust but I am undoubtedly crap at the game right now.
I played recently and died miserably even though I surprisingly remembered many of the patterns. Oh well, the magic of being 33...
 

Tain

Member
Jun 13, 2004
24,280
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Hmm. Googling "Contra Shattered Soldier regional differences" doesn't bring up any relevant results and watching videos of Shin Contra, it doesn't appear to be any different from Shattered Soldier in boss difficulty or how the rank system is graded

The game increases your default life counts after a few hours of playtime, so it may be releated to that?
Aaaaah, dang, maybe it was related to that. Didn't realize.
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,052
6
0
Long Island, NY
Bought this when it released and put in some time to it... made it to the final stage iirc but the brutal difficulty and extreme reliance on muscle memory put a damper on my beating it. Didn't particularly care for the ugly 2.5D look of the game nor aforementioned muscle memory (more into games that require reflex and/or strategy over strict memorization), but it was a return to form for the Contra series after the awful PS1 games.
 

BluePigGanon

Member
Sep 21, 2011
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I feel like Shattered Soldier never got enough love, I think it's a great entry in the series. Loved the look of it, loved the gameplay. Once you know all the enemy placements and things, it's not hard at all.
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Jun 2, 2013
24,901
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This game is sooooo awesome

There are quite a few PS2 games from Konami I'm dying to see on PS4. Probably shouldn't get my hopes up too high though.