Digital Foundry RETRO - Contra 3

Dec 20, 2018
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Rio de Janeiro
#1

DF Retro returns with a detailed look at one history's greatest shooters - Contra 3: The Alien Wars. John goes in-depth on how this classic SNES shooter works, what makes it brilliant and how the astonishing Game Boy port compares. Then it's on to the controversial Game Boy Advance conversion, including its bizarre method of borrowing content from Contra Hard Corps on Genesis/Mega Drive...
 
Dec 20, 2018
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Rio de Janeiro
#9
One question I would like to ask is if it would be possible to make a video dedicated to the famous 'bootleg'. I live in Brazil and in this Master System/NES era bootleg are so much common. I remember a bootleg version of Toy Story SNES for NES and is very good.
 

Saberyoko

Neo Member
Jan 30, 2019
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#10
Honestly I'm not that fan of this game, but I aways enjoy seeing retro games and I know it was Jon's favorite.

I think the most interesting part of the video was the GBA version. I was 100% sure it would be exactly that problem, theres no avoinding. Its a critical piece of gameplay, trying to remain loyal visually to the other versions its the drawback of GBA - trying to fit on screen. And while I agree that the GBA version has a lame soundtrack compared to the others, I dont believe its because they couldnt do better. I have memmory of a lot of GBA games that do a lot of marvelous things with music. Both Shaman Kings Master of Spirits has a superb soundtrack for a GBA title, and they're also from Konami.
 
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dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
Jun 9, 2004
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#11
I was 100% sure it would be exactly that problem, theres no avoinding. Its a critical piece of gameplay, trying to remain loyal visually to the other versions its the drawback of GBA - trying to fit on screen.
Yup, it absolutely destroys me. There just isn't enough room to move due to sprite and tile size remaining consistent with SNES. Every stage feels super cramped.
 

Chittagong

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2004
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#13
Now this is the kind of content I enjoy making!
Man these videos are so good. I watch a lot of gaming channels on YouTube, but almost nobody puts this much effort to research and original footage capture.

That scanlined gameplay on the CRT monitor looks gorgeous. Tempted to get one, if Analogue finally announce their analog out solution.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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#15
One of my fav SNES games.

It's too bad Konami made these awesome action games at 8 meg carts. They jammed so much awesomeness, their action games end up being very short (like 6-7 levels) and can be beat in 20 minutes.

If Konami spread it out a bit, or made Contras, Axelays and Cybernators with 12-16 meg carts, it would be holy grail gaming.
 
Likes: #Phonepunk#
May 3, 2006
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#16
One of my fav SNES games.

It's too bad Konami made these awesome action games at 8 meg carts. They jammed so much awesomeness, their action games end up being very short (like 6-7 levels) and can be beat in 20 minutes.

If Konami spread it out a bit, or made Contras, Axelays and Cybernators with 12-16 meg carts, it would be holy grail gaming.
True. Still, a step up from the 4 meg SMW.
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff member
Dec 5, 2017
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#17
Such a great game to play with a friend. Still have never beat it on hard in 2P though. Came super close a couple of times.
 
Dec 20, 2018
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#18
Really want to have played that mega drive version. Looks so good. Not better than Shinobi 3 or S3K, but still great.
Strange that game boy version when you play from above, I quite prefer the game boy instead of SNES because that rotation its a little distraction.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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#19
Really want to have played that mega drive version. Looks so good. Not better than Shinobi 3 or S3K, but still great.
Strange that game boy version when you play from above, I quite prefer the game boy instead of SNES because that rotation its a little distraction.
The Genesis version is solid in a pure technical standpoint. It did crazy graphics and effects no Genesis game did at the time..... tons of scaling and weird effects.

But the game itself wasn't like a typical Contra game. Instead it had all kinds of quirky enemies making the game more like half comedy/half serious.

There was even a hidden boss that pushed a giant shopping cart. And it lead to a cut scene where you're stranded on an island surrounded by monkeys.

A weird game, but the game had more content than Contra 3..... more levels, I think a branching level system and you hasd 4 characters with different weapons.
 
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Likes: Rgw20014life
Mar 25, 2015
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#20
I played this for the first time in 2013/14 sort of time and it's a fantastic game that holds up beautifully.

It was also the first- and thus far only- game I mastered enough to clear in one credit (I absolutely love these balls-to-the-wall hard arcade style games, but my God do I suck at them). I used to live a stone's throw away from work and I'd come home and 1CC this on my lunch break. Certainly didn't need any coffee in the afternoon after that.
 
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Nov 19, 2018
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#21
The Genesis version is solid in a pure technical standpoint. It did crazy graphics and effects no Genesis game did at the time..... tons of scaling and weird effects.

But the game itself wasn't like a typical Contra game. Instead it had all kinds of quirky enemies making the game more like half comedy/half serious.

There was even a hidden boss that pushed a giant shopping cart. And it lead to a cut scene where you're stranded on an island surrounded by monkeys.

A weird game, but the game had more content than Contra 3..... more levels, I think a branching level system and you hasd 4 characters with different weapons.
I always look for hidden paths in games even if there are usually none. When my cousin and I jumped up top out of view like in Super Mario 3 we were surprised to find a new Boss. We got that ending but I thought it was you becoming the kings of the monkey people.
 

Pimpbaa

Official Forum Cocksucker
Jun 8, 2004
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#22
One of my favorite SNES games. Weird thing is tho, I never owned any of Konami's best games (like this one) back in the day. Getting a new game was a rare event for me as a kid, and when I was able to get one I always wanted a game I never played. The problem was that by the time I was able to get a new game, I had already rented games like this one a million time already at the local video store. Plus it was harder to get more info on games (limited to game mag reviews) I might want to buy. So I ended up with a pretty mediocre library.
 

K1Expwy

Neo Member
Nov 28, 2018
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#23
There's a lot of reasons to prefer Hard Corps over Contra 3, but I wasn't a fan of the 1990s, Poochie from The Simpsons, wackiness. Some of those Konami Genesis titles were a bit odd, while their SNES counterparts had the art direction/presentation you expected.
That indie game Blazing Chrome seems to have the tone I wanted from HC.
 

NXGamer

Junior Member
Jan 7, 2016
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#28
Excellent video John, I always loved Probotector on my SNES and Hard Corps was such an eye opener as it was built around the need to achieve the same technical WOW the SNES versions delivered. Those days when Konami were finally allowed to develop for the Megadrive was a hallowed time, so many great moments that Konami-Treasure were delivering.
 
Jan 29, 2019
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#29
DF Retro returns with a detailed look at one history's greatest shooters - Contra 3: The Alien Wars. John goes in-depth on how this classic SNES shooter works, what makes it brilliant and how the astonishing Game Boy port compares. Then it's on to the controversial Game Boy Advance conversion, including its bizarre method of borrowing content from Contra Hard Corps on Genesis/Mega Drive...[/QUOTE]

I love those DF retro videos, I think I would have cancelled my internet connection if it was not of those videos (and I need it to work, the kids watch Netflix, etc.)!

Now, I can't play Contra for the life of me, unless I use the 30 life code, I don't get anywhere in ANY Contra games, so I'm against Contra related content.

Now I also think those videos for SNES games can't bring much new stuff once you covered the Donkey Kong and enhancement chips games (starfox, mega man x3, etc) what some of these chips do would be interesting, the vanilla machine is pretty predictable in therms of what it can do without slow down (in good hands)...
 
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Jul 26, 2018
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#33
Digital Foundry (Retro) is one of the few channels I have actually subscribed to. I would love for DF to do a bit about the old C&C games. Could also resonate with EA's/Petroglyph's initiative to remake the fist two games. However, I also recognise that RTS games might not be bringing in the clicks...
 
Likes: IbizaPocholo
Jan 8, 2014
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#34
I maybe the minority here but i loved the over head stages in Conta 3
You’re not alone. I like them so much, I often wondered what an entire game like that would look like. Imagine all the background themes you could run through. And since it was free roaming you could add some slower non life threatening parts that can give you a respite.