I was sold on this game by the opening animation alone… let’s just think about that for a second. I recommend watching it as it sets the tone perfectly.
So first up, who here knows what Contra is in video game terms? if you don’t, and claim you’re a gamer, you are lying to yourself… or are a young child.. since we haven’t had any major Contra games in a long time… that’s worth talking about. If you watched the opening, then you should get the feeling this game has a Saturday morning cartoon meets Contra. Though it’s worth nothing this game is not as hard as those classic Contras so don’t let that scare you off.
This is a side scrolling shooter. You go from Left to Right, jumping platforms while gunning down wave after wave of spider dinosaur hybrids (hence the name) till you reach a boss. Kill the boss and you get a new ability which helps you complete the other levels.
While there are 3 difficulty levels, easy does not give you the real ending so normal is the difficulty you should pick while hard becomes the bonus challenge… not that normal is that easy. While at the start I did somewhat ok, on the last few levels I was starting to pull some hairs, but of note only one level’s boss left me feeling angry at design as the others I felt I was getting better at remembering the patterns.
The game has you control 2 characters Victoria a punk rocker and Adrian who is a cop in training. WayForward put a lot of character into them, rather than standard guns Victoria shoots from her Guitar while Adrian uses a … what I can best describe as a modified potato cannon. Through the levels you can get different types of shots able to store 2 different ones you can switch between, but if you lose a life, you lose that weapon. The weapon can also be powered up into a more powerful form but you lose that when you take a hit, so you’re heavily incentivised to not be hit or killed outside of just the loss of life.
At the start I felt quite comfortable with the controls, the opening level which did a good job of introducing you to the main controls, but as more and more new abilities got unlocked, I often got a bit mixed up on which shoulder button did which. It’s probably my own problem I can say everyone had that issue.
The game is not long; with only around 6 levels you can get through the main story in just over an hour which can be seen in play through videos. This does unlock Arcade and Boss Rush modes however. Story mode can be done quite relaxed you don’t need to do it all in one go, just compete a level and then have a break.
If you want a short Zany shooter this should scratch that itch but maybe not for as long as you may want. Then again, it’s invoking the Contra style games and those if you clear them can be done in around that amount of time.