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Contra: Operation Galuga Review for PlayStation 5

My history with the “Contra” franchise goes back all the way to the original back in the NES days. It was probably one of the first five video games I ever owned in my lifetime. That original game is burned in my brain with how many times I had to repeat each of the stages to gain enough muscle memory in order to cleanly complete every single stage. The franchise has been dormant for quite some time now, with “Contra 4” releasing back in 2007 and some spin offs that were a bit middling at best since then. So, when Konami announced a new “Contra” title I was intrigued but stayed cautious. The developers WayForward are back, the same team who made “Contra 4” and while I was expecting a sequel, this “Contra: Operation Galuga” feels a lot like a remake of the original.

Contra: Operation Galuga Review for PlayStation 5

The stories in these are usually fairly simple, and this one is no different. When the Galuga Islands fall under the control of the notorious Red Falcon terrorist organization, elite Contra commandos Lance Bean and Bill Rizer swiftly mobilize, unleashing a relentless assault to thwart the enemy’s grip. In a high-stakes battle for supremacy, the fate of humanity teeters on the edge as these seasoned warriors plunge into an all-encompassing conflict where every move could tip the scales of victory or defeat. Couldn’t help but get a little carried away with the seriousness there, but at the end of the day, it’s just dumb fun. The story is often told in visual novel-like format and has pretty good voice overs to go along with it. There are some actual cinematics that are fine, but can tend to show how small the budget was on this title.

“Operation Galuga” while this is more or less a remake of the original, there are boasting revamped visuals and a really awesome and dynamic soundtrack. The stages feel very similar to the original, but with the updated graphics really helps bring new life to the backdrops and it’s cool seeing a more realized vision of this game. The gameplay is of course a 2.5D run-and-gun platformer, and really does exude a nostalgic charm of previous titles. There is a new updated weapons system which introduces a wealth of enhancements to some of my favorites, such as the Spread Gun, Flame Thrower, and Homing Gun. There’s also some added dimension of stackable upgrades that make your weapons stronger as you progress a stage, but as soon as you die you lose those enhancements and have to start over collecting upgrades.

There are three distinct modes of play: Story Mode, Arcade Mode, and Challenge Mode. In Story Mode, a dynamic duo can team up for cooperative play across eight gripping stages, aiming to thwart the nefarious Red Falcon alien invasion. Arcade Mode ramps up the action, allowing up to four players to simultaneously join forces in the relentless battle against extraterrestrial foes, I never got a chance to play this mode but it looks really cool. For fans like myself, there is a lot to love, but the simplicity of this type of game makes it seemingly difficult to be completely original. The wheel isn’t reinvented by any means, although I enjoyed “Contra: Operation Galuga” for what it is, what it is may not be enough for some people, especially with its rather short two-ish hour story mode. This is definitely a series where gamers know of it and will probably know right off the bat if it’s for them. If it is, you’ll have an awesome time, but not a groundbreaking one.


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Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87