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Contra: Shattered Soldier
Scheduled release date: Fall 2002
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Action
Number Of Players: 1-2

  Distinguishing itself years back on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Contra series has been referred to among many other classical series. Slated for a November release, Konami has decided to bring their side-scrolling shooter to the powerful Sony PS2, but nonetheless, the main premise of the game stays unchanged, thankfully.

   Thatís not to say everything is unchanged, though. Contra for the earlier systems was strictly 2D where you were to scroll to the right until you make it to the end, blasting anything that moves along the way. Contra: Shattered Soldier is basically the same. Instead, though, there will be room on the ground so that your character can move up and down, as well. Also, there will be tons of weapons and power-ups you can attain throughout the level.

   While the basic set-up of Contra: SS is the same, itís actually a lot more developed and intricate. Players will be able to use different objects in a level to their advantage. A massive tank, for instance, can be hopped onto, and from there, you can proceed and knock off enemies with ease. Planes and other vehicles will also be incorporated so that you can further exploit your enemiesí weaknesses.

   The single-player mode will offer a hoard of levels, some of which are hidden. In addition to that, there will also be multiple-endings, according to your performance throughout. Konami hasnít forgotten itís old school past though, which is why theyíre also bringing back the beloved two player simultaneous option. This was loads of fun 10 years ago, and itís pretty exciting that they didnít forget about it.

   Weíve seen so many old-school franchises go to ruins as its 3D renditions have surfaced. Much to our approval, Konami has decided to stick to what made the game so great in the first place, so you can expect a 2D game that makes you side-scroll the whole way through -- of course, the visual change is drastically better. From the unique variation of enemies to the backgrounds replete with detail, Contra has never looked this good, never.

   Contra is coming along quite well, and thatís quite encouraging when thinking of the failure that was released on the PSOne. Thatís about all for now. Donít go away though, as weíll have further media and information later on Konamiís revival of this series. Until then, stay tuned.

7/15/2002   Joseph Comunale