Hard Corps: Uprising Preview

Don't call it a comeback.

Look, I know that Hard Corps: Uprising looks a lot like Contra and, yes, it plays like Contra too. But it's not Contra. Do you see the big C word anywhere in the title? Nope. See, that's all it takes. Although it is a prequel to the original Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis, it is the same universe that we've all come to know and love. Only with a few changes.

[image1]ARC System Works, the same developers behind Guilty Gear and Blazblue, have put their signature touch on this iteration, giving it the stylized hand-drawn over-the-top animé look that all their games have. Which of course means their signature sense of humor is present as well. Grunts are very much like the bumbling fodder that you're used to finding in Metal Slug games, bringing the sphere of influence full circle. There are even shout-outs to the original NES Contra, such as a barricade that bears more than a striking resemblance to the boss of the original level 1-1.

Along with the traditional rapid-fire machine gun and spread shot upgrades, new weapons such as a chargeable blaster and an enemy-seeking laser have been added to keep things fresh. The demo level we saw at E3 even included an epic hover motorcycle chase with a couple of giant canyons that required you to quick-time-event jump over canyons.

[image2]You can still expect the explosive, fast-paced side-scrolling action that you've come to know and love from the Contra series (even though it's not a Contra game). They have added a life bar and the ability to dash, both in the air and on the ground to Hard Corps, but overall it's the same good times that we've all become familiar with over the years.

I've got say for a game that's not supposed to be Contra, this is shaping up to be one of the best Contra games arcade run-and-gun action titles to come out in a long time. You can expect to see a finished version of Hard Corps: Uprising much later this year on XBLA and PSN.