Hard Corps: Uprising is the spiritual successor to the Genesis’ Contra: Hard Corps. Contra: Hard Corps is true to its name, and is the most difficult Contra title ever made. Hard Corps: Uprising takes the essence of Contra: Hard Corps, gives it a flashy new paint job and a thrash metal soundtrack, and unleashes it upon the unsuspecting masses.
Hard Corps: Uprising is not merely difficult. Shank is difficult until you get a feel for the combo system and what weapons work against which enemies. Hard Corps: Uprising, in the vein of all Contra titles before it, has only one weapon that you actually want to use – the spread gun. Everything else pales in comparison, and once you pick it up you manage to get hit, drop the gun, curse loudly, and then curse some more as you try in vain to make it to another spread gun while using the standard rifle.
The game is developed by the fine folks at Arc System Works, who are best known for Guilty Gear games and the recent BlazBlue. Whether you like 2D fighting games or not, there is no denying that the sprite work in both is exquisite. Hard Corps: Uprising is no different. Gone are the days of blocky sprites held back by the platform they appear on. Hard Corps‘ sprites are beautiful, lovingly hand-drawn, and you will marvel at them until you get shot by an enemy and drop your treasured spread gun.
Hard Corps: Uprising is for the same set of people that bought and love Bionic Commando: ReArmed and Capcom’s Mega Man retro revivals. It takes a long time to make it through any given level, but just like the Contra games of yesterday, there are few things that can’t be overcome with a little memorization and a spread gun. Hard Corps: Uprising isn’t for everybody, but for those who love hard retro shooters and playing through them with a friend, Hard Corps: Uprising is not to be missed. It’s hard, it’s gorgeous, it’s cheap, and it’s been far too long since I played Contra with a friend, and now I can do so over PSN or in the same room.
Pros: beautiful sprites, cooperative multiplayer always makes Contra better
Cons: Too difficult for most of today’s gamers