Xbox Series X

Published on March 13th, 2024 | by Boouya

Contra: Operation Galuga (Xbox Series X)

Contra: Operation Galuga (Xbox Series X) Boouya
Gameplay
Graphics
Audio
Value

Summary: Whether you play the Story mode or the Arcade Mode Contra: Operation Galuga is a fun time and definite return to form for the series even with its few teething problems the gameplay alone does enough to make playing this one worth it in my opinion.

4

Nostalgic Fun


For a long time, fans of the classic series have wanted a new game that scratched the itch of side scrolling run and gun. Instead they were given Contra Rogue Corps… but finally it seems like their prayers have been answered and Wayforward has come to the rescue and released Contra: Operation Galuga. Is this the return to form and return to the classic formula fans have been asking for? Well let’s grab our trusty Spread gun and jump on in!

Plot

Once again Bill and Lance have been called in to invade the Island of Galuga that has become the main headquarters for the shadowy terrorist organization Red Falcon who plan on destruction and terror. So yeah.. not the most complex plot nor is it going to win any awards for storytelling, but who really expects this for a Contra game.

The story is fed to the player at the start of each level, whilst it does break up the action for people who like more meat on their games will appreciate the reasoning for what and why they are doing it. To also give the game some life these cutscenes add voice acting. That being said I did find some of the cutscenes drag on a lot longer than necessary and at the end of the day it’s Contra not Last of Us, so do we really need justification for shooting aliens and general bad guys?

Familiar, yet new

Starting the levels in Contra Operation Galuga was like being transported back to the original NES game. Levels have a familiar feel as you run and gun across the screen from the jungles to the waterfall, all the while adding variety and removing parts from the original titles that did not age as well. For that I mean the pseudo 3D stages from original Contra and the overhead perspective from Super C and Operation C respectively. New stages and mechanics have been added, one being the 2.5D speeder bike level. This adds new flavour to the formula but with it fitting into the overall theme.

Another addition is the health system you start with 3 lives each life allowing for 3 hits before death, this of course is to appeal to a wider audience. Do not be dismayed if you are a fan of the gruelling one hit deaths, you are able to go into the menu options and change it to classic mode which adds 1 hit deaths.

Taking a cue for Contra III you are able to have two weapons on you at all times, making tricky areas easier by having the right weapon at the right time. The weapons available are the usual fair, Machine Gun, Laser gun, Homing rockets and much more but of course the main favourite amongst fans is the spread gun and it is also included! Weapons can now be upgraded if you pick up the same weapon twice making the shots more powerful and quicker, similar to the system in place in the Gameboy game Operation C. If that was not enough you are able to sacrifice your current weapon for a charged clear screen style attack, this can be very useful during the mini boss and main boss battles or when surrounded by alien scum.

At the end of each level you are able to use Perk points which you gain during the level to pay for Perks, this includes being able to choose your starting weapon, extending your health bar. This gives players more goals to aim for and to help those that are struggling and need that extra boost.

Sound and Visuals

Of course Wayforward are known for making beautiful looking games and environments especially when it comes to 2D and 2.5D games. Contra Operation Galuga is no different from the moment you start you instantly know you are in a Contra game from the level design to the music each complementing each other; from the rocking soundtrack that takes notes from the classic contra themes we all know to the detailed backgrounds and stage detail that we all wished we had during Contras hay day.

Whilst I can gush about the looks and sound design I do have to come back to earth and discuss some of the small issues that I found during gameplay. Having detailed backgrounds can be an asset to a game but when you are playing something that is frantic and fast paced being able to see everything becomes the utmost importance. At times especially during the large boss battles projectiles can get lost in the detail meaning some unnecessary deaths occur.

Final Thoughts?

Whether you play the Story Mode or the Arcade Mode, Contra: Operation Galuga is a fun time and definite return to form for the series even with its few teething problems. Nonetheless the gameplay alone does enough to make playing this one worth it in my opinion. With something for everyone from the casual to the hardcore fans, this game also boasts plenty of replay-ability. Local only multiplayer whilst disappointing it is not online, you will still be able to relive the good all days of sitting on the couch with mates and playing through either Story Mode which is 2 player CO-OP or Arcade with up to 4 players there is certainly something for all.


About the Author

27 Year old Gamer from the UK. Love Retro gaming and Gaming History



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