GamesContra analysis: Operation Galuga - the first step in taking Contra into...

Contra analysis: Operation Galuga – the first step in taking Contra into the future

As aware of its past as it is concerned about moving towards the future, Contra: Operation Galuga revisits its origins at a steady pace.

There are sagas whose mention evokes a way of understanding video games. Konami may not be having the sweetest moment in its long history, but for quite a few years it sponsored the creation of a large number of franchises that have been inscribed, with golden letters, in the history of video games. Without going too far into memory, Castlevania, Silent Hill or Metal Gear are sagas that contain multiple colossal titles and absolute references in their genres. And I haven’t even had to go into evaluating the unappealable Ninja Turtles game on the SNES. In any case, and so that this text does not derail irremediably, Konami has to its credit another of those video game epics with as many installments behind it as there is personality in its mechanics. I’m talking, in case there was any doubt, about Contra. With strong arcade roots, it is on consoles – whether desktop or portable – where his tough shooting salads developed the majority of his career. And although there have been many enemies who have fallen before the fire of our weapons – and the same can be said of the characters who have wielded them – the truth is that, if we reduce Contra to the minimum expression, we will find ourselves facing a tough , very tough, run’n’gun full of shots, monstrous bosses, bombproof gameplay and people who shoot like there was no tomorrow.

Con: Operation Galuga returns to that same essence as it seeks to update its formula in order to appeal to new audiences.


Developed by WayForward for Konami, the Valencians (from California, not from the community that has given so many delicious citrus fruits to the world) have taken the path of reimagination when facing the challenge of developing a new installment of a saga with so much tradition. Thus, Bill and Lance travel via helicopter to the Galuga archipelago to stop the Red Falcon Army’s plans for world domination either by civil means (by shooting) or by criminal means (by shooting with somersaults in the air). However, not everything is as it seems, and what a priori was going to be the typical incursion behind enemy lines ends up becoming a race to prevent an alien invasion. Explosions and shots through, of course.

In this way, WayForward proposes a scenario reminiscent of the original Contra that, at the same time, leaves ample room to pick and choose visual and narrative elements from key installments of the saga. It is these details – and a few more such as David Nakayama’s impressive illustrations – that end up forming a solid foundation that allows Contra: Operation Galuga to open fire with complete confidence. And boy does it do it.

Few, very few, seconds pass from when Bill, Lance or both touch down until a shootout begins that leaves the Predator shootouts on the level of a diplomatic meeting. Well used, these few moments will help veterans recognize the vibrant jungle of this first mission and equate it to the first bars of the original title. Newbies, on the other hand, will do well to take advantage of those few moments to familiarize themselves with the controls that, although respectful of a formula executed a thousand times, bring some new features under their belt. The first of them is the use of the right stick to fine-tune our aiming. While series purists will be happy to know that they can cling – for a kind of bittersweet nostalgia – to genuine eight-way aiming, those who want to follow the erratic trajectories of more mobile enemies that will never be able to shoot with greater precision if they They focus on modern control.

A control that, on the other hand, adds greater mobility to our characters with impulses, double jumps or sliding depending on the Contra of our choice. At the beginning of the campaign we can only choose Bill and Vance, but as we complete the different missions, new allies will join the fight. And although the peculiarities of movement separate them, it is the handling of weapons that unites them. Each of them will attack – HA HA HA – with a basic shot but, of course, we can increase our fire capacity with the power-ups that we find along the way. Remote-controlled missiles, flamethrowers, lasers and other elements to achieve peace through superior firepower will be waiting for us to pick them up not once, but twice or more times, since we will be able to carry two improved shots, upload them level and even overload them to obtain a temporary effect that will get us out of some thorny situation.

Contra analysis: Operation Galuga - the first step in taking Contra into the future

Which, I can tell you, will not be few. Contra is a renowned saga for, among other reasons, its abrupt difficulty. And if you don’t believe me, look at the Contra: Anniversary Collection and try some Hard Corps. WayForward was clear that Operation Galuga was not going to be any less and it puts us in front of a colossal challenge… if we want it, of course. Those who want to feel a difficulty like that of yesteryear – that is, a sensation similar to that of chewing cement, driving a submarine with pedals… things like that – can go quickly and quickly to the settings and set the selectors to difficult and that every life is equivalent to an impact. And it has been said to suffer. In any case, we will always have the option of lowering the difficulty, allowing each life to withstand several enemy attacks and facing a Galuga full of countless dangers. And, even if we reduce the intensity of the experience, Operation Galuga will test us on more than one occasion. Enemies that appear from the most unexpected places, multiple projectiles that put us between a rock and a hard place or ambushes by gigantic monsters will be our daily bread in a run’n’gun that will require us to have nerves of steel and feline reflexes.

Now, finishing the main story of Contra: Operation Galuga is an endeavor that, depending on factors such as the difficulty we choose or our own ability, will take us a few hours. Although at the end of its main content we will still have multiple challenges and unlocks ahead of us – and, believe me, these challenges are extremely demanding -, the truth is that it could well have had some more phases to its credit that would lengthen its duration. However, its powerful revitalization of the saga and the intelligent combination of classic mechanics along with innovations that provide new nuances to its gameplay make Contra: Operation Galuga a delivery that passes, with flying colors, a test that is usually Choking on long-established franchises: renew your proposal while keeping your identity intact.

Daily Global Times
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