Contra 3 – The Alien Wars

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Contra III: The Alien Wars is a 1992 run and gun video game developed and published by Konami for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It is the third home console entry in the Contra series after Contra (1988) and Super C (1990) for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). In PAL regions, it was retitled Super Probotector: Alien Rebels and the player characters were replaced with robots. The player is tasked with fighting off an alien invasion of Earth across six stages. Four stages feature side-scrolling action traditional to the series while two are presented from an overhead perspective. It is the first Contra title to have been directed by Nobuya Nakazato who later directed other games in the series. He designed Contra III to feature more comical elements, a more cinematic soundtrack, and tighter stage design than its predecessors. Contra III received positive reviews, with critics praising its arcade quality derived from its sound and visual design. It has been called one of the best Contra games in retrospective reviews. It was ported to the Game Boy as Contra: The Alien Wars (1994) by Factor 5 where it received positive reviews for its Super Game Boy enhancements. Konami also released a Game Boy Advance port titled Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX (2002) which received more critical reviews for removing features in the original. The Super NES version was rereleased several times on Nintendo’s online distribution services.
Contra III is a side-scrolling run and gun game akin to the series’ predecessors. Players take on the role of commandos Bill Rizer and Lance Bean fighting off an alien invasion on Earth. It can be played in single-player or a two-player cooperative mode. There are six stages in total; four are side-scrolling while two are resented in an overhead perspective using the Super NES’s Mode 7 rendering mode. In the side-scrolling stages, the player progresses by running, jumping, and shooting at enemies. In the overhead stages, the player navigates across the stage to find and destroy predetermined targets. The stages each feature unique controls, giving the player the ability to rotate the screen to navigate. All stages have a boss at the end and occasionally a mid-stage boss. The player will lose a life by touching enemies or their bullets, or falling down a pit.
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