contra evolution
US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

Format: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Developer: PunchBox Studios

Now this is a game that got me very excited. As a kid and even now I was and am a huge fan of the Contra series. Actually that is not entirely true as while we got the Contra games here in the UK. They were repackaged as the Probotector games and instead of playing as two bad asses you played as an alien robot. Anyway Contra Evolution was a game that looked like it was going to be the remake of the first game that I had always wanted.

Wow was what I literally said when I first played this game. Talk about giving a game a fresh lick of paint. This goes way beyond just some HD lick of paint. This game looks freaking amazing I cannot give enough credit to the guys at PunchBox Studios for the job they have done on the graphics of this game. As well as the graphics getting a huge upgrade the sound has also been remixed. Hey now stop that groaning I loved the Contra soundtrack as much as anyone, but this new soundtrack manages to still kind of sound like the original, but it also is fresh like the fancy new graphics.

Now as excited as I was to play this game I did have one concern and that was how it would control. Now for those of you who did not grow up with the Contra (or Probotector I will keep it real for my peeps in the UK) the game really did require precision controls and I was a little worried about how this would work with a virtual joystick or a dpad. Well PunchBox Studios obviously realised that some changes needed to be made in order to make the game still be fun on a iOS device.

To start with we have some auto fire. You gun is just always firing this may sound terrible, but I really do think this was a necessary step to take. You can still fire in all directions and you have one control stick for your movement and to aim which way you will be shooting in. I am not going to lie this can take a few games to get used to. And it does not even come close to matching having a controller in your hands. And I did die many times because of some issues with the controls. This is a game that does have a very hefty learning curve when getting to grips with the controls. There are a few different control options so it is worth checking them all out to see which one suits you best.

So the game looks amazing and it is okay to play, but the game has some very aggressive and downright shady in app purchases. First of all you have the option to pay to upgrade to a HD version of the game if you are playing on a iPad. Why have they done this? Could they not have just had an HD version on the store to start with? Also this is a game where you will die many times. And if you want to continue from where you left off then you better be prepared to buy some continues using real money. You can collect in game money, but it is never really enough. As well as this there are extra weapons and power ups again though you will need to open up your wallet.

Contra Evolution is a game that I really do want to love and if the controls were tighter then I could maybe look past the in app purchases that are thrown at me. I really do want to tell you that this game is just amazing, but I really cannot do that. I would say that this is worth checking out if you are a hard core Contra fan, but if you have never heard of the series or do not have much interest then I would say you would be better off passing on this one.

US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store