Neo Contra PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Oct 19, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 37
  2. Negative: 7 out of 37
Buy On
  1. It's short length keeps it from scoring any higher, but fans of Contra and shooter fans in general will find a great game in Neo Contra.
  2. The game setup is also much easier than any others in the Contra series that I've played, but at the same time, it still more difficult than a wide variety of games.
  3. Pelit (Finland)
    A traditional and extremely addictive shoot 'em up. Its twisted humour is hilarious. A few more levels would not have hurt, though. [Mar. 05]
  4. 80
    The gameplay blows minds. The lush, detailed graphics and driving sountrack are the icing on the cake. [Dec 2004, p.108]
  5. Game Informer
    I'd estimate that Reiner and I completed the four main missions and fifth bonus mission on normal difficulty in about three or four hours. [Nov 2004, p.152]
  6. I know that Neo Contra has built up my confidence enough that I am starting to toy with the idea of trying Shattered Ego…err…Soldier again if I can remember where I buried it in the backyard.
  7. Play Magazine
    Apoplectic shooting action that doesn't let us catch our breath till the hard-fought score is tallied up at the end of the level. [Nov 2004, p.48]
  8. A polished and relentless action game with some of the craziest levels in this console generation.
  9. The 3D makeover is near-irrelevant - this is firmly rooted in decades-old 'classic' gameplay. Fun, but strangely out of place among more 'modern' PS2 experiences. [PSM2]
  10. The environments and enemies will meet most expectations but there are times when slow down becomes a factor.
  11. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Why must Neo Contra be so short? I want to see more giant plant-things with baby heads and talking dogs wearing Kaiser helmets. [Holiday 2004, p.117]
  12. Neo Contra’s greatest fault is that it ends before its time. Second, it’s a bit on the easy side when compared to other run-‘n’-gun shooters.
  13. Ultimately, the game's biggest flaw is its duration. Most players will only need two or three hours to complete the final level.
  14. 70
    It's obvious that Nakazato wanted to create a Contra that was inclusionary to newbies, instead of exclusionary. In that he's succeeded. The only problem is that Neo Contra's average difficulty level will have the opposite effect, and turn off the old-timers. It's too bad, as a simple difficulty selection could have helped correct this.
  15. GMR Magazine
    The fact that Jaguar's flame katana - a standard weapon - can take down most bosses in less than five slashes...well, that just shouldn't be possible. [Dec 2004, p.128]
  16. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The development team should've built more levels instead of relying on the rating gimmick to extend Neo Contra's longevity. Without question, it's worth a rental since it only takes a few hours or so to complete. [Dec 2004, p.124]
  17. 70
    Neo Contra isn't as true to the original games as fans might wish, but nevertheless, it's a good attempt at recapturing the original's magic and a respectable action game in its own right.
  18. 70
    Konami, give us back the jump. Give us back the eight-way shooting. Give us back Contra. If not, play "Smash TV," ditch the strafe lock, and put in a few more levels.
  19. The stages themselves are filled with over-the-top shooting action and twitch gameplay, so they're good for some kicks, even if Neo Contra ultimately doesn't provide much depth or challenge.
  20. This title just doesn’t have the longevity to get my recommendation.
  21. Offers a decent gameplay experience as an action title, but doesn't live up to the Contra name. It's short, easy, and far too sparse on epic boss fights.
  22. PSM Magazine
    Couldn't there be just a few more levels? Maybe some power-ups? [Holiday 2004, p.82]
  23. All in all, Neo Contra plays like any 2D action game that goes vertical: less than it should. The game carries the name Contra, but the similarities in where it would count end there.
  24. A game that really has the makings of a good game but doesn't stick around long enough to successfully show it off.
  25. With multiple endings, several unlockables, and a nice difficulty curve it's an enjoyable play. What frustrates me about Neo Contra is that it could have been another "Gunstar Heroes" had it taken the quality of its humor more seriously.
  26. The game's on the short side, and it's for some reason a little easier than past incarnations, but it's a fun shooter that's great to play in short bursts. Plus, its zany characters and gorgeous FMV cut scenes put it so far over the top it'd be a crime not to pick it up.
  27. 60
    Neo Contra is verbose, but brief.
  28. In the end, if you loved Contra from the olden days, I suggest finding "Contra: Shattered Soldier," as it was more like the original.
  29. Cheat Code Central
    A little refinement would have made this game feel like a breath of fresh air. Instead I feel like I'm breathing in secondhand smoke. Good for a rental and nothing more.
  30. The controls, while not awful, are a bit too slow. Aiming can be a pain at times, and that'll cost you lives. For an action game, that's a sin.
  31. 40
    Don't bother dissecting the plot, as the incredibly short game ends abruptly, giving the impression that the creators quit halfway through. Sort of like us with therapy.
  32. 40
    The selection of missions is a little sparse, and the game demands a near-perfect performance to unlock extra content, but that's far less of a problem compared to a control scheme that just isn't any fun.
  33. 40
    Clunky controls and one-hit kills, along with a strangely absent option to either quit to the main menu during a game, or have a second player join any time are all annoying. More annoying, however, is that the game just doesn’t feel like a retro revamp of a true classic.
  34. They had to reach back to Berzerk’s, one-stick control scheme and then tack on a bunch of button presses to achieve what could have been done just by using both of the Dual Shock’s analog sticks.
  35. The programmers behind Neo Contra make some puzzling changes to the series’ classic formula that shoot the whole project to hell. It’s as if KCET ("Gradius V") wanted to destroy Contra instead of reviving it.
  36. games(TM)
    Neo Contra sees the series willing to move into a brave new world, but on this evidence it hasn’t put it’s best foot forward. [Feb 2005, p.92]
  37. 40
    Neo Contra isn’t a terrible game; it simply fails to get the balance between running and gunning right, resting far too much emphasis on the latter. It’s fun for a quick blast, but doesn’t offer enough depth or difficulty to warrant extended play.

Awards & Rankings

#78 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. ChrisBurket
    Oct 1, 2009
    ahh this is an interesting one. im not going to say it is a great game, but i will say it is fun as hell. what is this game all about?ahh this is an interesting one. im not going to say it is a great game, but i will say it is fun as hell. what is this game all about? action, action, action and more action. what are the good aspects about it? gameplay, gameplay, gameplay and....... gameplay. anyway, the main thing i want to address is the voice acting and the story. the story is pretty basic and the plot twists are cheesy. the voice acting and dialogue are so cheesy and so terrible, that they are good in a way. i know that makes no sense but they really are funny. it lifts alot of the tension because you just have to laugh at the cutscenes. for example, at one part the 2 main characters are on top of a moving helicopter and manage not to fall off by running in place super fast on the spinning blades. they stay like this for an entire half of a level even when the helicopter flips over for a second. they also they get shot out of an erupting volcano, ride on torpedoes like surf boards and get shot down to the battlefield inside of a missile from a satellite..... these guys put chuck norris to shame. its like the creators realized that no one is playing this game for the story, so they decided to make it cheesy and stupid and focus on the gameplay. its nice to see game designers with real focus. its a contra game so i assume you already know that it is ball-breakingly hard and you will die again and again and again, but i would still recommend it (if youre a man you can take it). dont bother renting it. its so cheap at stores you might as well purchase it. also in order to get your full use out of it, you will need to master the gameplay, so really you need to own it. a few more things, the graphics and music are pretty good. thats all. i give this game an 8 out of 10 (or 4 out of 5) Full Review »
  2. StephenK
    Jul 16, 2008
    Awsome game! The controls are tough to get used to, but once you do, its a blast and a half! Big guns, Big bosses and Big explosions. ItAwsome game! The controls are tough to get used to, but once you do, its a blast and a half! Big guns, Big bosses and Big explosions. It delivered, I was happy. The werid music wasn't NEARLY as good as any of its predecessors, but the opening sequence sure had a catchy tune. Full Review »
  3. KourtneyL.
    Nov 24, 2004
    You gamers need to remember.The older Contras of the past never had unlockable missions to go through.Shattered Solider and Neo Contra are You gamers need to remember.The older Contras of the past never had unlockable missions to go through.Shattered Solider and Neo Contra are just about the only 2 I can think of that do.Alot of older contra games only have a code for extra lives.This new game gives you that and more.When you guys think of a contra game that has characters jump,then all you are doing is thinking of the year 1987.I think it's awesome that Contra is now fully 3D and best of all the characters talk.Since it's now 2004 I am glad that they added a dash move instead of bringing back the ability to jump.A dash can be just as good as a jump.Alot of you may think the game is extremely short but that's only because you guys are getting low ratings B or C.Shattered Solider works the same way.If you get an S rating on the first 4 missions you will continue on.Same way with SS.Why is that so difficult for you contra fans to understand? I hope this review helps. Full Review »