Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  1. Apr 22, 2011
    91
    A solid shooter that any fan of the Contra series would be glad to play, even if it doesn't have the Contra name on it. If you're up for an enjoyable, yet difficult, gaming session, give this one a shot.
  2. Feb 28, 2011
    91
    It's not going to be for everyone, the punishing difficulty you'll encounter by just hopping into Arcade mode can certainly be off-putting, but if you end up spending time with the Rising mode, you'll definitely find a lot to love.
  3. Mar 3, 2011
    90
    Hard, "old school" and rewarding. Hard Corps honors the genre, while it adds new ideas where they are needed.
  4. Feb 8, 2011
    90
    The hardcore fans that don't want any handouts can stick to the arcade mode. You start off with set abilities and limited health and lives. At least players can learn the stages and patterns in Rising Mode beforehand. Even then, it's tough to imagine anyone but the absolute best making it all the way through arcade. I guess that's why Konami put the word "hard" in the title.
  5. Mar 19, 2011
    85
    Hard Corps: Uprising is just a freakishly awesome game and it offers a great way to enjoy one of the most celebrated retro genres in a more relevant and modern context.
  6. Feb 28, 2011
    85
    If you are someone who wants a game that will challenge their old-school gaming skills, as cliched as that sounds, then Hard Corps: Uprising is definitely for you. It's a game that is initially punishing, but ultimately satisfying.
  7. Feb 27, 2011
    85
    Whether you want a blast from the past or an introduction to the genre, Hard Corps Uprising is worth a shot.
  8. Feb 17, 2011
    85
    If you've ever been into Contra or Metal Slug or action movies, Hard Corps: Uprising is for you.
  9. Feb 15, 2011
    84
    What stands out about Hard Corps: Uprising is its art style. Rather than stick with the routine Contra design that's worked so well in previous games, Konami turned to Arc System Works, the folks behind BlazBlue and Guilty Gear. The effect is astounding, and not the least bit distracting.
  10. May 26, 2011
    80
    Hard Corps: Uprising is bar none one of the best side scrolling shooters of this generation. It's slick, intense, and a lot of fun.
  11. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    Griping aside, Hard Corps: Uprising is a game that delivers exactly what it promises. It isn't going to be for everyone, but for those who appreciate the challenge of old-school gaming, it's a must-buy. For the rest who are going to whine that "it's too hard," go play Black Ops. This game is exclusively for the hardcore.
  12. Mar 24, 2011
    80
    An essential purchase to any retro Contra fans, and well worth checking out for anyone else.
  13. Mar 3, 2011
    80
    Looking for a crazy difficult game? Hard Cops: Uprising is your best choice! This Contra remake is an awesome example of the old school madness, where players have few lives to beat the hell. A great design and an high production value are great extras to create a fantastic experience.
  14. 80
    Old-school sidescrolling shooter that will certainly appeal to nostalgics, but is definately not for everyone. It's insanely difficult, but if you loved this type of game on the old 16 bit consoles, it's well worth a look.
  15. Feb 21, 2011
    80
    It still feels like Contra, but with something more. Every action lover will enjoy it, even if sometimes it's hard as hell.
  16. Feb 21, 2011
    80
    Granite-hard. [Issue#106, p.119]
  17. Feb 17, 2011
    80
    Before you play Uprising, understand that this is a challenging game. To many players, I am sure that it could become more frustrating as opposed to pleasurable just because of its shear pwnage. However, if you take the time to learn the ins-and-out of the game, power-up your character, and start to memorize each stage, the game's challenge will be appreciated.
  18. Feb 24, 2011
    79
    Uprising's hand-drawn sprites are stunning, and they blend with the 3D environments to good effect. The same can't be said of the audio, with effects that feel dull and flat only barely redeemed by a genre-appropriate metal soundtrack.
  19. Mar 21, 2011
    78
    There is a very specific kind of player for whom Hard Corps: Uprising is going to be better than crack. These are the people that keep Cave employed, who lined up for Gradius V, and who have characters from Metal Slug tattooed on their unmentionables. It's an arcade game for serious shooter fans, and only for serious shooter fans.
  20. Feb 21, 2011
    78
    If the old school mechanics just doesn't get it done for you, then it'll be tough to drop the 1200 MP ($15) on it. However, fans of the franchise or the genre in general should give Hard Corp: Uprising a shot.
  21. Feb 17, 2011
    76
    A love letter to Contra fans, a distillation of everything they love about the series augmented by some control and visual updates. If you have a history with the franchise, a hankering for explosive 2D action, and a whole lot of patience, it's a great buy for your $15.
  22. Mar 16, 2011
    75
    Hard Corps: Uprising has that old Contra feel, including a bit of obligatory missile riding, but Arc System Works manages to carve its own niche with a sharp art-style and the customization of Rising mode. Although it can be painfully rough in some spots, it powers through with barrels blazing and, hopefully, marks the beginning of an amazing series.
  23. Feb 21, 2011
    75
    A great 2D action game for hardcore shooter veterans. Hard Corps Uprising provides a nice shooting experience with a furiously paced gameplay.
  24. Feb 16, 2011
    75
    On a basic level Hard Corps: Uprising is excellent, retaining the Contra spirit yet giving it a new lease of life. As such, series fans and old-school throwbacks will probably love every minute of it, regardless of cost. However, it does get bogged down a little by the strangely bad voice acting, downloadable content concerns and its meek attempt at catering for a broader, less experienced audience.
  25. Feb 15, 2011
    75
    A classic arcade action title that is almost too difficult at times to enjoy. I love the art style, slick controls and level design, but dying over and over and the unforgiving checkpoints are enough to frustrate me too much at times.
  26. Feb 15, 2011
    75
    Hard Corps Uprising does not understand "hard" as a mere difficulty setting. Actually, it's even harder than you might expect. With patience and enough skill, this game can be the dream game for any hardcore player who wants to prove himself at any cost.
  27. Feb 11, 2011
    75
    Aside from being a really challenging title, Hard Corps: Uprising is also beautiful and a pleasure to look at with its highly detailed graphics.
  28. 75
    It's not for everyone, but with patience, Uprising can become an incredible experience, with plenty of giant bosses and insane, over-the-top action set-pieces. [Jan 2011, p.74]
  29. Mar 30, 2011
    70
    Harder than Geoff Capes and Superman combined, making this an excellent value grind for people of a certain mind. [Issue#70, p.102]
  30. Feb 28, 2011
    70
    A pretty solid product, but it would have made a better impression had it been a little less punishing.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Apr 9, 2011
    2
    I love Contra, but these games keep getting harder and harder with each new installment. That's great news for some people out there who feel that if they aren't being punished by a game, it isn't adequate. However, there are those of us in the majority that like to have fun. There is a difference between a good challenge and being punished or outright crushed. This game falls into the latter category. There are multiple difficulties, but that doesn't mean much, this game is hard, beyond old-school hard in my opinion. I grew up in the eighties so I know all about the Mega Mans and Contras and Castlevanias of old, but I simply don't remember games being this relentless. Rising mode helps a little. It plays like an RPG, you level up and earn points to spend on health and weapon or skill upgrades, which get you a little bit further before annihilation. Checkpoints are too few and are placed in dumb places, most of the time when you die you'll end up at the beginning of the level even if you have been playing for a while and have made it a good distance. Sometimes you will defeat a boss, only to be killed by a weak minion with a lucky shot, but because there is no checkpoint after the boss, its back to the beginning and you have to do it all over again. Bad guys come from every direction, as always, but there is too much going on onscreen most of the time to tell what is happening, which leads to, you guessed it, death. And the thing that annoyed me the most, Day 1 DLC. I buy the game, turn it on and get this cool anime cut-scene with four characters in it. Turns out I have to buy these extra characters, and they aren't cheap either, they're $5 a pop. The game costs $15, and two additional characters cost a total of $10? This may be the biggest downloadable rip-off I have ever seen. Sorry, but this game is not fun or challenging, it is the opposite of fun and it is brutal. It is also completely overpriced. I give it a 2 because it looks pretty and made me feel nostalgic for about 5 minutes until my umpteenth death. Full Review »
  2. Feb 20, 2011
    8
    Old school for the new school. Uprising isn't without its share of annoying quirks, but it offers an entertaining challenge for gamers with fond memories of Konami's Contra series. Beneath the shiny anime exterior crafted by Arc Systems, is the heart and soul of the Contra games we love. Fast. Furious. And so difficult you'll come dangerously close to flinging your controller into the television.

    Uprising offers up 2 game modes. For the purists, there is the barebones Arcade mode. Preset lives and continues combine with a really tough game to ensure that most gamers won't make it through unscathed. The second is Rising mode which allows players to spend Corp points on invaluable upgrades to their health, continues and equipment. It gives the majority of gamers a chance to complete the game and gives added incentive to play through levels more than once.

    The biggest issue in Uprising is the poorly implemented checkpoint system. More often than not, I found myself making it through one of the insanely challenging boss battles, only to fall prey to a single bullet from one of the generic privates. Unlike most games, there isn't a checkpoint upon defeating a boss... so I end up right back at the start. This can get very frustrating and is a really stupid design flaw.

    All in all... a fun challenge which can result in some manner of frustration.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    Great game. This game is really difficult. Madly complicated. Not for wimps. After each death, I want to take the cord from the gamepad and strangle all employees of Konami and their dogs and cats. It's cool! I feel like I went back to my childhood when the games were real.

    Thanks, Konami. Thank you very much.
    Full Review »