Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Thrilling retro run-and-gun action is back with a vengeance in Hard Corps: Uprising, a new 2D side scroller developed by ARC System Works that pays homage to classic Konami action series. Play as the soldier Bahamut as he begins to write his legend. Battle in the grueling trenches of Arcade mode or the all-new RISING mode, where a life bar and point system allow you to purchase items and upgrades to build your soldier up and achieve ultimate victory. Need help? Partner with a friend to lay down some serious carnage. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  1. Apr 22, 2011
    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
    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.
  3. Apr 8, 2011
    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.
  4. Feb 16, 2011
    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.
  5. Mar 30, 2011
    Harder than Geoff Capes and Superman combined, making this an excellent value grind for people of a certain mind. [Issue#70, p.102]
  6. Feb 18, 2011
    Hard Corps: Uprising is built for a very specific type of gamer. If you fit that description, you won't be disappointed with your purchase. But while many aspects of Uprising are appealing, without endearing characters to root for or an effective save system, it feels more like a missed opportunity than a tribute to the classics.
  7. Feb 16, 2011
    If you're masochistic and don't mind awkwardly paced gameplay, you may actually enjoy Uprising. For everyone else, playing this game feels like paying someone $15 to punch you in the face over and over again.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Mar 4, 2013
    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.
  2. Feb 18, 2011
    Ok; be ready for a long Read.
    Hard Corps Uprising is a prequel to the tittle Contra: Hard Corps. As you may expect from any "Contra" Game, it
    is hard.

    Gameplay: 9/10
    Just the way you remember Contra, that it is how it plays... Well, It has some new abilities, of course, and they integrate perfectly to the game, but you can always disable them and give yourself a very classic contra feeling. It is almost perfect... Be ready for some cheap deaths when you play multiplayer, but once you get the hang of the game, you will love it. Easy to start, hard to dominate.

    Graphics 10/10
    Obviously we do not have a Call Of Duty Standard for the graphics of an XBLA game. The graphics are beautifully hand drawn sprites, with a fluid animation decorating a 3D rendered background. Also, most of the bosses are polygons. You can lose yourself in how visually pretty the sprites look like and how it merges perfectly with the game

    Sound 8/10
    Probably you won't find a game with better action music than the Contra Tittle. Some good rock it is always good for killing the oppressor of the world. Sadly, the voice acting is awful :( If you can overcome it, you will generally enjoy the sound of this game.

    Additional Comments: If you are a hardcore player, you will prefer to play the Arcade mode, which is the oldschool 3 lives mode.
    However, newbies and casuals are welcome in this new contra title. In the Uprising mode you can upgrade your character, and make it absurdly overpowered, but it will take you a while; however, it will make you feel like a badass Pro.

    Remember to buy Sayuri Character as DLC, she is Worth it... forget about the other guy.
  3. Mar 19, 2011
    I was lucky to be born when I was. The Nintendo Entertainment System was hitting it's stride right as I was becoming fanatical about video games. Among titles like; Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda and Double Dragon - I had an often overlooked favorite.


    After two successful sequels on the NES, it was time for an update on the Super Nintendo in 1992. For years I played Contra 3: The Alien Wars almost religiously - never completing the title due to it's insane level of difficulty.

    In 1994 Contra: Hard Corps was released on the Sega Genesis - I never played this one due to it's exclusivity on the Genesis. It featured antagonist Colonel Bahamut, a veteran of the Alien Wars, who has stolen alien technology in order to overthrow the government. Only The Hard Corps can stop him and his plan for global domination.

    Contra: Shattered Solider was released for the PS2 in 2002 and featured the same 2D side scrolling action-fest that had become the franchise's trademark. At the time I remember thinking that Shattered Solider was a straightforward remake of Contra 3. However in my research for this article, I learned that it was an all new story featuring the protagonist Billy Rizer from SNES Contra. Many of the levels seemed to mirror stages from previous Contra titles as a sort of homage-paying, nostalgia-inducing classic. Minus the classic.

    That brings us to present day.

    Hard Corps: Uprising was released on February 16th on XB Live and March 15 on the Playstation Network. As with any Contra title, Uprising follows the exploits of two protagonists Bahamut and Krystal. Bahamut may or may not be Colonel Bahamut, the villain from the Genesis Hard Corp game - you'll have to play to find out.

    The year is 2613 and Earth is now ruled by an organization known only as the Commonwealth under the thumb of the evil Tiberius. Led by the ware hero Bahamut, a resistance is born to fight the evil empire and restore peace to Earth. As far as a Contra story, it's pretty tight, although you wont have much time to ponder the significance of it amongst the rain of gunfire and explosions.

    Developer Arc System Works choose a different style when it came to the look of Uprising. Gone is the gritty, somewhat realistic graphics that have been a staple of the series since day one. The graphics of Uprising are straight out of a Japanese Manga comic book. I think the change in style is a refreshing change for Contra, although some people may not appreciate the new aesthetic. With all the fast-paced action and never ending waves of enemy forces, Uprising runs very smooth with zero glitches.

    At it's core, the gameplay remains the same as previous Contra titles with a few differences. There are two different modes of play; Arcade and Uprising mode. Arcade mode is going to be where most people live with this title. The reason for that is because Uprising is the most difficult Contra game ever made, and Uprising mode gives you a life bar with three chances before loosing a life. In this mode health can be found sporadically throughout each stage, but don't think that this is an 'easy' way to play. It still took me hours to complete the first stage.

    Uprising mode is like the "classic" Contra of yesteryear. In this mode you take one shot from the enemy and that's a life spent. With only three lives and three continues, that's only nine chances to clear the entire game. Crazy hard. In this mode I wasn't even able to get half way through the first stage. This mode is only for the hard core of the Hard Corps.

    Other than that, the gameplay of Uprising is exactly the same as original Contra.

    Playing with someone else has always been a big part of the Contra experience and Uprising maintains that tradition. You can either play with a buddy in your living room or over the internet. However, unless you know someone with the title, finding a match online can be frustrating. I would get the message "No rooms found" and be unable to jump into a round online. Still if you're one of those gamers with actual friends that come over to your house to play video games, two player Uprising rocks.

    Hard Corps: Uprising is a great addition to the Contra series - it helps to expand on the universe, adds another dimension to the gameplay and looks amazing. I really liked the updated anime-style graphics, variety of firearms and the classic Contra feel. For 1200 Microsoft points or $15 on the PSN, the challenge will keep you coming back. The only negative is also a positive and that's the level of difficulty - it's a nice reminder that video games of the 80s and 90s were far more challenging than the video games of today.

    8 out of 10
  4. Feb 20, 2011
    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.
  5. Apr 9, 2011
    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. Expand