• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Nov 13, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. This is both the ultimate Contra experience and one of the best action games in years. Do not let Contra 4 get lost in the holiday rush.
  2. The Contra series is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and Contra 4 is a gift to the fans. If you're a fan of the series or even if you just like shooters in general, Contra 4 is the game for you.
  3. The game is a lot of fun, even if the challenge level is out of this world. If you’ve been around for all 20 years of Contra, this is a must purchase.
  4. The game is exceptional all around. Even the instruction manual pays homage to the classics and is well worth a peek for the ardent fan. Contra fans should buy this game immediately, and action fans in general should seriously consider picking it up.
  5. Contra 4 stands alone both as a game and as an anniversary package celebrating the history of the series. This is a retrospective done right and it should be considered a must-have for any DS owner out there.
  6. 90
    Fans have been waiting years for a true Contra sequel, and now it's arrived. Whether you're a fan of the series or someone looking for a challenge, you'll find a lot to love here.
  7. 90
    Features immense replay value.
  8. It’s great to see that well-made games that are entirely capable of kicking our asses can still be made and here’s to another 20 years of Contra-ing to come... hopefully.
  9. Contra 4 is relatively short, but the difficulty and the immense number of extras give it a healthy replay value.
  10. Contra 4 is meant for the hardcore old school crowd, and only for the hardcore old school crowd.
  11. Contra 4's main Arcade mode is a remixed classic and a treat in its own right, but what really makes Contra 4 stand out is how it pays tribute to its fans by using the slick gameplay of the main game to craft an excellent Challenge Mode and consequently reward players with two classic NES titles and a bunch of nostalgic extra features to boot.
  12. This game is absolutely not for everybody. Most gamers brought up on the cushy, forgiving action games of the last decade will probably feel like somebody slapped them in the face the first time they play it. But for the right sort of person, that slap in the face is exactly what they’ve been craving. Contra 4 presents some of the best, most hardcore run-and-gun shooting action on the DS, and is a breath of fresh, alien-blood-scented air for the system, and gaming in general.
  13. The game will beat you silly, but the challenge and gameplay are so much fun that the need to press forward is strong.
  14. Contra 4 is a stunning return to form and a fitting twentieth anniversary present for fans of the series.
  15. Contra 4 will deliver everything veterans of the series could ever want, from the classic spread gun to music that brings orgasmic delight to the ears.
  16. If you're a Contra fan--especially of the classic side-scrolling action of the series' early offerings-- picking this title up is a no-brainer. The fast action, upgradeable weapons, platforming level design, and awesome bosses are all back and joined by two-screen presentation, a nifty grappling hook, and enough extras to make those next-gen "Collector's Editions" envious.
  17. Nintendo Power
    Otherwise, as long as you're open to its old-school approach, Contra 4 stands as one of the year's best pure action titles. [Dec 2007, p.81]
  18. Play Magazine
    Down to the trademark ping the gunfire makes hitting steel, Contra 4 is a thoroughbred effort. [Dec 2007, p.92]
  19. 85
    If you crave old-school action that is just as relentless today as it was back in the 80s then Konami has answered your call.
  20. Contra 4 is made for the fan in mind. It is obvious that the developers have a lot of love for the Contra series so if you're a fan then there's nothing to pick at.
  21. Be that as it may, it's great to see Contra go back to its roots for this very impressive entry into long-running series. If you enjoy challenging titles that require every bit of skill you can muster, Contra 4 is just the perfect purchase.
  22. Games Master UK
    Doesn't advance the classic Contra formula one jot, but better than 1994's "Hard Corps." [Feb 2008, p.68]
  23. Base runs and bosses aside, Contra 4 is the most punishing game on the DS, but also one of the most satisfying. There is no room for error, nor are there any cheap shots. If you die, you screwed up. If you survive, you are officially hard to the titanium core.
  24. 80
    Contra 4 is great Contra Fan Service. The core game design is a fresh fight that stays true to the 8 and 16-bit editions. At the same time, you can unlock two of the games that the fans hold near and dear, and via an in-game museum you can view the series' timeline through boxart and screen grabs.
  25. Invest immediately – unless you're a wuss.
  26. 80
    Contra 4 is a wonderful throwback to the Contra days of old, a jam-packed blastathon guaranteed to get your blood pumping. Grab your gun and let's hit it, before you get stomped, tattooed, hanged and killed.
  27. It's mean, it's intense, it's difficult, and it's a raucous good time. In a nutshell, it's Contra.
  28. Any fan of the series will be more than happy with their experience and I can easily say that as a fan myself, I'm quite pleased. The developers have done a wonderful job in providing a title that lives up to the Contra name.
  29. games(TM)
    WayForward Technologies has successfully managed to create that old-school arcade experience in the palm of your hand. And if that doesn’t impress you, you may as well stick to "Brain Training." [Jan 2008, p.117]
  30. Contra 4 is a respectable comeback of the series to its original form. The game brings good memories and is something every gamer should have played once. It might be difficult in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it you will be rewarded. Not everyone will like the game, but those who do will enjoy one of the best times in their life.
  31. Nintendo Gamer
    We haven't played a game this demanding in some time... a refreshing kick in the teeth. [Feb 2008, p.67]
  32. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Developer WayForward has delivered what Konami of Japan was largely too afraid to give us: a straight-up, balls-to-the-wall, classic-feeling Contra. [Holiday 2007, p.86]
  33. 75
    While Contra 4 doesn't necessarily improve on the respected series template, it's unquestionably a return to form, likely to sate rabid fans while simultaneously terrorizing unprepared newbies.
  34. While the graphics leave a bit to be desired, the heightened difficulty and insane boss battles make up for it. Just like any other Contra game, it'll take you a while to get through it the first time, but once you figure out the formula you'll be just fine.
  35. When the game is at its old-school finest, Contra 4 is the anti-new game that we old schoolers eat for breakfast. (Really, pansy gamers need not apply; this game will beat you to next Tuesday.) At its worst, Contra 4 is everything that gaming has tried to move away from for the last twenty years. But every now and again, it’s nice to be reminded that games can be pure adrenaline-filled manfests.
  36. 65
    With all these amazing things in store what could possibly go wrong for C4? The absolutely astonishing, ridiculous rectum tearing difficulty that this game holds, that's what (and I played on easy).
  37. Edge Magazine
    Is there any need, on vertically scrolling levels, for your character to die when they touch the bottom of the screen, despite the fact you know there are platforms there? Do bosses have to seem impossible, and then prove tedious when their patterns have been learned? [Jan 2008, p.89]
  38. While Contra 4 is, at its core, a great 2D shooter that's refreshingly difficult, there are too many places where it stays true to its past in the face of innovations that could only make it a better, more accessible game.

Awards & Rankings

#9 Most Discussed DS Game of 2007
#2 Most Shared DS Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 54
  2. Negative: 6 out of 54
  1. Jan 2, 2011
    On Easy mode, this game is not too hard to complete. I'm happy to see this title, which is not for babies, so those who find it difficult,On Easy mode, this game is not too hard to complete. I'm happy to see this title, which is not for babies, so those who find it difficult, just begin practising.
    I've finished all challenges and bonus content really worth playing it!
    Great 2D graphics with a pinch of 3D, rocking music and a memorable 20-th anniversary for my childhood's favorite NES game.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 22, 2016
    I cannot say I grew up with contra since I was born into the 90s collect-a-thon games, even still this game is one of my favorite on the DS.I cannot say I grew up with contra since I was born into the 90s collect-a-thon games, even still this game is one of my favorite on the DS. This was my first contra game and I believe it is the best to start with because it gives you an easy mode (which is not easy the first time...). The game is difficult and probably the most difficult game on the DS, but it's the good kind of difficult. It rewards you for mastering it, and the controls are solid. You will need to master every side of them. After that, it's just run n gun. The fantastic part is that there is a 2 player mode as well, which non of the other similar games on the DS have. The graphics are smooth with a lot of attention to detail. I remember stopping and looking through a random broken window in one of the stages and finding a fully detailed office when they could've just added a grey background. Full Review »
  3. Apr 27, 2016
    The frustrating and extreme difficulty is one of the main reasons i don't give this game a higher score. I understand that challenge should beThe frustrating and extreme difficulty is one of the main reasons i don't give this game a higher score. I understand that challenge should be part of videogames and it ads replay value, but when developers take difficulty and raise it to the extreme and insane level, there's not much to enjoy. Dying each minute is not funny at all, even if you are a skilled player and even if you finished most of the main contra games (like myself), even if you are a hardcore gamer you will suffer and you will find this game almost impossible. It would have been better if they let you choose more continues or at least a saving system. The easy mode is too easy and the normal mode is too hard.
    Other than extreme challenge, Contra 4 is great, the graphics and the music are very enjoyable and the gameplay is good and fluid, just like a true 2D sidescroller should be. The content of the game is very good and the whole 9 stages are long and insanely hard, and the replay value is awesome. The screen is not very precise, both screens are not well designed together and it ads confusion to the gameplay, and you can notice more of that in the vertical scrolling levels. The music and sound were very improved and the guitar sound at the end of stages gives you a good feeling of accomplishment. At the end of the day Contra 4 is one of the hardest games i have ever played in my life, but a very good one.
    Full Review »