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The Contra game you’ve never head of but really should play (HARD CORPS UPRISING)

I saw that Hard Corps Uprising is part of games with gold for April. And since I don't think I've ever seen a single person mention the game here , I thought it would be a good time to make a post about it.

It originally came out in 2011, I believe for the PS3 and 360, (playable on all XB models through BC). and is developed by Arc System Works who've made a bunch of fighting games – most if not all are better known then HCU. I think the PS3 digital store may be closing soon (maybe it already did), so if you never plan on getting an Xbox – this may be your last chance to grab the game.

The game is actually a Contra game …but somebody thought it would be a good idea to not put Contra in the title, which I think is one of the biggest reasons it's so unknown. I guess the name is kinda generic as well and it may not have gotten much marketing either since it was a 2d game but that's just me speculating.


At first glance it looks kinda like most other games in the genre. Run right and shoot stuff. The next thing you'll most likely notice, the game is hard. Crazy hard. I've played the crap out of it, so I'm able to deal with it to some degree, but should you decide to play it , be prepared to get your ass kicked. If you're thinking this doesn't sound like a game for me don't give up hope because….

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There are 2 game modes. Rising mode and I forget the name of the other, we'll call it classic. Classic mode is old school. You start with 3 lives and if you lose them all you start back at the start of the level. If you turn off the system or quit, you'll have to start from level 1. Rising Mode on the other hand lets pick levels as you beat them (I think). More importantly you earn points as you play which you can then spend in a shop to buy upgrades and there are quite a few of them. You can upgrade your health and buy make it so you start with more lives for example. Buy enough upgrades and you can transform the game from tough to something quite manageable. You can also purchase weapon upgrades. Speaking of which….

You've got your standard weapon , fires in straight line and has ok speed. You've got (I think) 5 or 6 different weapon pick ups you can get , one of which is a rapid fire machine gun. I'll leave the rest a surprise. You keep the weapons as long as you don't get hit and have two slots so you can carry 2 of them at a time. If you have one of them equipped and pick up another of the same kind you'll get an upgraded version (up to level 3) . In Rising mode you can get an upgrade make it so you spawn with a weapon or 2 and can even make it an upgraded version.

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What I think truly makes the game special though are some of the additional moves you can do. You can reflect attacks, you can sprint. When sprinting you can vault over obstacles and dodge past enemies to shoot them in the back. I think there may be more that I'm forgetting about. These additional moves give the game a crazy high skill ceiling . If Platinum games made a game in the genre, HCU is what I picture.

You've also got an air dash and in rising mode you can unlock a double jump / triple jump and double air dash. Also there are 2 playable characters. They have some differences but I'm not sure what they are tbh. (There's also some DLC characters)


The game has a mix of 2d and 3d visuals . Some of the 3d stuff looks pretty basic but it looks decent overall. The characters do have a bit of an anime flair which you can see better in the games animated intro . The soundtrack is pretty great imo. It's very metal. Some of you may have read my post on Valfaris from a week ago, where as Valfaris' soundtrack was more in line with Doom, HCU is closer to idk… F Zero?

The game has a story that is told in short text paragraphs when loading up the level, I have almost no clue what it's about.. your part of a resistance force or something? But really who cares in a game like this.

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Hard Corps Uprising is an entry in the Contra series, that's truly underappreciated imo. Some of the more advanced maneuvers in the game give it a really high skill ceiling and differentiate (elevate it imo) from other games in the series / genre. It's brutally difficult but the difficulty can be trivialized by playing in Rising mode which allows you to buy lots of upgrades.


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