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Review

Contra: Operation Galuga (Switch) Review

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I’ve got fond memories of playing Contra on the communal SNES at after school care as a kid (or Super Probotector as I believe it was renamed in Aus). Even though I don’t think me and the others ever got past the second stage, it’s great to see a revival. Contra: Operation Galuga evokes a sense of nostalgia, through the familiar run and gun action, wicked weapons and difficulty spikes. I’m just glad now I’m not playing ‘death and pass on’ with six other kids on a Thursday arvo in the school hall.

Contra: Operation Galuga is the first new Contra game since Contra: Rogue Corps in 2019. And since that title opted for an odd twin-stick shooter shtick, Operation Galuga is the first classic side-scrolling Contra game since Hard Corps: Uprising in 2011. Quite a wait for one of Konami’s old certified classics.

This time, the Contra lads are up against a strange, new alien race, threatening the whole planet’s existence. The story is all well and good, but honestly it’s just a vehicle to jump around and blast some baddies. Arcade mode is where the story unfolds, solo or with a mate, and you’ll be able to unlock new characters, whereas arcade is your classic no nonsense Contra experience, but playable with up to three friends locally!

Inside a level, you’ll do your classic running and gunning – dodging enemies and their projectiles, and picking up new weapons on the fly to blast ’em with (360¬į of range too!), all while charging for the end of the stage. You can store an additional weapon as well, which you can swap between, but die and you’ll drop your equipped one. You can also pick up the same weapon a second time to get an upgraded version, but take damage just once and that’ll revert back to its base form. There’s also weapon overloads, which’ll use up your equipped weapon in exchange for a temporary ability, such as a time freeze, some battle drones, or a barrage of missiles.

It’s really just some classic Contra, with a sprinkle of modernity. There’s now a perk shop where you can buy buffs, like some additional health, or always spawning in with a certain weapon. If you’re real good at racking up credits you can even buy some secret characters or special music, like the Castlevania BGM. And for a quick fix of credits with a huge difficulty spike try out the mini-missions in challenge mode – too rich for my blood but good for lovers of brutal difficulty.¬†


Contra: Operation Galuga did crash on me a few times, the loading screens are longer than I’d expect for a 2.5D game, and some of the prices in the perk shop are ridiculous, but ultimately it’s a great bit of fun. I’ve been missing run and gun action like this since primary school. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, I salute you.

Rating: 4/5

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The Good

+ Old-school action fun
+ Getting a good loadout and absolutely shredding
+ Even better with mates

The Bad

- Long load times, especially for 2.5D
- Character unlocks in the shop for 8000 credits!?
- No online co-op

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Contra: Operation Galuga did crash on me a few times, the loading screens are longer than I'd expect for a 2.5D game, and some of the prices in the perk shop are ridiculous, but ultimately it's a great bit of fun. I've been missing run and gun action like this since primary school. Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, I salute you.

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About The Author
Sam Williams
Longtime Nintendo and Vooks enthusiast turned contributor. Full-time funny guy.

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