Konami to Keep Funding the Contras
The Genesis legacy is on fire lately. With the return of Rocket Knight and the impending releases of an HD-ready Eartworm Jim and a new Splatterhouse, companies are finally beginning to realize that there are some great properties to revive. Konami seems to be at the forefront of this movement, and along with the Sparkster and a spiritual sequel to Castlevania Bloodlines, the famed publisher is now turning its attention to Contra: Hard Corps, arguably the best game in the series.
Simply titled Hard Corps: Uprising, this new installment is a sequel in all but the name, and even that’s close enough for us to get the hint. Players take control of Colonel Bahamut, a villain from the famed Genesis run-’n-gunner, for more side-scrolling action. Reportedly, there are only two playable characters (online and offline co-op is included), but Konami is considering adding more as downloadable content. In addition to they traditional “one-hit kill” gameplay, there’s also a new “Rising mode,” which allows for three hits before death. I guess everyone should be happy then!
The game is slated for release on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network this winter, and development is being handled by Arc Systems Work, of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fame. This means we should expect some beautiful anime artwork, right?
Genesis Games STEAMing Hot
Sega sure knows how to squeeze a brand dry, and it appears there’s still plenty of mileage to be had from that specific group of Genesis games that have made the rounds on tons of compilations. As of this writing, the first group of Genesis games are available for download on Steam, and the two of you who haven’t found a way to buy Ecco the Dolphin, Comix Zone, Altered Beast, and Golden Axe have yet another venue by which to do so. For the low price of $2.99 (each), gamers can finally get to play on their PCs those Genesis classics that everyone else has been emulating for years. Those itching to toss more money at Sega can buy the Sega Classics Pack for $34.99 and get the entire first wave of releases all together. So if you need yet another copy of Sonic 3D Blast, you know where to find it.
Another Reason DLC is Good
While not particularly news anymore, anyone who loved Afterburner II on the Genesis, or even better, Afterburner Complete on 32X should absolutely find $10 or 800 MS points and download Afterburner Climax on Xbox Live Arcade or the Playstation Network. This is an update done right, and this port features over twenty stages and a ton of unlockables that make a great game even better. Toss in online leaderboards and achievements/trophies, and this is an awesome package that should not be missed. This and OutRun 2 are prime examples that the Sega of old still exists somewhere deep in the company, almost like a gaming Bruce Banner struggling for freedom inside a Hulk of mediocrity.
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Wow, that was… a stretch. Just take our word for it and download the darn thing. This is Sega gaming like you remember it.
Sonic 4 to Reach for Golden Ring?
By now you probably know that Sega’s episodic sequel to Sonic & Knuckles has been delayed, and strangely, this hasn’t caused the backlash one would expect. It seems that the developers are going to listen to fan reaction and give the game a good working over. They’ve even gone so far as to suggest that what we’ve seen so far won’t look at all like the final product. Hopefully, that’s the case, and Sega will take the time to remove the stupid mine cart level. It could instead use the manpower and resources to make the Blue Blur actually move, well, fast. The demo videos we’ve seen so far didn’t really convey the sense of speed the franchise is known for in 16-bit, and we’re hoping that this year’s E3 will show an updated version that truly does Sonic the justice this character has been yearning for since the mid ’90s. The game will reportedly be playable, and we’ll be keeping an eye on this one as it develops. We’ll also have a full hands-on ready when it lands for every piece of hardware made since 2005.