Contra: Rogue Corps
"Contra: Rogue Corps isn't even good enough to be s**t! It might not be the absolute worst game I've ever played, but it might very well be the most pathetic. Contra: Rogue Corps is pitiful, it's an embarrassment, this is embarrassing even for Konami!"— Jim Sterling
Contra: Rogue Corps is a run-and-gun game developed and published by Konami. The fourteenth game in the Contra series, it was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows on September 24th, 2019.
The game takes place seven years after the events of AGW. Four mercenaries travel to a city known as "Damned City" to eliminate the aliens that have taken over the city.
Why It Sucks
- Guns now have a cool-down meter, meaning that if you fire your gun for too long (which is about a few seconds), it'll overheat. To rub more salt in the wound, firing your guns almost endlessly is what made the Contra games great and also what made them stand out from other shooters. Luckily, you have another gun to use if the one you're using overheats.
- The cool-down time also takes too long for some guns.
- The game gets repetitive quickly; there are even levels that have almost the same design and/or layout as other levels.
- Most of the boss fights are lackluster. In addition, some of the bosses are fought over and over again, and each fight is almost the same, veering over to SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge levels of same.
- You are forced to buy upgrades and other gear at the game's shops, otherwise, the game will become nearly impossible to complete due to the enemies becoming too overpowered. You'll have to visit the shops a lot, which becomes tedious.
- Many of the upgrades have laughably dumb names, such as one of the upgrades being called "Muscly Eyes".
- Speaking of the shops, their menus are overly complicated, which makes having to use the shops all the more tedious.
- Inconsistent camera angles. Sometimes it's greatly zoomed out, while other times it's zoomed too close to the player, giving them almost no time to react to enemy attacks.
- Very little enemy variety that barely changes at all as you progress through the game.
- There are platforming sections, but due to the inconsistent camera angles, these sections are annoying to get past because you can hardly tell where you're going to land when you jump.
- In order to unlock some levels, you have to complete a certain level by yourself, which is unnecessary padding for those who played the game cooperatively.
- The plot, while interesting on paper, is pretty bland.
- Very underwhelming rewards for completing levels and other objectives.
- Sometimes when you kill an enemy, their corpses will land on the camera for about a second, just like the Screen KOs from the Super Smash Bros. franchise or TMNT: Turtles in Time. This is not only distracting but also obscures your view.
- The graphics are outdated-looking, looking like an early Xbox 360 game at best, and the frame rate often dips. The Nintendo Switch version looks worse, being rendered at a lower and blurrier resolution than other versions, making it harder to tell what's going on.
- The sound effects and music are unimaginative.
- In single-player mode, if you bring up the pause menu, the game still keeps going. This is a problem because you might end up running out of time or losing all your lives during the time you're away from the game before you come back.
- Most of the character models look poor, with one of the player characters always looking cross-eyed.
- The game costs $40 despite feeling like a mobile game.
- Despite all of these problems, the game actually has a season pass.
- It barely feels like Contra even though it takes place some time after one of the games.
- Because of all these problems, the game feels heavily rushed and apparently unfinished.
- It effectively killed the Contra franchise!
- Although using the shops are tedious, you have the option to automatically purchase upgrades you need, which makes them less tedious.
- The controls are tight and responsive.
- The voice acting is passable.
- The game features some decent-looking motion comics for cutscenes directed by Jason Narvaez and illustrated by Tony Washington & William Rosado.
- Some of the character designs look pretty neat, particularly Hungry Beast (a gun-toting cyborg panda with the brain of a scientist) and Ms. Harakiri (an assassin with an an alien attached to her stomach).
Contra: Rogue Corps was met with generally mixed to unfavorable reception from critics and fans alike, and is considered by many to be one of the worst games of 2019 and another failed attempt at making a 3D Contra game. On Metacritic, the game has a critic score of 56/100 for the Xbox One, a 53/100 for the PlayStation 4, and a 41/100 for the Nintendo Switch. The user scores were a 4.6/10 for the Xbox One, a 4.4/10 for the PlayStation 4, and a 4.6/10 for the Nintendo Switch.
While Jim Sterling doesn't consider it to be the worst game he's ever played, he considers it to be the most pathetic he's ever played and considers it to be an embarrassment even by Konami standards.
The game was heavily panned by Metro GameCentral, who stated it to be "the worst Contra game ever made and an object lesson in how not to revive a classic franchise, especially as there are multiple unofficial homages that are far superior." They ultimately gave it a 2 out of 10.
PlayStation LifeStyle's review of the game was more positive, stating that it "understands the appeal of revisiting gratuitous 90s cheese, but filters out all the tropes we’ve grown out of since. By injecting actual, creative humor instead of edgy cynicism or boring references, Contra: Rogue Corps really has a personality of its own despite most of the storytelling living in the background."
The Completionist ranked the game at number 5 in his top 10 worst video games of 2019, while WatchMojo.com ranked the game at number 4 in theirs. Angry Joe ranked the game at number 7 on his Top 16 Worst Games of 2019.