E3 06: Contra Hands-On

Dude, it's Contra. But it's probably not the version of Contra that you're thinking about.

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LOS ANGELES--Konami is bringing several of its classic games to the Xbox 360, including the side-scrolling shooter Contra. But this probably isn't the version of Contra that you're thinking of. Most people remember the NES version that came home back in 1988. But the Xbox Live Arcade is getting an emulated take on the arcade version. The playable version being shown isn't complete, but it looks to be a pretty faithful emulation of the original game.

Contra was a two-player scrolling shooter that was usually played by running from left to right and shooting down all of the aliens that get in your way. Some levels take place from a behind-the-back perspective, and you'll even have a go from bottom to top. Yes, Contra had it all. But what really set the game apart was its weaponry. Nearly 20 years after the fact, Contra's spread gun is still iconic, representing some of the best badass firepower gaming has ever seen.

Another iconic portion of the Contra legacy is the legendary "Konami code," which gave you 30 lives instead of three when entered in the NES version of the game. During Microsoft's press conference, company spokesman Peter Moore claimed that this version would contain that code. But...but this is the arcade version! How could that be possible? This is obviously utter madness. We'll get to the bottom of this as soon as possible.

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