The Contra Anniversary Collection is a surprising bundle of all-time classics and fascinating obscure entries into the action franchise, and it’s out today, as announced during Nintendo’s E3 2019 presentation.
The Contra collection’s games include: Contra (Arcade), Super Contra (Arcade), Super C (NES), Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES), Contra: Hard Corps (Sega Genesis), Contra (NES), Contra (Famicom), Operation C (Game Boy), Probotector (Sega Mega Drive), Super Probotector: Alien Rebels (SNES). Those who buy the collection will also receive the Japanese versions of Contra, Super Contra, Super C, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Operation C, and Contra: Hard Corps as part of a free update.
Check out the trailer for the collection:
We probably don’t have to talk much about the original Contra, but it’s worth noting that Contra for the NES and Famicon feature some gameplay improvements and content not seen in the arcade version of the game. Contra III: The Alien Wars remains arguably the best game in the series, and the inclusion of the brilliant Contra: Hard Corps marks the first time that game has been re-released since it debuted on the Genesis.
Depending on where you lived when the Contra series was in its heyday, this may be the first time you’re hearing about the Probotector series. Essentially, the first Probotector is the original Contra with robot protagonists replacing the game’s original human heroes, and Super Probotector is just a re-skinned Contra III. The name change is most commonly associated with rules at the time which prohibited game companies in Europe from releasing content that glorified war. As the Iran-Contra affair was occurring around the time of Contra‘s release, it’s likely that Konami didn’t want to rock the boat.
Contra Anniversary Collection is available for $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch. If the recently released Castlevania Collection is any indication, it should at least be worth keeping an eye on.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.