Contra was one of my favorite NES games. I sucked at it, but I always liked it. When I saw Ragnar by 2 Bit Determine I got pretty excited to get that Contra feel from a new game, and it didn’t let me down. Oh, and I definitely suck at it just like Contra.
At first, the setup seemed a little strange since there’s no keymap in the options. However, once you start the game there’s creative little in-game messages that outline the controls. Movement is done with the actual movement arrows, which is a little awkward after so many years of using WASD. I also kept trying to use the spacebar for fire, despite fire being X and spacebar being jump. Totally a me issue, but it’d be nice if these were mappable.
There’s a nice mix of enemies with different shots and shooting levels. For some, you can duck and dodge their shots, but if you get complacent you’ll get capped by the dude who shoots low. I should know. Happened more than once. None of the enemies that appeared in the demo were too wild, but still created enough of a challenge to stymie me.
The very 80’s sounding music and sound effects pretty much complete the package on this demo. There’s still room to grow, of course. More variety in the levels and enemies, ability to map controls, and being able to shoot down, for example. But overall, this looks promising and I’m excited for the full release in 2022!
Oh, and of course I tried the Konami code. Nothing seemed to happen.