XBOX REVIEW | Contra: Operation Galuga

“A reminder of what games were like back in the day, but with a lovely modern twist”

I remember playing a version of Contra many many years ago in an arcade, back then in the UK it was known as Probotector and it was hard as nails. I couldn’t get past the first level, and because it was in the arcade the Konami code wouldn’t work. Ah well those were the days. Anyway this is a reimagining of the original Contra but without the rage quitting, it’s a gentler entry in the series, but still gives you enough of a challenge that you run and gun fans won’t be disappointed. You begin the game playing as one of the elite Contra commandos Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, or both if you play multiplayer, and instantly you are transported into a world where asking questions is not an option. You will run and you will use an insane amount of bullets to progress through an unforgiving landscape, filled with enemy soldiers and alien tech. This game is insane, a reminder of what games were like back in the day, but with a lovely modern twist.

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!


This is fine!

Things I liked!

  • Arcade action | Sometimes you just want to jump into a game and play. Do I like a story in my games? Yes, Do I always need one? Nope. Contra however has a story which let’s be honest you will watch once and then skip through every subsequent playthrough. This game is just pure arcade action and I love it for that, I actually miss the days where I would spend my pocket money on games like this in the arcade, all those 10p’s jangling in my pocket as I swore that the controls were to blame. Unless you were of the arcade generation this might be a tricky point to put across, but nostalgia hits us all at some point and when it hits with updated gameplay and graphics… Let’s just say some awesome memories came back. Play this game however you want to, forget the rules and just have fun.
  • Difficulty | Normally the difficulty would never be in the good points, but sometimes I relish a challenge. Now Contra of the old days was so difficult you needed the good old Konami code until you got used to brutal forces you were facing, this time, however, you are given a bit more leeway. You can go for the original one hit kills you style (not recommended for first timers), or you can opt for something a bit easier with a health bar. either way you are going to get killed… A lot!! but it never feels like a chore, you die, you get up you learn, you die again, you beat the level and so on. Oh and in case you were curious, the Konami code still works but it comes in the form of a perk.

Getting Shin Godzilla vibes

Neither good nor bad

  • Boss battles | I remember the Bosses being a little tougher to beat when I was younger, but then I suppose I could just have gotten better at games since then. In a run and gun game like Contra, the action is kept at a good pace, you run through the levels, you blast enemies, you have fun… At least up until you get to the boss battles. They are fun in their own way, but I found it a little jarring having to stop and dodge as I fought some giant monstrosity. I actually hoped that they would have changed that in this version of the game, but it wasn’t meant to be. Still, it’s a lot of fun taking on what looks like an unbeatable enemy that fills the screen.
  • Perks | In this version of the game you can upgrade your characters with perks, basically you can augment the game in a way that suits your playstyle better, but let’s be honest, it’s basically easily accessible cheat codes. I personally have no problem with it, but if you want to get the full experience, then just ignore there is a perks system and play the game as intended first, then use the perks to give yourself a new experience.

That’s just not fair

Things I disliked!

  • The price | I’m not usually someone who will complain about the price point of a game, but Contra: Operation Galuga is on the more expensive side, especially for what amounts to a remake of a game from the eighties. The game just isn’t long enough to warrant the price that is being asked of it. The cost of gaming has gone up significantly in recent years and it shows no sign of stopping, but I believe that games like Contra should still be ion the lower more affordable price bracket. As it stands just now I would suggest waiting on a sale before grabbing the game, enjoyable as it is.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 22 hours
How long to beat the story? 2 hours 30 minutes
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 32
How long to achieve 1000G | Around 15 -25 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Cuphead, BroForce, Metal Slug.


72/100 ⭐ This is one of the greats, but it’s not perfect by any means. If you enjoy the action games of old and want something to bring you the bitter sweet taste of nostalgia, then Contra: Operation Galuga could just be what you need to scratch that itch. If you are a little short of cash though I would seriously suggest waiting for a sale or perhaps playing the original via the Contra collection.