Super C (NES)

Super C Box Art

Super C

System: NES

Release Date: April 1990

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Run and gun action returns to the NES in the awaited return of Mad Dog and Scorpion in Super C! Our heroes are enjoying their much deserved rest and relaxation on the beaches of Rio, when they’re summoned back to the front lines. Red Falcon is back and has recruited a new bunch of intergalactic nasties to wreak havoc on Earth.

Gameplay is nearly identical to the original, so if you liked Contra, you’ll get enjoyment out of Super C. The array of guns return, starting with your standard rifle. The Machine Gun variant allows you to hold the B Button to continuously shoot if you don’t have a turbo controller. The Fireball Gun is different this time around, shooting a big ball and exploding to damage enemies when it hits. The Laser is the same, shooting out until you cancel by shooting again. But, if you know anything about Contra, you live and die by the Spread Gun. Once you pick that bad boy up, you’re safe from one hit enemies by just spraying your shot as you go.

There are eight brand new levels to run and gun through. You’ll move in all different directions in them, except left. Most levels have a sense of verticality by climbing up diagonal hills, not just by jumping up floating platforms, though those are back, too. The behind the shoulder levels have been replaced by top down levels. I think this was a mistake, as you don’t have any jump to avoid obstacles. The levels themselves seemed shorter to me, though they are probably the same length. They are definitely more straight forward without as many obstacles other than enemies. Don’t get this screen clearing item, it’s a trap!

I haven’t played this game since the 90s, no extra lives code, and I didn’t have to continue until the boss of level 6. This guy shoots out projectiles that curve toward you and will lead to angry deaths. The other bosses are mainly simple, just requiring you to unload as many rounds into them as you possibly can before they attack. I’d say the Krypto-Crustacean boss of level 5 is the toughest because of all the differing projectiles he shoots. If he comes down to the ground, you’re almost guaranteed to get hit. Even the final boss was a bit of a push over when blasted with the fireball. All others are mincemeat with the Spread Gun. I don’t know if Super C is easier or I just expected Contra and got in that mind set, either way, it was a half hour well spent.

Graphics: 3.0

Everything looks more of the same, but the top down levels aren’t as impressive as the behind the shoulder levels.

Sound: 2.5

The sound effects greatly overpower the soundtrack. I couldn’t tell you if it’s anywhere near as iconic as the original, but my gut says no.

Gameplay: 3.5

The controls feel a little less tight than I wanted when turning or ducking, but otherwise everything seems really well done.

Difficulty: 3.0

There’s some cheapness in there that I don’t think you could avoid unless you knew exactly what to expect. I felt it was a lot easier than Contra overall and just as quick to finish.

Fun Factor: 3.5

I played through twice in a row and am fighting the urge to play through again.

Overall Grade: 3.1

Super C earns a B. I don’t think it’s as good a game as Contra, but am open to hearing explanations for why it is.

Super C Video Review on YouTube