Super C

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North American box art.

Super C is a run-and-gun action shooter from Konami and sequel to Contra. It was originally an arcade cabinet released in 1988, but was later ported to many different platforms.

I first played this game at my cousin's who was borrowing it from a friend. Already knowing about Contra, I knew what to expect when I played it, and sure enough, I died a lot early on. My brother found out the code that lets you start with 10 lives, not as helpful as the 30 from Contra, but it also made the game less trivial to beat.

Status

I have beat the American and Japanese versions of this game (they're nearly identical) without cheating or farming lives. At my peak, I was able to beat it without dying.

Review

  • Overall: 6/10
  • Best Version: NES

Good

  • The controls are really responsive and intuitive.
  • The graphics are really impressive, and using the theme of Alien (and, by proxy, Giger's art style) was a great idea.
  • The game has a really good soundtrack.
  • Each stage is pretty unique with new enemies, scenery, and music. The designers also did a good job of adjusting the level layout. Some levels scroll up, some down, some right, some at an angle.
  • The game is challenging enough that even after playing for years, you'll still have difficulty beating it.

Bad

  • The game is painfully difficult. Had I encountered this game later in life, I wouldn't have the patience for it. Thankfully there is a 10-lives cheat code which makes victory more possible for an amateur.
  • While they repaired the terrible flame thrower weapon from the first game, the laser gun is just as awful as ever, to the point where I prefer the starting rifle.
  • The manual has several flaws.
    • The backstory is utterly ridiculous.
    • I don't like the idea of killing brainwashed US soldiers.
    • It doesn't properly explain the flame thrower or rapid fire.
    • It only lists a couple enemies, and one is incorrectly labeled.
    • The drawings are pretty amateur.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Game Commentary

This is a running commentary on the game broken out by area.

Area Commentary
Intro The game doesn't have much of an intro, which is kind of a shame, there is a lot of backstory to cover, and it would be nice to see it incorporated into the game. Instead, we just get a fairly dull title screen.
Area 1 To begin with, fantastic helicopter and sunset art, it distracts from the fact that the players just jumped five stories to the pavement without so much as a sprained ankle. The players are eased into plain enemy soldiers, snipers, jumping, and weapon capsules. Good choice giving the machine gun and rapid fire as starting weapons. It teaches how to get them, but doesn't give the best gun too early. The angular scrolling is technically impressive and requires the player to learn to shoot at an angle. The bomb here helps clear the spawner door and eliminate the prone gunner. Next, the flame thrower is introduced. This is a huge improvement over the one from Contra and has the ability to charge up (though this ability should have been made more clearly in the game or the manual). The bombs being tossed from the towers on the ramp just causes a single player to slow down, but with two players, it requires players to communicate when they're going to avoid trapping each other. Next we get another machine gun and a spray gun, I think the machine gun should have been switched to the laser to cover every weapon in the first level, but then, I hate the laser, so it's okay. The hidden turrets are a nice way to keep the players on their toes. Upon reaching the boss, there is a sniper in the trench, which was a great move, he requires a new approach to kill. The boss is a giant cargo helicopter with gun turrets. If you're an experienced player, you can destroy it before it even drops soldiers on you (which I don't really like, it should get at least one drop). Other than that, it's a nice boss. This is a technical marvel because it features a huge scrolling enemy in front of a stationary ground, not something that could be done with the original NES hardware. Overall, this is a great introductory level. It introduces you to the majority of the game's elements and is challenging without being impossible.

Links