First thing's first: Notch up Assault's difficulty the second you slap it in your PlayStation. I beat this game at its default difficulty--which is much too generous with one-ups and health--the first time I played it. That gripe outta the way, Assault ties ASC's One as the closest PlayStation gamers will get to a proper 3D Contra game. It packs similar weapons, such as homing missiles and three-way cannons, not to mention the same never-take-your-finger-off-the-trigger action. New twists include the ability to power up individual guns, all of which drain an energy bar sitting at the screen's bottom (OK, so you'll want to take your finger off the trigger sometimes, to let your gun recharge). Otherwise, Assault is a straightforward cruise through enemy-crammed stages so devoid of strategy, you'll soon enter a stupefying shoot-every-thing trance. It's not all mindless high junks; a hoverbike stage and a couple of levels that have you fleeing from fireballs keep things from getting too repetitive. Beating the game opens secret codes and such. And the Two-player Mode is really the only way to play if you have a friend handy. Still, Assault lacks the personality and cool Bosses to be mentioned in the same sentence as old-school Contra, although it'll certainly scratch any itch for braindead shooting action.
Assault may be short on strategy, butthere's something mildly satisfying about shooting everything in your path. Destroying giant insect-things takes up about 80% of the time, white the overly easy Bosses take up the other 20%. The weapons are good (cannons, shockers, etc.), especially with the kick of the Dual Shock, yet the repetition-without-stimulation can become tiring. Assault's not bad, but it needs more depth.
Obviously, Assault borrows a lot from the old Contra games. Unfortunately, like so many games of this nature that have come out (including those with the Contra name attached), it falls short of giving us the same feeling the classic Contras gave. Assault may have solid graphics and throw a good amount of flashy action at you, but it's just too simple. You could easily beat this one in one night's rental. It's too bad, really.
Stay far away from this game if you hate cheap, unavoidable hits. Assault is a scrolling shooter in the tradition of Contra, complete with gun*toting mercenaries blasting aliens. The bad part is that they can tag you no matter how good you are at the game. To make matters worse, later stages feature obstacles that will sap character lives as well as your patience. The shooting action is still fun, but the skill factor is lacking.
Download Assault Retribution
Assault: Retribution desperately wants to be the Contra game that PlayStation owners have waited for ever since the system was launched. But the wait must continue. This barely adequate ac-tion/shooter title tries hard to be an intense blastfest, but falls far short of the mark due to monotonous gameplay and poor controls. Even the two-player game is a bust.
There's no lack of activity in Assault, but that's the problem--the action is just plain boring. You run-n-gun through several unimpressive levels, collect weapons, and go head-to-head with dull bosses. Some elements offer diversity (like the driving stage and the ability to climb hand over hand), but these are few and far between. Most of the time, bouts of slowdown and clumsy camera angles mar the action, making it hard to spot incoming attackers.
Assault's graphics lack flash and detail. You're attacked by wave after wave of similar-looking enemies that resemble poorly grouped polygons more than anything else. And the bland sound doesn't help. The audio effects are so muted you hardly notice them, and the techno music (which sounds borrowed from old Genesis titles) is downright annoying.
Assault's controls are barely passable. If you attempt precise jumps in BD space, you'll often die unintentionally, possibly even three times in a row before crossing a gap. Changing your vertical aim is another problem--it takes too long, and all the while you take hits from the enemies that pour in from every direction.
Gamers looking for a decent run-n-gun title should seek out One or MDK. Assault: Retribution just isn't worth the fight.
- Shoot at the walls of a recess; you might reveal a secret area with power-ups or other useful items.
- When your weapon runs out of energy, hide out in a safe spot and allow it to recharge.
- When riding the lift, use the homing weapon to dear obstacles from the lift's path. If it hits too many barriers, it'll explode and send you plummeting to your death.