Contra III: The Alien Wars [Game Review]

Game Review: Contra III | SNES | Video Games | Gaming |

Title: Contra III: The Alien Wars
Developer: Konami, Factor 5
Publisher: Konami, Konami Digital Entertainment
SNES (SNES Classic)
Run and gun
Release Date:
February 28, 1992
How we got the game:
We bought the SNES Classic

We’ll be honest — we’ve never heard of this game before the SNES Classic. We had no idea what to expect when we opened up the game on the mini platform.

When we started playing, our first thoughts were, “Oh! This is like Turtle in Time.” The major difference being that you have guns and you’re not mutant ninja turtles.


Contra III: The Alien Wars is a run-and-gun game. As Jimbo and Sully, we charged through the levels with the objective to gun down any aliens that were invading the land. The controls were simple enough, with buttons assigned to jump and shoot. We were able to use the D-Pad to direct our movement, both with running and shooting.

I enjoyed the fact that we could just hold down the button and the gun would continuously shoot. I made it a lot easier to focus on aiming rather than aiming and shooting. There are power-ups you can collect along the way such as heat-seeking bullets, a spread shot, laser, and more.

It took you telling me that we can just hold the button down before I realized we could do that. I was having too much fun button-mashing, haha! The power-ups were fun, as were being able to commandeer tanks during some of the levels. You did have to be careful, as you could run over your comrade with the tank… Not only that, the characters had fairly large hitboxes. It was an interesting challenge.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I was not a huge fan of the large hit boxes… Also, sometimes you would get hit and fall, then you’d get placed right back into the fire again getting hitting once more. It wasn’t frustrating, to say the least. Still, the game was pretty straightforward.


The graphics weren’t bad at all. They reminded me of the old school arcade games, which I believe Contra was, once upon a time. Our characters and the settings were pixel-y, but were distinct enough so we didn’t get our characters confused with one another’s or with the enemies.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I enjoyed the old school graphics. I think they aged well and, like I said, it reminded me of Turtles in Time so even though I had never played Contra before, it was almost nostalgic for me.

The music was fairly nostalgic as well, whether it was due to reminding us of Turtles in Time or just because it was from an old SNES game, I’m not sure. Still, the music matched the beat of the game, and it got us into the levels.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I enjoyed the music, as I usually do with any kind of game. Though I’ll admit I sometimes was able to tune it out because I was too focused on whatever task was at hand.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Set in 2636, the aliens who have been defeated in the previous Contra games have returned and begun a war against the humans on Earth.

The main characters — Jimbo and Sully — are descendants of the previous heroes. That’s basically the main premise of the story. There’s not much to the plot other than to beat back the invading aliens.


Aside from us laughing at our ridiculous mistakes and how quickly we’ve died, I probably won’t pick this game up again. On the SNES Classic, there are plenty of other games that I will turn on multiple times over this.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It wasn’t a bad game, but I’m not very good at it and it was frustrating at times because of it. I don’t see myself returning to this, especially since it’s such a short game. Though it’s something mindless enough to pick up again if that’s what you like.

Contra III: The Alien Wars gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Readers Comments (10)

  1. Great review! I’ve never been a big fan of Contra but maybe I’ll give this a try on the SNES Classic.

  2. Yeah this version of contra is hard right off the bat. Some of these old games require some practice and patience for sure. I agree turtles is easier, as contra you’ve gotta practice your jumps, and movements etc.

  3. You gotta play the original Contra!

  4. I really liked this one, even with all the other Contra III games. There is something fun about how you get ridiculously decimated in parts of this game.

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