Contra (or Probotector / Gryzor if you're in Europe) is one of those series which perhaps isn't as popular today as it deserves to be. During the 8 and 16-bit eras it was one of the best run-and-gun action franchises around, with amazing instalments on the NES, Mega Drive, SNES and Game Boy. While there have been efforts to revive it in recent years - WayFoward's sublime Contra 4 on the DS, for example - the series has largely fallen out of favour with modern players.

If you're one of those people who refuses to stand for this and still loads up Contra III on a regular basis, then you'll probably have strong feelings about Contra Force. Released towards the end of the NES' lifespan, this game isn't really part of the Contra lineage at all - it was going to be released in Japan under the title Arc Hound, but that version was ultimately cancelled, leaving only Contra Force in its place. Because no other version exists, many have incorrectly assumed over the years that it's a "true" entry in the beloved series.

Our friends over at have published a video which takes at look at this unusual title, and it's well worth a watch. Contra Force actually has a lot going for it - the visuals are great and there are some unique gameplay features, such as the option to toggle between four different characters on the fly. However, it's easy to see why the game has been on the receiving end of so much hate over the years; the slowdown is terrible and the game's storyline - which involves taking down terrorists - lacks the epic feel of previous Contra outings, which had you fighting aliens and robots.

What are your feelings about Contra Force? Let us know by posting them below.