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A handheld port of Contra III: The Alien Wars for the Super NES, Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX features the same type of run-and-gun, shoot-'em-up action, and includes all four side-view levels of the original game. Missing are the two top-down stages, which have been replaced by two side-scrolling platform levels from Contra: Hard Corps for the Genesis. A two-player link mode lets gamers engage in the popular cooperative action that has become a staple of the series over the years.
Players control one of two special forces comrades (Jimbo and Sully) on a mission to save Neo City from the clutches of the scurrilous Red Falcon. This involves running, jumping, climbing, riding (in a tank), flying (aboard missiles), and shooting through six stages filled with terrorists, snipers, jet motorcycles, Man-Faced Mutts, Para-Slugs, Mutant Megasquitoes, Psycho Cyclers, and other bad guys. Bosses include such hulking behemoths as Robo-Corpse and Beast Kimkoh.
Players begin the game toting a standard issue rifle. By shooting down weapon pods and grabbing the resultant power-up icons, players can switch out their weapon for spread fire, homing missiles, laser fire, crash (explodes on contact), or flamethrower. Players can also sacrifice their weapon upgrade by snatching a barrier power-up, which makes the character temporarily invincible.
Unlike Contra III: The Alien Wars, this game has a password feature for saving level progression. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide