Jump and shoot. Seems like the standard course for any Contra game. When this rolled out, I just expected the same deal, hopping over aliens and stray bullets and raining spread shot on my enemies. There's more than you'd expect in the fourth incarnation of the Contra series.
The first thing you see is the graphics. For the DS, the 2D graphics look really good for a handheld system. The enemies are detailed and the bosses are huge, taking up multiple screens. Other than that, the gameplay is relatively similar to older Contra games. There are three difficulty settings, and even on Easy, a regular gamer will need to get ready for the naturally difficult Contra platforming adventure that awaits them. The standard weapons are there, but with the added bonus of picking up another of the same powerup, upgrading it to a second level. Also added is the grapple hook, allowing you to latch onto suspended bars above the player, even onto the next screen.
Without spoiling the game, it is a well made piece of work. There are many unlockables and challenges once the game has been completed and classic contra games are available to play as well. This game is a must have for a hardcore gamer who remembers the feeling when they see a winged-S float down from the skies.