Operation C is an excellent version of Contra. It’s an entertaining run-and-gun game that feels like it fits in with the games on the NES and SNES.
The game looks great and has many of the power-ups you see in other Contra games. It drops a few of them that I would typically avoid, and it adds an upgrade to the spread gun that I love!
I feel like I played this game a lot when I was growing up. However, it’s so close to Contra: Alien Wars that I could be confusing the two games. I know that I owned Contra: Alien Wars, but I have the feeling that I played Operation C.
Let’s take a closer look at the game. We’ll talk some history about the game and a little about what I think.
TLDR: Operation C is an excellent Gameboy game. If you don’t have Contra: Alien Wars, this is a great alternative.
Operation C was released in 1991 in Japan and North America. Europe got the game in 1992. The game was also released on the Game Boy Color in Japan in 1997 and Europe in 2000. These last two releases were part of Konami GB Collection Vol. 1.
This game had three publishers. In Japan, it was published by Konami; in North America, Ultra Games published it; and in Europe, it was published by Palcom.
This was at the time that Nintendo still had strict licensing deals. Companies had a limit to the number of games they could publish, which led to several shell companies being created. Ultra Games was Konami’s way to get around the licensing issue.
I’m not sure if this system was applied to the Game Boy. I know it was relaxed when the SNES came out, and the contracts needed to be renegotiated.
The game shares many similarities to Super C on the NES. There are a few differences. In my opinion, the biggest, the best change was dropping the Laser rifle and adding the heat seeker.
If you have played other Contra games, the good ones and not the 3D games on the PS1, then you know what this one is all about. You’re shooting aliens and robots while collecting power-ups.
From what I can tell, a few of the lesser-used power-ups are missing from this game. Here are the power-ups that I saw in the game:
- Spread – which can be upgraded by collecting another spread power-up.
- Heat Seeker – this one fires like the spread gun but will go after the nearest enemy.
- Standard gun – this is your baseline weapon.
- Flamethrower – This is a staple of Contra games. It also seems to change in every game. Sometimes it shoots fireballs, and in others, it is like a normal flamethrower.
There might be other weapons in the game, but I avoided the other guns once I got the heat seeker—kind of like how I would get the spread gun and avoid the laser. I was a little surprised that some weapons were missing from this game.
In Contra: Alien Wars, there were many weapons and bombs that you could collect. In Operation C, it feels like Konami wanted to keep things simple. This makes the gameplay more like one of the NES games, except Contra Force, which is terrible.
The only thing I don’t like is the top-down levels, especially when you’re using the heat seeker. Unlike the Contra: Alien Wars, the top-down levels in this game have a bunch of choke points. This makes the heat seeker much less effective.
These levels are still fun and help break up the game a bit. I don’t like how they’re laid out.
One thing I forgot to do was try out the Konami code. It works with many Konami games, and I should have thought about trying it. I guess I simply forgot about trying it out.
The game looks great! It’s a lot better than most of the Gameboy games. There is a lot going on in these games. I think Contra: Alien Wars looks better, but Operation C is very good-looking.
All of the animations in the game are great. I can tell what things are supposed to be. It’s a great game to look at.
There are also some simple cutscenes in between the levels. It is straightforward, but I think it is a very good addition to the game.
This is one of those games that I enjoy playing over and over. This is a good thing because it is easy to die like other Contra games! In some ways, Contra games feel a bit like R-Type and Gradius.
You need to learn the patterns of the bosses and the enemies if you want to succeed. I think Konami did an excellent job in this case, as you can quickly learn from your mistakes.
Also, I just like playing games like this. There is something fun about run-and-gun games like this that is very appealing to me.
I think there are several alternatives to this game. Contra: The Alien Wars is probably the obvious one. Here are a few of the others that I can think of.
- Super Mario Land
- TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan
- TMNT II: Back from the Sewers
I also wanted to look up some other run-and-gun games on the handheld. I couldn’t find a list of the games by genre. There are a lot of games out there, so there is a decent chance that I missed some.
9/10. It’s another excellent version of Contra. I’m not sure what happened to this franchise, but it was terrific in the beginning but got really bad as it went on.
There is a lot to like about a game like this. I like Contra, and I think the games on the Game Boy are excellent.
- This is a pick-up-and-play game.
- The controls are simple and very easy to figure out.
- You don’t need to know anything to play the game.
- It’s a challenging game, but it isn’t too difficult.
It’s a great game. I like that it’s easy to pick the game up, and the controls are great.
I tried to look for things that I didn’t like about this game. These are mostly minor.
- The top-down levels aren’t laid out very well.
- There are fewer power-ups than in previous games.
I don’t have anything else to say about the cons in the game.
I wish Konami still made games like Operation C. The only way we get games like this from Konami is if they license the property and publish the game. Even then, I wish they would do this more often.
After playing Operation C and Contra: The Alien Wars, I want to go and play the NES and SNES games. They made me remember the nights of being huddled around a CRT or playing my Game Boy.
For me, the Contra series is best when it is a 2D side scroller. Konami tried to bring the series into 3D, and it sucked. Recently they tried it again, and it sucked. I would like them to revisit this series as a 2D game.
I’m fully aware that I’m asking too much from Konami. Also, the games that I want are not necessarily the type of games that most people would like to play.