Contra Shattered Soldier PS2 is an incredibly hard side-scrolling shooter. This is definitely a game for the avid fans of side-scrollers who think they have the skills to take on anything.
Your mission is simple. Stay alive. Kill every single thing you can - your ultimate goal would be to kill 100% of everything you see. Really though, you just want to try to stay alive and make it on to the next mission. That in itself is a real challenge.
The sound is just a hard rock soundtrack and the eternal thrum of bullets. You don't need anything other than that. Your attention will be solely on trying to not die.
For graphics, in traditional side scroller layout you have some nice textured backgrounds but the main characters are fairly straightforward. Again, that's fine. You don't have time to be distracted looking at gorgeous cherry blossoms floating in the background. You solely want to dodge that bullet. Now.
The game lets you hold in a button to unleash a killer continuous hail of bullets streaming out from your gun, so in essence you can run around with that non-stop stream going out while hitting 'jump' with another button. Many of the enemies will just keep coming and coming while you move forward across the level.
I do want to reiterate that this is not a kiddie, easy game. It is deliberately meant to be very hard. I think it would have been better if they offered varying levels of difficulty so new gamers could get used to it then replay at the harder level. For whatever reason they decided simply to make it really hard. For some gamers this might mean that they never get past the first boss and bring the game back. Be warned.
Rating: 4/5 because of this lack of ramp-up. For expert gamers, you're all set!
Buy Contra Shattered Soldier PS2 from Amazon.com