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Konami games that push the boundaries of the console systems they ran on

August 2, 2016

A blast from the past my friends, as we dive into a couple of games that deserve some love and attention. Not just because they were so great in their day, and still are with many classic gamers and new fans alike, but also because they did something a lot of titles never did.

They really took full advantage (for the most part) of the console systems they ran on. By that, I mean they used special programming techniques, special chips, or just were really well developed to the point where you may have thought they were running on next generation hardware.

However you want to slice it, here are two honorable mentions you need to be made aware of that show the what and how that gave them that extra edge over what was already floating around in the game market. NES & Genesis fans ban together.

Crisis Force - NES

Crisis Force was what you might call a "lost in time" gem that most shooter fans in the west never knew about. Why is that?, likely because it was never released here. Launched in 1991 by Konami, it boasted some of the best graphics for the Famicom during its era.

While the NES itself was going bye bye and on its way out the door, this puppy was showing at least in Japan that it can hold its own against even some of the new generation games. Of course, in order to pull it off, it had to utilize the VRC4 chip, which is the same chip used for the Famicom port of Gradius II.

This chip enabled 4-way scrolling effects, along with some huge bosses in the game that will have some heads turning for sure. While it was a spectacle to behold, it didn't gain the kind of popularity Konami had hoped for due to the Super Famicom having been released a year before it.

Contra: Hard Corps

What can I's Contra! Not just any Contra game, but Hard Corps. A name worthy of its title, since this is one of those run and gun shooters that had you pulling your hair out, while making you thirst for much more. Released in 1994, those who are fans of the Gunstar Heroes games should put this one on their wish list.

The graphics were likely a good as a Genesis / Megadrive game is ever going to get, (but don't quote me on that), and those huge bosses and special effects makes you wonder how in the hell the Genesis is behaving like a Super Nintendo? How about that.

Well, from what I understand, a bit of programming technique done through quite well is all one needs to muster to pull that off, but feel free to add your 2 cents in the comment section if you know the exact method. Many fans say this is their favorite Genesis game, and Contra: Hard Corps is the first in the series to land on a Sega platform.

Maybe if we are lucky, it won't be the last. I personally would love to see good old Sega make a comeback. On a side note, the games musical score featured a remix of "Vampire Killer" from Castlevania called "Simon 1994 RD". Talk about some cross referencing of game franchises eh?

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