REVIEW: Ultra Aktion!

Imagine if someone took yours and my beloved Contra, replaced every character and enemy with squares and rectangles, cut the game’s length down to a third, stripped it of most of its alien / 80s dudebro charm, and released it as Ultra Aktion!12 ($1.00). In essence, that’s what you’re getting here.

And much like Contra, there’s not much to Ultra Aktion! other than said dudebro3 shooting. ‘Evil is bad / Kill evil with guns / Save world’ is the game’s entire justification (albeit satirical) for its setup. Not that it needs much of a setup. It’s pure side-scrolling shootingΒ with a solid feel, replete with familiar Contra-esque gun powerups (the ‘spread shot’ is still God, all these years later) and blocky environs that vaguely resemble the style of those retro levels.

You can play though the rather paltry three levels alone, or with up to three others in local co-op, but there’s not much reason to. The whole thing can be completed in less than fifteen minutes, with the levels just looping back around until you run out of lives (the game isn’t that difficult) or just give up and return to the menu. Minus the aforementioned powerups, Ultra Aktion!‘s casual design doesn’t evoke much nostalgia, and plenty of other games have done far better at mimicking what makes Contra work.

Ultra Aktion! - Screen2

So it’s hard to figure who would be interested in Ultra Aktion!Β The game is honestly and correctly labeled as a ‘short’, which is probably meant to excuse its simpleness and brevity, but that’s not to say it should be forgiven for it. Were the aktion…. ummm, action… onscreen a little more competent or unique, it might not have mattered. As is, Ultra Aktion! is better to listen to for its chippy soundtrack than take part in its terribly uninspired gameplay.

  1. Not sure of the reason for the deliberate misspelling of ‘action’, unless developerΒ Fun Infused Games just prefers the German form of the word…. …. maybe? 
  2. Also, no Konami code? That’s just unfathomable. 
  3. Well, duderectangle, I guess. 

24 thoughts on “REVIEW: Ultra Aktion!”

    1. Nice! Sony and MS are pushing their consoles heavily for the holidays, natch, so I’m sure a lot of fence-sitters are jumping off and taking the plunge. … Just out of curiosity, what’s your first game / games for it?

    2. The bundle comes with Gears of War Ultimate (I don’t care), Ori, AC Unity, Rare Replay and I got Guitar Hero Live as well. But THE game I will be getting for it is Fallout 4. Not to mention all those free game I been “buying” with the Games with Gold program and the Backwards Compatible games I already own. I did get the 1TB console but I may have that close to full already.

      It was a combination of the pricing, Fallout 4 and Backwards Compatibility that pushed me off the fence.

    3. UPS says it is scheduled for early delivery tomorrow now. Man, I hope they are right. They better not be playing with my emotions. Would LOVE to have the weekend to get it set up and play some games.

    4. Never trust the delivery guys! They lie with their times! But… let’s hope for your sake they’re right with their estimates.

      Yeah, GoW isn’t that special if you’ve already played it previously, besides the prettied-up visuals. Or maybe the game isn’t your cup of tea. Rare Replay should be good (you’ve got like… 30 games(!) right there), and yes… Fallout 4… … Still holding off on that one for the moment, but I’ll be right there with you on that one soon enough. πŸ™‚ Plus, you get Fallout 3 with it, in the (unlikely) case you haven’t played the previous one. Needless to say, all that should keep you busy for the foreseeable future.

    5. The best decision I’ve made. I can see the end of the 360 right around the corner now. I’ll be still using mine because of some games that I can’t get anyplace else.

    1. @ImTheMetalLord: You and me both, buddy. :/ Really frustrating stuff, but I’m hoping to be semi-up and running by the end of next week, fingers crossed.

      @Saansilt: This is probably posting out of order anyway, but tanks for the tanksgiving wishes. πŸ™‚ Much enjoyed my cannibalism that day!

  1. At least I tried to change the formula a little with eternal nightmare and make a game more complicated than contra, plus it takes a half hour to beat! When I first saw this game I thought it looked cool but 3 levels is just too short. It’s a shame, a little more creativity and it could have done something unique. I hope the author keeps trying and doesn’t make this his last xblig.

    1. Agreed, you did take the idea and run with it a bit, a lot more than Fun Infused did. I guess I could see the rationale behind making a smaller XBLIG when the market is as tiny as it is, but I did see that this game is looking for votes on Greenlight. That’s going to be a nigh-impossible sell on there, in its current form. Just not enough meat on the bone, and people (and reviewers πŸ˜‰ ) are just too picky nowadays.

    2. @andregurov: Only on the surface we’re people; underneath, we’re thousands of tiny teeth that tear apart other people’s hard work and pass it off as amateur journalism. πŸ™‚

      @ImTheMetalLord: I’m catching up on The Walking Dead, so maybe that’s it. No, that HAS to be it. πŸ˜‰

      Real talk though, things are slow here because my comp has officially crapped out on me, so I’m kind of stuck not writing anything for the site until that gets sorted out, which may be a few weeks. At least I finally have an excuse to replace the damn thing, but the timing of it all is just… perfect. 😦

    3. Hey, you may be onto something there! I could write it out in my illegible chickenscratch, then mail out hard copies to you guys. Makes sense. That’s how they reviewed videogames in the 1800s, I think.

    4. Happy Turkey Day, sir! Hope it’s been a good one! Yeah, no idea why things are posting out of sync, but I’m guessing it has something to do with posting from a phone. It’s probably throwing all the conversations off.

    1. Man, it’s half four in the morning over here and I just finished my first cup of coffee, so my brain (yeah, I got one) is still half asleep, but let me tell you this: you got my support! [stumbles to kitchen to get more coffee]

      XBLIG 4life 😎

      Btw, Metro 2033 is on offer right now. Β£2.99 / $4.99 on the marketplace. πŸ™„

    2. You go brother!
      Last Xblig I played was crypt of serpent king. I likey that. How is this from the community’s prespective?

    3. @ImTheMetalLord: Hey, hey, no one is going to let it die yet. πŸ™‚ It’s just getting really, really, REALLY slow around here. No excuses for that, even if it is disheartening to see the numbers going way down. 😦

      Still, it ain’t done yet, son. #XBLIG4LYFE #XBLIG4LIFE HASHTAGXBLIGFORLIFE πŸ˜€

      Oh, plus, you know… Fallout 4 and stuff. You can’t pull people away from that game if my friends list is any indication, so there’s that to contend with too. Not to mention the deals that Soosh mentioned. This time of year, it’s tough for anyone / anything to stand out if you’re not a big name triple-A game.

      @Saansilt: Serpent King was alright, I thought, just highly repetitive. There was an update that switched up the predictable enemy spawns, as well as made the combat a little more difficult. I can’t vouch for how much that changes the overall experience, but it could only help.

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