Contra: Hard Corps, also known as Probotector, is a shoot 'em-up created by Konami and published in 1994 for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive.
The Contra series started as an arcade with the first game Contra, a success that was also ported to several 8-bit platforms, including NES, MSX, and Commodore 64. The sequel, Super Contra, also got an Amiga and an MS-DOS version. Contra III was the first game released for 16-bit consoles, specifically the SNES. Hard Corps is the sequel to Contra III, and it's the first (and only) game of the series to be released for the Sega Genesis.
In case you are wondering, the "hard corps" are super-soldiers trained to combat crime and terrorism, and in this case, they need to stop an evil hacker that took control of the city robots. As usual, the game can be played in co-op with a friend, and this is where the fun really starts. Each player can choose one of the four different characters, and this time you are not limited to a single weapon; you can carry four of them. Much better! Unlike the previous games, Hard Corps features a more complex storyline, with various branches and several cutscenes that will help the player understand the plot. The perspective is back to the traditional side-view of the first Contra (while the others also had some top-down sections). The game also takes advantage of the six-button controllers of the Mega Drive.
Despite the difficulty, this is probably one of the best episodes of the franchise and one of the best games ever created for the Sega 16-bit console. Great graphics, fantastic music, excellent animations, exciting boss battles: 2D pixel art shooting platforming at its best.
It's a pity that the European version (renamed Probotector) was censored, with some enemies changed into robots. But this doesn't change the fact that Contra: Hard Corps is one of the best classic shooters you can play today.