“Continue? Philly Under Fire” is a free game developed by Johnny B. of Lazy Brain Games. This is a single player, single level run-and-gun game that pays homage to the YouTube series “Continue?”, hosted by Paul Ritchie, Nick Murphy, and Josh Henderson.
The game begins much like the show, although the intro has been changed to show Paul, Nick, and Josh on the continue screens. You are then shown the title screen, and an opening cinematic that, again, is much like the show. The hosts start talking about Contra, but get interrupted by aliens attacking Philly. They decide to “attack aggressively”, and you’re given the option to select your character. The differences between them are purely visual, so pick your favorite host and you’re dropped into the game. No offense to Paul or Nick, but I went with Josh because I felt that he’d be able to safely get me through a post-apocalyptic city.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of Contra and Super C on the NES. You begin with a machine gun, but you can pick up various power-ups along the way, like spread guns, shields, grenades, homing missiles, and my favorite – the “X” power-up, which essentially turns your gun into Mega Man’s X Buster.
For such a short game, there are a lot of references to “Continue?” in the game. Large text appearing on the screen has been a longtime gag of the show, and makes an appearance after you beat the bosses. The ground demons (a reference from their hilariously inappropriate “Plok” episode), “You Pauled It”, and the “Pixies Live” concert poster were all nice additions. I think that the only thing that could make this game more “Continue?” than it already is if there was a reference to Josh’s dad, the drummer from Aerosmith (watch the “Revolution X” episode, it’ll make sense. Then watch “Kiss Pinball”).
As they do on the show, if I was given a choice to continue or game over, it’s a solid continue. This game may be fairly easy to play through for Contra veterans (I beat it in 10 minutes or so), but will definitely be playing this again when I have 10 minutes to kill. It controls well (I used a PS3 controller hooked into my computer), the retro music and graphics are really good, and it’s a pretty fun game even if you’re not familiar with the show.