Konami's GRADest creation:Gradius
Gradius...the shooting game VERY similar to 1943, that has been made for many systems and has gotten a sequel such as Gradius III, one of the Super Nintendo's launch titles. This is the first release of the Gradius series, and one of the Nintendo Entertainment System's earliest ports, released in early 1986. This game doesn't have much popularity because Gradius III pretty much took over. I went threw my game drawer today and found a mint and complete set of this game. ?But, let's just jump right in to a classic for the Nintendo Entertainment System...
I don't know why but I decided to just do this section first. Overall, I would rate this game an 8.1/10. The difficulty of this game makes this game a fun challenge, this game has GREAT music, the graphics are good for a 1986 port, and this game is also VERY addicting because of its difficulty. Sound and graphics don't matter, but they are a bonus to what makes this game addicting to play. When I found Gradius in my game drawer today, I was curious. I popped it in the Nintendo and started playing. I couldn't put it down. And I knew, overall, this game is really fun and addicting. The difficulty can get annoying at times, but this is still a great experience for casual video game players.
Like I said, this game has great graphics for a 1986 port, but graphics don't really matter. I wouldn't say the graphics in this game are ASTONISHING, but this game does a good job explaining good graphics in the form of a great game. The sprites are well done, and everything is distinguishable because of the set pieces, but sometimes, and by that I mean the second half of the game, has locations that aren't very identifiable. What you play as, which is a ship, has good sprite work and the enemies and weapons look great. There's nothing bad about this game's graphics, to be frank. I don't know one part of this game that has bad sprites. And the locations that are unidentifiable don't have BAD GRAPHICS, it's just that there's no story to explain the location and these levels seem very spontaneous when it comes to set pieces and enemies. This isn't major, but it still is there for the curious crowd. Anyways, I think the graphics are well done. Like usual, there's a Konami game that is an early NES port that has distinguishable graphics...
Musically speaking, this game does a great job doing so. I do legitimately enjoy the soundtrack of this game. First of all, the canyon theme sounds like I'm running a marathon, and also it's catchy and matches where you're flying through. What more do I say about this? I do like 80's game music, and this does a good job matching the game music I most enjoy. The themes are catchy, they match where you're travelling, and ALSO, there's no sounds that are bad in this game. I think the sound effects are perfect and match what's going on in the game, like other Konami games. Sometimes, the sound effect for when you fire is muted, but it's not really much of a big deal to me. Keep in mind that this game has good sound...
Here's what I like most about this game...like 80's shooting ports like 1943, the game is very addicting. What makes this game truly addicting is the obstacles you need to avoid to progress and the enemy placement. This game is way too addicting to let down. You know how arcade games like Pac Man and Missile Command can be pretty addicting because of simple story or a fun concept and smooth controls? This is one of those games, and I like how Konami can do this to such a type of game. I can definitely classify this more addicting than 1943 for that matter. In addition to this game's neat graphics and sound, don't be surprised if you can't stop playing after you start.This game is that good. What also makes this game addicting is its simple control. Since this game is a Nintendo Entertainment System port, we only have three buttons to work with, not counting s
elect and the directional pad. How could this game possible get any more addicting? That's how addicting this game is...
There isn't really much of a story, so let me just say what I think it is based off the game. In the game, the enemies are enemy ships or robots so I'm guessing there's a war going on or...yeah, I got nothing. There's no story in this game, so I'll just go on to the next category, since not very many Konami ports have story lines.
This game doesn't offer much, which plays a big part in this game being addicting. Let's just jump right in. The base of this game is fairly standard. You press A to fire, B to equip an upgrade, and Up, Down, Left, Right to move around. Your goal is to defeat gauntlets full of enemy ships and turrets as a ship to save the world/galaxy/country...I wish this game had an actual story...as you can see, this game is just like 1943. This game is obviously 2-D. Sometimes, there will be horizontal scrolling levels, or the occasional vertical scrolling level. This game is basically just a side-scrolling game. What's also in this game is upgrades, which make this game a lot more interesting overall. You see, like Legend of Zelda, enemies come in two different flavors. Red and blue. If you shoot red enemies or certain grouped enemies, a red orb will appear. If you grab a red orb, you start at square one, a speed boost. But if you collect more orbs in a row, you can get even more upgrades like lasers or a magic shield. Getting these upgrades are not hard. They improve and improve, which makes upgrades a very nice mechanic. Upgrades are practically MANDATORY, because they make your journey a little more comfortable. In fact, not to turn into a guide or anything, but I highly recommend using the shield for the duel volcano boss. Without it, you're pretty much stuck. Well, Gradius overall doesn't offer that much. But that doesn't stop this game from being very exciting overall.?
Not only is this game really addicting, it's also pretty difficult. This plays a big part in how addicting this game is. In fact, earlier, Eirinn and I were playing this game together on Netplay...we couldn't beat the first level...and when it was his turn one time, he just...died within three seconds. Sorry, Eirinn, I had to tell them that. What makes this game hard is the ridiculously hard boss battles, because most of your time will just be dodging projectiles instead of shooting the boss, the enemy placement, which plays a big role, and the fact that if you touch a wall, you're dead, and there's a lot of obstacles like this. The level design is very linear and thin, so dodging obstacles can get pretty challenging at a lot of times. Don't be surprised if you're wrecked up in a short amount of time, it can be a nightmare. And I'm sad to say, this is Konami's easiest game. Konami is known for making challenging video games, and this is their easiest game...oh, the irony. This game isn't NEARLY as easy as 1943, and this game isn't too hard, which is why I rated this category a six, but the challenge this game offers makes for a fun game, and also infinite rage. I cannot stress that enough. This difficulty is pretty neutral for the world of hard video games, in my opinion. This isn't hard, but it's not easy, if you know what I mean. But even still, I recommend using the free upgrade cheat code at the beginning of the game...
Overall, this game is a well designed port by Konami. Not too hard, great graphics, great sound, and this is one of my favorite game genres. I thought 1943 was a great game, but Gradius on the other hand....this one right here blew my mind. In fact, I highly recommend trying out the sequels. Gradius III is probably the best of the bunch, but I would still prefer Gradius: The Original Masterpiece (This game)
Sorry this was a short review by the way, I can't think of much to say about this game overall. But that doesn't mean this game isn't great...