Review by tanookimario

Reviewed: 01/29/07 | Updated: 01/30/07

This old school classic can be frustrating, but is worth the $5 on the Wii VC.

This old school classic can be frustrating, but is worth the $5 on the Wii VC.

On my wii, I was searching through the List of Virtual Console games, and then I saw Gradius. I had gradius V on my PS2, and I played it to death. I thought to myself that it would be a good purchase just to see the gradius that started it all.

Story 7/10
Although the game itself never says anything about a story, the description from the Wii shop channel gave a brief description of a story. You play the part of Vic Viper, and the planet Gradius is in grave danger. Its your job to stop aliens from destroying it as you go through 7 levels.

Gameplay 7/10
You pretty much fly through space, defeating enemies, and some enemies you defeat will drop power-ups.

In this game, instead of getting an ability in something after getting a certain amount of powerups, you actually get to choose which ability you want. You need to get 1 powerup to get a speed up, which speed up up your vehicle. Once you get 2 powerups, you can choose missles, which are bullets (for lack of a better term) that drop diagonally from your ship when you shoot. Now, once you get three or four powerups, you get an upgraded shooter. 3 gets you double, which not only shoots a standard shot, but a bullet that fly diagonally from your ship. 4 gets you laser, which shoot are longer shots that take less time to shoot. Five powerups get you an “option”, which is basically an invincible copy of you that shoots whatever you shoot (missles and shooter included). You can get up to two of these. Once you get to 6, you can get something called a “?”. Its basically a shield that can take up to five hits for you until it goes away, and don't ask me why its called ?. Keep in mind that once you select something, you will go back to 0 powerups (you will keep your abilities), and once you get 7 powerups without choosing anything, your amount of powerups will reset back to 1.

While you try to get your abilities, you'll be going through 7 stages of generic sidescrolling space shooter action, defeating things you would expect (generic enemy ships) to things that you would least expect (Mois heads that shoot circles of death at you).

Music: 6/10
Iffy to say the least. Some songs are good, and at least songs vary from level to level. One song that I'm very disappointed with is the boss music. Its only about 4 measures long, and it's the most happy-go-lucky tune I have ever heard in a boss battle. Other then that, most of the songs are what you would expect from a NES game.

Difficulty: 10/10
Despite the 7 levels of this game, it will take you hours to beat this game. There is no way you would be able to expect whatever's coming, since enemies from this game range from Mois heads to upside volcanoes to standard spaceships. Also, once you die, you start in a “checkpoint” without any abilities, and that checkpoint is probably filled with monsters. You literally need to master the game before you even dream of beating this game.

Conclusion 8/10
Addictive to say the least. You'll be up for a long time trying to beat this game. I will warn you, if you have a short fuse, then this might not be a good buy for you. If you are patient and can handle a few cheap deaths you will get in this game, this game is definitely worth the $5 on the wii virtual console.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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