Review by Doodleheimer

Reviewed: 10/29/01 | Updated: 05/20/02

And as I said to the butler, 'I wanted Gradius, not Spartacus!'

Game Play-

It builds off Defender to make a great side-scrolling shooter. You have a ship, and you must shoot down other ships in the way in levels. You can get weapons and choose them from a good selection by shooting down all of a particular set or color. The weapons are cool, which range from missiles to lasers to helper ships with the same weaponry availability that you do. The game also features a two-player mode, which is fun, but shooters today have better simultaneous two-player modes.


The control is very easy to get used too, but there’s one minor problem. Either your ship goes too slow or too fast. If it goes too slow, you have a greater chance of being hit by an enemy. If it goes too fast, you have a greater chance of flying into the sides. You can get faster by selecting the speedup weapon, but don’t use it too often.


The music in this game is really good. It almost surpasses the NES audio capabilities. It sounds wonderful and vibrant and upbeat, and suits the game near-perfectly. It was a little over-the-top for the game.

The sound effects in this game are good as well. They are not annoying, irritating, and suit the game well too. They sound good, and for the game’s graphical style, they’re pretty wicked excellent. But here’s a weird thing: the sound effects don’t start until 5 seconds through the beginning of a level. And I noticed Gradius’ semi-sequel, Life Force, did the same thing. And I didn’t see this problem with the ROM either.


The graphics in this game are above-average for the NES. The game looks sweet with colorful and exquisite graphics. (I need a thesaurus, bad) The stages are pretty detailed, and unique. All of the stages in this game have a little charm to themselves. With different scenery and obstacles, it does the best with the graphical capabilities of the NES.

But, the graphics in this game have other flaws to them too. Slowdown city is where this little game takes up residence. Right next to 15 frames-per-second ville, and Crappy Polygon Metropolis, which are unrelated to Gradius, it’s just the gaming state known as Electrofornia. It affects the game slightly in certain areas, so my advice is to shoot down the enemies as fast as you can.


It’s a fun shooter, the first of it’s kind, and cheap. It has an addiction to it that shooter fans can enjoy, and it may bring back some long-lost memories for you too.


Percentage of Gaming Goodness-84%


Doodleheimer’s Recommendationitivity

This game is a classic shooter, ‘nuff said.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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