Review by Y2JkicksRVD

Reviewed: 02/09/06

The game that started it all.

The Nintendo Entertainment System was a system that goes down in history as one of the greatest of all time. I believe this is the second greatest console of all time (second only to the Sega Genesis). It had many great titles such as Castlevania, Contra, Final Fantasy, and Super Mario Bros. Gradius was the best of them all, however.

Considering the power of the NES, this game has some pretty graphics. Many colors, smooth animations, and unique sprites is what makes this one of the better NES games, graphics-wise. You see, unlike many other games, this game features numerous enemies. Some games, like Metroid, featured many of the same characters. Just with different colors. Not to take away from Metroid, of course. Some of the best graphics available at the time, Gradius’s graphics will not fail to please. 9 out of 10.

Okay, before I say anything, the NES could not offer much of anything in the Sound category. With that being true, this game shows it greatly. The game has no sound effects of any kind. No shooting noises, no explosions, no anything. That does not hinder the greatness, however. What it does have is a music track that plays while you are flying through levels, shooting at enemies. It isn’t great, but it doesn’t totally stink, either. It is so-so. With the limited capabilities of the NES, I think that an 8 out of 10 is fitting.

The controls in this game are simple. They have to be. The NES controller featured only two “action” buttons. So, all controls had to fit on the small controller. It still worked out, because games were much more simplistic, back then. In no way does that mean they were easier. Gradius is one of the hardest games you will ever play. Yet, it has to be simple. You dig? Well, let’s hope so. There is the shoot button, and the select weapon button. That is all. With the simple control scheme, you may think Gradius would be a cinch, but just try beating it. The control category gets a 9 out of 10.

Gradius may seem like an average Shoot-Em Up, but it isn’t. It is much harder than most, and offers much more. The weapon upgrades, and the ability to double or triple upgrade is a unique feature found in Gradius. Like I said, it is hard. The bosses are extremely hard, and with no difficulty setting, you are forced to play them on the level that the Producers wanted you to play at. There is also the sweet Two Player mode. Which allows for you to take a friend along on the journey. I really cannot explain all of the great things exclusive to the Gradius series, you must play them to full comprehend what I am speaking of. Easily, this category gets a perfect 10.

This game does not show its age. It has been out many years, and never lost its step. Due to the difficulty and the multi-player, this game won’t bore you. It is very hard to beat the game, so if you ever manage it, you will want to feel the great sense of accomplishment once again. You can play only Gradius games, and never get bored. The awesomeness of the game is to the fullest. You will keep coming back to this game. The reason I didn’t give it a full score, was for those of you who dislike a challenge. If you hate hard games, you won’t like this one. So, for the majority of you, it will be a great game. 9 out of 10.

Like I’ve said numerous times, Gradius kicks ass. There is no way around this true fact. You can attempt to argue it, but you would fight a losing battle. There is little about this series that is bad, so I am telling you, go buy a NES, and this game. It will provide for years of fun.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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