Gradius 4
Genre Action -> Shoot Em Up
Today's Rank 13047
Homepage
USA
Date N/A
Publisher Konami
UK
Date 2000-11-24
Publisher Konami
North America Retail 
Box ArtUnited Kingdom 
Retail Box ArtEvery console system pays homage to the past, even as consumers leap into the future. The Dreamcast hosted various Midway and Namco arcade packages, and there was the famous (or infamous, depending on how you feel about 2-D space shooters) GigaWing. Sony and Konami are getting into the act by bringing the Gradius series to PlayStation2--at launch, no less. While it gives many, if not most, people a significant "warm, fuzzy" feeling to revisit the past, one can make a strong case that developing a PS2 version of Gradius III & IV was more about padding the launch lineup. If you're a fan of the side-scrolling-shooter genre, however, this edition likely will please you. It has almost everything that a trigger-happy arcade hound could want: rapid-fire framerate, lots of color and animation, and that wonderful '80s feel. It also has some of the glitz that younger video game fans demand, such as two completely new CG intro videos that look pretty dang cool. Konami has pulled out all of the stops in revamping the look of the gameplay, too. The two games now are quite polygonally charged and texturally sophisticated. The graphics now use environmental mapping, and polygon morphing makes the animation very smooth. Another nice feature, especially for a game like Gradius is that a stage-selection mode and a continue feature have been added to allow players to go back to wherever they want to start over, revisit, and/or practice a tricky spot. While it might not register in the minds of those of us who are addicted to high-profile launch games like Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, Gradius III & IV might be good to buy for casual gamers of all ages and skill ranges, since Konami has added modes for beginners and advanced players. Everyone from granny to baby brother should be able to pick up this title and thrash right out of the box. --Todd Mowatt Pros: Enhanced gameplay nostalgia New stage-selection and continue features Cons: Appealing to casual gamers and fans of the genre only
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