symphony's Gradius (Nintendo Entertainment System) review

A classic that many modern games owe thanks to

Chances are you have heard of Gradius. You may not know the ins and outs of the games, but odds are you know that -- a) It's a side-scrolling shooter and b) it's a classic. Gradius is, indeed, a classic, and played a big part in defining side-scrolling shooters, introducing (or at least, streamlining) concepts that we still see in these types of game today.

The biggest thing Gradius has going for it is the fact that you collect power-ups on the fly to upgrade your ship -- They can be weapon power ups that hover around your ship to add some extra umph to your firepower, or shield power-ups to save you from dieing a quick and painful death. Previous side-scrolling shooters really didn't have much in the way of these kind of power-ups, and if they did they were not executed nearly as well as Gradius pulled it off.

Not only did it have this but it had some excellent graphics at the time and great bosses awaiting you at the end of the missions, provided you actually survived the missions. Gradius isn't exactly a walk through the park -- it took time to master, and I can remember the controller being thrown on more than one occassion out of frustration for a particularly difficult stage.

Does Gradius hold up to the tests of time? Yes and no. You can see various incarnations of it as mini-games in other games (my personal favorite being in Legend of the Mystic Ninja on the SNES), and you can see its influence on cheap/freeware side-scrolling shooters all over. I'm not sure you'd care to go back to the original if you have access to Gradius III on the SNES, except for nostalgic reasons, or just to see what all the hype was about.
0 Comments

Other reviews for Gradius (Nintendo Entertainment System)

    Gradius 0

    Gradius: the first game as a child to cause me extreme frustration, but also extreme addiction.  Being a huge fan of side-scrollers Gradius is one of my favorites despite it's high level of difficulty.  Gameplay is rather simple compared to today’s standards, but back in the day it was totally cool.  Collecting orange orbs by either killing strings of enemies or being in the right location on the screen when they pass will earn you power ups.  Power ups can be applied to different abilities such...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    No continues? Bring it on! 0

    The ShortPros- Often considered the founder of side-scrolling shooters and, by consequence, the shmup genre- Fun, difficult space shooter- Decent graphics and a variety of power-ups and choices- First instance of the Konami code- Spawned a long line of great sequelsCons- Music was good but hardly up to the level of Lifeforce- Doesn't have infinite (or any) continues and only three lives. What the heck, Konami?- Can have frustrating checkpoints- Can prove to be very hard, especially some early bo...

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.