" Promising results."

It reallly is a rare thing that has happened for us shooter vetrans this year. To have about three well made, innovative, and next gen shooters come out isn't as common nowadays. Now, those may very well be the last tradition shooter to release on a console system in a while but... I think I'm satisfyed for now. Gradius V is the result of the efforts of both Konami and Treasure (The company responsible for Ikaruga), thus being so Gradius V has new changes and an over all different feel thanks to Treasure's influence.

Gameplay

There probably wouldn't be much to say different about this game if it weren't for the new "Force control" feature, which are different modes that allow you to use different functions for the options that aid you in battle, which adds depth and strategy. These speacial controls range from making your options freeze in place by holing the R1 button from making them rotate around your plane (AKA Gradius 3) or even holding R1 and using the right analog stick to rotate and point the options range of fire in any direction. This alone surprisingly opens up so many ways to play the game and has proven very fun to use and master different weapon arrays... But unfortuantly the weapons types are barely different from each other except for the force control functions, all the lasers are the same, all the missiles and very similar (and might I add that they are almost useless in this game?) and on top of that there is no guage edit like in Gradius Gadien. BUT different lasers and bombs can be unlocked in the "weapon edit mode" but honestly, why did that have to be unlockable? Other features included are co-op mode (yay) and "revival start" which allows you to decide whether you get to start right off where you are once you die or if you want to start at a check point when you die like the orignal Gradius way. Of course with a shooter the game is indeed difficult, but it is rather generous with continues and you can unlock more as you play on, making you want to keep coming back for more, which is good cause I think I've had enough banging my fist agaisnt a hard surface while playing Gradius galaxies, and with tight controls, small damage range, the game is over all fair. If you died, it's your fault. My only gripe is the levels, alothough excellently designed just seem a little... Lacking in innovation for some reason... in fact the only level that didnt' seen really generic was a stage with this green slime that constantly pours out of tubes while the stages turns at different angles.

Graphics

Astonishing. I thought R-type final's graphics were amazing, yet they don't even come close to matching this. Highly detailed, smoothly animated, sleek, and pleasant to look at graphics... You just have to look at them and see, they're that nice looking.

Sound

Very nice music and all.... But the explosions and other mass amounts af sound effects kinda tends to drown it out. But I love the sound of continuous explosions anyway so I'm good here.

Replay value

Once again, this game get a score lowered because of nothing to unlock besides a couple of petty little features. The only things to unlock is the earlier mentioned weapon edit and more continues, the stage select option is already available from the start... You know Konami, some art work, more ships, or SOMETHING WORTHWHILE would have been nice... But the game is still addictive and great with a freind in co-op.

Playibility

With the Force control feature, the now refered to "primitive" system has a little more to it but the game is still easy to pick ond get stuck to, but like alot of shooters, and can be guaranteed to piss you off once and awhile so patients is probably required, but if your getting a beat down there is always the "very easy" setting you know., and having a freind play too is very fun.

This may very well be a last new shooter for awhile so if you like shooters, don't hesitate or if your thinking about looking into shooters you might want to rent this to get an idea if you wanna dive into the shooter genere because this is a very good represnative. But for myself, I can't say it's the best shooter I've played. The levels where kinda generic (although neat looking) and the lack of unlockables leaves less to come back for and even with the force control I think Gradius gadien was just plane funner. If you like this, look into some of the older Gradius games, espeacialy Gradius gadien, the best Gradius so far.

Over all score: 8.75


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/15/04


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