Review by theEqualizer
"A great next-gen shooter"
Shooters have been around since the 8-bit days. They were extremely popular before but now they are in a slump. Nevertheless, Gradius V was released by none other than Treasure, the creators behind the masterpiece shooters know as Ikaruga. Gradius V is a great shooter and a rightful successor to the Gradius name.
The gameplay in Gradius V is solid, yet unchanged. The same staples of Gradius gameplay are there. You will collect powerups and can activate them to get different powers. If you collect one - speed up, two - missile, three - double laser, etc.
One new addition is the different types of crafts you can choose. There are Freeze, Direction, Spacing, and Rotate. When you press R1 the functoin of each ship is activated. Freeze will freeze your options (little dots that shoot the same time as you do) in place. Direction will point them in the direction you move them, Spacing will space out the options, and rotate will rotate them. These are a welcome addition to Gradius.
Another great thing about Gradius is the two-player. It is extremely fun and addictive. There isn't much to say on the multiplayer because it is essentially the same as the single player.
The only downsides I can see from the gameplay are the lack of powerful moves (such as in R-type Final) and the fact that the gameplay isn't changed much. Fans of the series will like this but gamers new to Gradius might not like the strategic gameplay.
Now, I'm not saying the graphics are bad... but there is nothing really stunning to the graphics. Because it is a 2D side scroller it can't have superb 3D graphics. When you put this game next to something like Resident Evil 4, then you can see where this score is coming from.
If you are used to 2D side scroller and love this genre then you will have no problem with the graphics. The above paragraphs apply mainly to new fans.
The music is once again great. Some of the themes you hear will playing will have you bouncing along. The themes all match the atmosphere nicely. Sound isn't really much of a factor in SHMUPS, but it is still integral.
The presentation of this game is once again superb (comparing this to Ikaruga). You will find no slowdown or bad framerates *coughrtypefinalcough*. The only annoying thing I find is that when you go to save you may accidentally load again (happened to me a couple times). Other than that, presentation is perfect.
This is one category I especially make for SHMUPS (I usually put replayability, but that is nigh here because SHMUPS are made for replay). If you are used to my review style (doubt it), then you'll see that this is for the hardcore fans of the series. I'm talking about the guys that play SHMUPS all day to get godly good at them. Don't worry about this one. Like most Gradius games, you have multiple loops so you contnue playing through but enemies shoot back more bullets.
Gameplay: 8/10 - Same old system, new types, great package.
Graphics: 6/10 - Not stunning by todays standards, fine for SHMUPS fanatics.
Sound: 8/10 - Great soundtrack, nice addition.
Presentation: 9/10 - Near perfect display by Treasure.
Difficulty: 10/10 - Same Gradius staple difficulty.
Overall: 41/50 = 82% = B
Bottom Line: If you love shooters get this game; if you are new to shooters, then this is a good place to start.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/26/05
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