Review by wingo1168

"The first rule of Gradius is don't talk about Gradius"

Hey there. I see my stupid tagline has attracted you to this review. Well, here it is:

Gampleplay first! This is a Gradius game. That means it's a scrolling shootemup with a sideways perspective ( right = foreward, left = back etc ). There is still the classic Gradius powerup system (Collecting powerups moves you up a notch on your power up meter at the bottom of the screen) Crashing into walls still kills you. The 3 most notable differences, I find, is that there seem to be a lot more powerup orbs (or a lot more ships that carry them, whichever), also there is 2 Player simultaneous play (IE both players on the screen at the same time, a feature sorely missed in previous Gradius games!) and also, more emphasis on the different Option types (IE, freeze/rotate/distance/direction). I know that previous Gradius games have had limited Option types, but not so much focus on them as Gradius V. Your option type really changes the way you must play through the game :O. Also, unlike previous Gradius games, when you die, you respawn where you left off, which is kind of annoying, because it makes it harder to power back up, however you can reclaim all Options you had when you died by running around and collecting them, so that's not so bad. This game is still a hard Gradius, despite the more frequent powerups.The eye-ball things in level 2 still get me somehow, and I've completed the game several times now.

Graphics!! This game looks pretty good. In fact, a lot of graphics look like tehy were ripped right out of Ikaruga (minus the sanskrit, of course). I mean, the first level for instance is very Ikaruga-esue, play them sideby side you'll see what I mean :o They are pretty though, the backgrounds I mean. HOWEVER, the stupid spinny-enemies that all gradius games have look absolutely horrible in this game, don't ask me why. Most other enemies are very nice though... The lasers are also very flashy, but the actual bullets look very stupid. I mean really, it's like they shoot little black diamonds at you. AHAHA VIC VIPER, YOU CANNOT WITHSTAND THE MIGHT OF THE HARDEST MINERAL ON EARTH WAHAHA. Ahem... But I digress, because for the most part it looks very nice. I should mention, however, that because the game is projected in a 3D perspective view, IE objects in the distance appear smaller than objects in the foreground, it can be at times hard to see where the actual wall is inside a ship/giant alien/whatever, which is kind of lame because its like DAMNIT I DIED, I THOUGHT I STILL HAD A MILIMETER FROM THE WALL.

Sound!! Hey, I like the music in this game. It's very cool. The explosions sound pretty good too, and most importantly the voice overs aren't horrible. I say most importantly, because of the fact that this game does in fact have a bunch of voice overs (not as many as Silpheed, luckily), and if a game is going to have voices, they shouldn't be annoying (Street Fighter Alpha 3 oh god...). They aren't going to win any standing ovations, however they aren't really bad either. That about wraps up the sound department, so movin' on.

Replay value: Classic shoot-em-up replay value. You want to play this game. You LOVE to blow up enemies, and you LOVE using your favorite Option mode to it's maximum potential! There are limited continues and selectable difficulty levels so you can learn to rock at the game at your own pace, and most likely you won't beat it on your first try. However, theres no stupid LOL GET 100 POSSIBLE SHIP CONFIGURATIONS LIKE RTYPE FINAL or LOL UNLOCK SOME POINTLESS ART GALLERY. Not that those really make the game better, anyway. It's kind of like Contra 3 for the SNES, in that sort of one-more-try sense that you will play it again at least until you can beat it in one sitting :o

Conclusion: Buy it! Buy it! It's a good game, and one of the best Gradius games ever. The 2 player simultaneous is a must, and there aren't too many decent domestic shootemups on the PS2 right now, so if you're looking for a shooter on your PS2, I highly recomend this game. :D

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/01/05

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