Retro: Gradius review

Up,up,down,down,left,right,left,right,B,A.. Unless you were born in the last 5 years, you will have heard of this in some way or form. This is the infamous Konami code that's used for several games and gives you instant power-ups. Gradius for the Family computer was the first game to implement this. It instantly gave the player all of the powerups. Old school.

Thanks to the magic of video game emulators. I am able to bring to life classic games. I recently also decided to spend about 15 minutes everyday playing retro games which i never got a chance to finish before as a kid. Gradius is the most recent one I've played and completed.

Pretty straightforward. The game doesn't really tell you why you're doing it, but you're a lone soldier piloting a space craft blowing up alien creatures. There's a boss at the end of each level. You get powerups by either getting rid of a squad of enemies or by killing the red aliens (ranked soldiers?)

Boss battles

The in-game graphics are pretty good. The game powerup options are well placed in that you can easily tell what status your ship has at all times. There are a lot of enemies on the
screen at times and there's a good level of detail in the background which makes you feel like you're really in space.


Controls are very responsive. you can get as many speed up powerups as you want which makes the game extra crazy. Sometimes the amount of projectiles on screen is near-impossible to dodge and will need 100% concentration to do so. The game takes you through 7 stages with a boss battle at the end of each level. Then goes back to stage 1 after with more difficult enemies.

Are you kidding me?

For its time this was one of the premier titles on the NES. Fast forward 20 years and I still enjoyed playing this game. The simplicity of what it does is just excellent. After you complete this game there's really not much to go back to unless you want to perfect your stats and not die. Mindless fun.

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