| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|Shoot it from behind! The true departure in the Gradius/Salamander/Lifeforce series, Gaiden is the spectacular result of Konami giving their Tokyo branch the task of creating a console-only version of the venerable arcade shooter. KCET stuck with most of the outer trappings of the series but made significant modifications and upgrades to the gameplay: weapons with multiple power levels, four different ships, gorgeous sprite scaling and rotation effects taking advantage of the PlayStation hardware, bosses that leap and dive and run around the screen rather than just floating or remaining stationary, generous powerup drops, completely new weapon systems, and simultaneous multiplayer being among the most obvious.|
How Konami could come out with the supremely stoic Gradius IV a year later, ignoring all the innovations of Gaiden and even their own old Gradius III, is beyond me. Gaiden's amazing use of 2d and 3d graphic effects to advance the gameplay with spinning rooms, giant segmented worms, self-assembling screen-high quadrupeds, and many more effects appearing almost incessantly throughout the game with zero slowdown, not to mention the simultaneous multiplayer yet again, put it, at least in terms of variety, beauty, and excitement, far above the rest of the games in the series. If Konami ever does another Gradius I sure hope that they get this group to do it (note: wrote this before I knew of Treasure's "Gradius V").