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Gradius III & IV
  opened by paleface at 02:08:36 08/20/03  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Shooter_Horiz; reg=NA]
Ah Gradius, ultra-conservative horizontal shooter! The odd thing is that this pack shows a lessening of innovation as time went on: Gradius III let's you mix'n'match your powerups and, great boon of boons, has a stage select that saves to the memory card so you can start right back up on any stage you've ever completed. This goes far in combatting the familiarly frustrating Gradius standbys of no simultaneous two-player, slug-like starting speed, loss of all powerups at death, and having to keep an eye on your powerup buying bar while fighting off aliens (yes, there's a semi-auto buying mode, but you and I know that it won't by the things in the order you want).
Well, don't get used to it. Gradius IV comes busting in with gorgeous high-resolution and occasionally shiny 3d elements, yet takes a major step back in the gameplay department by throwing the powerup customization and stage select right out the window--it's back to the old "pick from a few almost identical powerup configurations" and "play through from the very beginning yet again, even that blasted bubble stage that you love oh-so-much!"
It's still good and (super) hard in the Gradius tradition, and it's great having both these games play with zero slowdown, but the loss of flexibility between III and IV is a real head-scratcher.
  paleface 11:02:19 04/26/23
Yes, there are still checkpoints. And occasional flashing things.
· Gradius Collection (PSP)
· Gradius Galaxies (GBA)

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