| paleface [sys=PSP; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=NA] |
|The PSP's 16x9 screen just begs for a good horizontal shooter, and Konami delivers this collection of five from its hoary old Gradius series: Gradius I, II (entry 104), III, IV (entry 103), and Gaiden (entry 105). Each one lets you set options like difficulty, button assignments, slowdown (ie "Wait"--turn off, thank you!), and screen size.|
The screen size is the one area where I felt a little let-down. I could have sworn that early screenshots seemed to show that for at least the earlier Gradii, you'd be able to use a screen mode that enlarged the actual usable screen space to fill the PSP's screen. Well, I guess I got that mixed up. You can scale the original graphics to fill the PSP screen, but they get all blurry, as is usual when doing that. I and II have an option that lets you expand the visible area a little bit to the left and right, but it isn't really that much; and the three later games in the collection don't have even that option.
Drat! Oh well, they still play well enough. I think I read people complaining of slowdown in III or something, but I can't say I've noticed it (I do have slowdown turned off, though, so maybe that's all it was?). I guess I won't bother going into summaries of each game since I've covered them separately, but the very quick latest version is:
I: Not bad; bosses are kinda same-ish, and you go back to sucking when you die, but plays well
II: Slow and frustratingly hard right from the beginning
III: Cool weapon customization options, but again just really friggin' hard to the point where it isn't all that fun
IV: Faster, not quite as sadistic--not bad!
Gaiden: Faster, pretty balanced difficulty, four significantly different playable ships, wild bosses, yay!