Play Gradius Online
Release year: 1985 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by Konami
Gradius (AKA グラディウス guradiusu in Japan or Némesis) is a 2D side-scrolling space shoot ’em up video game developed and published by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1986. Gradius is a famous game series that still captivates most players. It was followed by Gradius II and Gradius III.
As far as pure visuals are concerned, this game comes with a bare aesthetic that deceives its origins as a primary NES release. The background is typically black and small sprites try to make the scenes look a bit better. The sprites move decently while the game offers you plenty of challenges.
The gameplay of this one is responsive and quick, but players struggle to finish the game when the screen is full of bullets. Most newer space shooting games have enhanced this flaw, but this one decided to keep that format and the outcome was fine. It is one of the best earliest NES games despite its flaws.
Most players complain about the sound effects created for Gradius. With the game’s frantic nature, the chirpy sound effects become hard to bear after only a few minutes. The background music does not stand out, but it is okay. Sound effects are okay at first, too, but they will eventually become annoying and repetitive.
The game presented the concept of power meter for controlling and manipulating your ship advancements. Some waves of villains and solo rivals leave a power capsule when you shoot and destroy them. You can use this power capsule to accelerate together with your power meter. Every step in this power meter shows a different obtainable upgrade.
While there are several better space shoot ’em up games out there, Gradius is still competitive. It was a revolutionary release for its period. The game excels in some things, though its gameplay will not amaze you. Most players are captivated by its power-up system, which is one of the reasons behind the game’s continuous shine in the space shooting world.
Gradius game has been ported to Arcade, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, NES / Famicom (this version), MSX, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Sharp X68000.