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What's your favourite entry in the series?
Gradius/Nemesis (Arcade/Famicom/PCE/X68000/PS1/SAT/PSP) 9%  9%  [ 12 ]
Gradius II/Vulcan Venture (Arcade/PCE/X68000/PS1/SAT/PSP) 16%  16%  [ 23 ]
Gradius II (Famicom) 3%  3%  [ 4 ]
Gradius III (Arcade/PS2/PSP) 4%  4%  [ 6 ]
Gradius III (SFC) 9%  9%  [ 13 ]
Gradius IV (Arcade/PS2/PSP) 5%  5%  [ 7 ]
Gradius V (PS2) 23%  23%  [ 33 ]
Nemesis & Nemesis II/Gradius: The Interstellar Assault/Return of the Hero (GB) 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Gradius Gaiden (PS1/PSP) 26%  26%  [ 37 ]
Gradius ReBirth (Wii) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 141
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 Post subject: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:35 pm 


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Since we already have an exhaustive thread for the Darius games and I just got a first kuso clear of Gradius V, thus completing the "canonical" saga (as well as several ports) I felt the urge to create a thread for this venerable series.

For I played V the last few days I must confess that I'm somewhat surprised that a lot of people around here consider it to be more accessible than most of its brethren. I'll concede that I had (still have, actually!) considerable problems getting to grips with it. Not only is it necessary to contrive a new mindset compared to all the other games (regarding the ship speed, the hitbox, a lot of the level layout and even the bosses), but the player also has to stay sharp for a very long time. Granted, recovery in a lot of spots might be slightly to substantially easier than it is in II, III and IV, yet splurging on lives in hazardous situation hangs over the player as the sword of Damocles. The extend scheme is not all that generous, hence every life counts. I also find the game to be exceedingly stressful: the hitbox is so tiny that I constantly think I'm about to die to something, then I panick and lose a life for real. :oops: Even during III's tougher sections I never felt as nervous as I did with V. I'd wager it might be easier to play V if you have no prior experience with other Gradius games and just play it tabula rasa, devising strategies according to the general premise instead of trying to implement time-proven solutions, or I just horribly suck at V, which is a very plausible explanation. :mrgreen:

Would love to hear what other have to say about this (and all other things concerning Gradius)! Also: what are your favourites, BIL? We have to know! Image


Last edited by Perikles on Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:26 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
Also: what are your favourites, BIL?


I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to just about any iconic arcade STG series, tbh. :oops: :lol: It's guys like you and pegboy and saucykobold that I read when I want to know a bit more about things. :wink:

I do have some personal history with Gradius V itself though! It was actually my re-entry point to shooters and arcade-styled stuff in general... the endearingly gruff announcer is pretty much my godfather. I went from a naively satisfied 5CC to a 2CC and then 1-ALL just to hear what he'd say when I made the loop! I still think that booming trash talk was a minor bit of consolised arcade design genius, much more arresting and personal than mere numbers or stats.

~The After Story of Gradius V~

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I'd like to think he woke up at least a few other latent fans of no-nonsense arcade gauntlets, haha. The game itself I still consider a stellar introductory STG, nailing a balance of rigour (ruggedly long, involved course), concession (micro hitbox, milder recovery) and flash (still a great example of glitzy yet 2D-tight "modern" presentation). By that same token, as a more experienced fan I find it a bit long-winded. It's a great game, but the similarly balanced yet more arcade-trim Gradius Gaiden is my pick of the series' home originals.

That said, when GV hits its stride from stages 4 through 7, it absolutely blazes - a nonstop procession of rivetingly intense, sinuously twisting stage and boss designs. st8 is objectively an anticlimax but honestly, I find it more of a reprieve. Not the hardest STG out there, of course, but a titanically involving one with booming presentation to match. st5 (Asteroid, aka COCOPUFFS CLUSTERFUCK) remains an all-genre favourite of mine - an almost tangible sense of shearing and weaving through utter indiscriminate chaos.

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I'd wager it might be easier to play V if you have no prior experience with other Gradius games and just play it tabula rasa, devising strategies according to the general premise instead of trying to implement time-proven solutions]


I could definitely see this, not the least after getting my ass handed to me by Gradius II, let alone Gradius III! I was pretty conversant with GV by the time I sought out other STGs (could comfortably 1CC its highest difficulty setting), but I was effectively ignorant of traditional Gradius Option techniques, and not much better with general "large hitbox" play. There's an obvious danmaku comparison in its small hitbox and overwhelming but relatively slow onscreen flak... but regardless, those features also make it a comparatively freewheeling, tactile sort of STG.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:17 am 


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V is one exhaustive shmup. I find it draining these days, but lately have been examining my ailing left thumb with it and I'm glad to still have V around. Most formative of all shmups to me as well (my thinking of "shmups" as a genre harks back to it).
Although the persistence of nineteen-eighties' image of "hard SF" within my generation keeps getting on my nerves, I have no problem with Gradius V's take on it.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:21 am 


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Good heavens, look at the time!

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Its time to shoot the motherfuckin' core yooooooo


Gradius V is indeed exhausting, but thats a plus for me. I like my games to give me some kind of tangible reaction. And the sense of catharsis of reaching V's credits is about as tangible as one can get. Not a game to play every day, but a celebratory experience.

Besides V, I've probably spent the next most time with the arcade version of II. I find it a very rough game, with a strange pace, difficulty balance, and distribution of "fuck you" checkpoints. But when it fires on all cylinders, such as in the excellently polished earth and moai stages, it perfectly crystallizes the visceral cover shooting which has been so influential on my tastes.

I've spent a fair amount of time with V, I, II, and the SNES version of III. I haven't actually spent much time with Gaiden. But only because its the kind of game that I want to find a nice comfortable holiday to sit down with and truly savor.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:41 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Good heavens, look at the time!

[img]


:lol:

I'd buy that for a dollar Image
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am 


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:27 am 



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My ratings for overall best game:
V > Gaiden > II > I > III > IV

Difficulty rating:
III > V > IV > II > Gaiden > I

Gradius I & II will always be classics to me, and despite some rough checkpoint balancing in a few spots, these games along with Raiden and R-Type form the triforce of classic shmupping. They truly define classic, old school shmupping with some very memorable soundtracks.

Gradius III is really just a tragic case of what could have been. All the ingredients are there, but they just didn't spend the time to iron out the god awful checkpoints into something reasonable. This is by far the worst game in the series from a design and balance perspective, but one of the best from an audio/visuial perspective. As broken as the game is (and I will probably never play it again), it still has a special place to me because it forced me to become a better player and strive for things I once deemed impossible.

While I still like every game in the series, my least favorite and the most off putting to me is IV. I think the bizarre music kind of ruins it for me. As horrible as III was from a design and balance perspective, it had absolutely gorgeous graphics and one of the best soundtracks ever made (Probably the best in the series). IV had some bad early 3D graphics and a soundtrack that was completely out of place, and by far the worst in the series. That said, it probably has the most balanced checkpoint recovery in the series.

I think V is a true revolution for the series, they basically took all of the Gradius assets from the past and put them into a new game with modern mechanics (smaller hitbox, more bullets, longer boss fights, instant respawn). It doesn't quite feel like classic Gradius but enough of it is still there to bring me back to the old games while simultaneously making me forget some of the horrors introduced in III & IV.

Somehow it all just works beautifully, and V is really an epic experience from beginning to end, although I will admit stage 8 is underwhelming after the otherworldly stage 7. I really think stage 7 is one of the best levels I've ever played in a shumup from a presentation and production values point of view. The soundtrack is simply incredible and the vast amount of different obstacles and bosses that are thrown at the player makes for a very memorable experience.

Gaiden is a close #2 for me after V, and definitely in contention for one of best console exclusive shmups ever made. It features another incredible soundtrack and the different ships and ability to adjust the power up bar provide tons of replay value. The sprite work and production values are again top notch and probably near the pinnacle of what the genre achieved before going full 3D.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:40 am 


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Perikles wrote:
I'd wager it might be easier to play V if you have no prior experience with other Gradius games and just play it tabula rasa, devising strategies according to the general premise instead of trying to implement time-proven solutions


You may be onto something there. I love V and have cleared it several times, Wanna go for that 2-ALL someday.

However Gradius I arcade kicked my ass so bad for a week, I got mad and have barely touched it since.
So yeah they seem like different languages to me. I'll have my revenge some day. I was tempted to go for the (easier?) PC engine version of G1 but nah.. it's gotta be the arcade.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:44 am 


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Another thing I loved about Gradius V at the time of its release was that it didn't feel like a 'retro' game - it didn't seem to rest on its laurels, on nostalgia or branding (although in some senses it obviously did). It felt fresh, bold, relevant, contemporary, etc - like it had come to reassert its position as #1, reassert its ability to do things that other shmups weren't doing, etc. I don't think I've ever been as excited about a shmup as I was about Gradius V.


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:21 am 


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I originally want to create this general thread, but ouch you made it first! :oops:

Gradius Gaiden still on my #1 fav followed by II and V, Gaiden for me is really defines what 'Gradius' is.

Anyway, does Salamander/Life Force and it's sequel allowed to be on discussion?
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:14 am 


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copy-paster wrote:
I originally want to create this general thread, but ouch you made it first! :oops:

Gradius Gaiden still on my #1 fav followed by II and V, Gaiden for me is really defines what 'Gradius' is.

Anyway, does Salamander/Life Force and it's sequel allowed to be on discussion?

Does Parodius as well?
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:44 am 


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I don't see why not. I suppose you could throw in Thunder Cross since it canonically takes place in the same universe, but that one might be a bit of a stretch given the lack of options or a power up bar.

Besides I really don't like Thunder Cross 1, as it's probably one of the least rewarding 1-alls I've had. Bit of a snoozer that one, until recoveries on the last boss reduces your dps vs him to dph (damage per hours).

Also, I wanna fuck Vic Viper.
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Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:49 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I don't see why not. I suppose you could throw in Thunder Cross since it canonically takes place in the same universe, but that one might be a bit of a stretch given the lack of options or a power up bar.

Besides I really don't like Thunder Cross 1, as it's probably one of the least rewarding 1-alls I've had. Bit of a snoozer that one, until recoveries on the last boss reduces your dps vs him to damage per hours.

Also, I wanna fuck Vic Viper.

:wink:
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:18 am 


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BIL wrote:
"YOU NEED SOME PRACTICE"

I do sympathize with V's sonorous, stark announcer, his statements can be quite hurtful since they tend to remind the player of the underlying facts of the matter - you do indeed need some practice if this guy needs to remind you of that. II's condescending, leering counterpart on the other hand sells this particular phrase in a wonderfully vile manner, it really stings; especially since he'll never acknowledge any heroic deed, he just resets his array of maxims with every loop.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Besides V, I've probably spent the next most time with the arcade version of II. I find it a very rough game, with a strange pace, difficulty balance, and distribution of "fuck you" checkpoints.

I have to say, the more time I spend with II, the more I love it. Turns out even high-loop checkpoints are indeed recoverable, albeit sometimes extremely hard (especially in stages 4 & 8 ). I concur with your point that the difficulty curve can be somewhat uneven both in general terms and regarding the checkpoint recovery, that's a fair point to make. But unlike a lot III's nigh or completely impossible checkpoints, II always has some practicable solutions, although they can be well-hidden. It truly is a game for philosophers who are willing to unravel elusive secrets and truths. Image

Shepardus wrote:
Parodius Da is the best Gradius Image

It is definitely the Parodius game in the series that plays closest to its template, for sure. This is moreso true for the 16- and 32-bit ports than the original arcade game since you can actually safely apply a second speed-up in those in order to space the options and bring pressure to bear on some enemies, you're not forced to trudge through treacle the entire time...

pegboy wrote:
Gradius III is really just a tragic case of what could have been. All the ingredients are there, but they just didn't spend the time to iron out the god awful checkpoints into something reasonable. This is by far the worst game in the series from a design and balance perspective, but one of the best from an audio/visuial perspective. As broken as the game is (and I will probably never play it again), it still has a special place to me because it forced me to become a better player and strive for things I once deemed impossible.

That's an understandable sentiment. I personally love III, though. I just accepted that the force field is in fact your life bar. Some things will terminate your credit instantly while you have an ample stock of "lives" against bullets and minor threats. It's similar to the Darius series - in most games you might as well reset there if you lose a life, the shield actually signals how well you're doing.

Additionally, I want to point out that III's option play is magnificent. Once you activate the third speed-up you gain the ability to lay waste on absolutely everything. It opens up the path to complete screen control, yet it also comes at the price of more imprecise handling of the ship. Beautiful balance. The fortress stage in III is possibly my favourite stage in any Gradius game, it's exciting, it synthesises memorization, careful routing and impromptu action, has a lovely upbeat soundtrack the series is known for and it also feels its gravitas - all of those walls shift with a meaningful murmur, the announcer in the opening section constantly shouts his "Warning!" when the lights switch on and off, Bacterion has a ghastly obituary etc.

I find it interesting that the arcade version of III is the only game in the (main?) series where you start a subsequent loop with all the options and other equipment you had selected when you finished the prior loop. Too bad it's so finicky to get past the regenerating cell walls with those options, it's virtually impossible to get past 2-1 without all your armament.

Also worth noting is that III SFC shows that the recipe works with considerably lowered difficulty, as well. I love the port just as much as I do the arcade game, obviously for entirely different reasons.

Blinge wrote:
I was tempted to go for the (easier?) PC engine version of G1 but nah.. it's gotta be the arcade.

The first loop is about the same in difficulty. The PCE version might be a tad bit easier, but it also adds another stage which more than evens it out. It is much easier to clear several loops of the PCE port, however, it takes a while before you have to deal with the same barrage of suicide bullets that the second loop of the arcade game throws at you.

copy-paster wrote:
Anyway, does Salamander/Life Force and it's sequel allowed to be on discussion?

soprano1 wrote:
Does Parodius as well?

Sure, feel free to talk about the vast Konami universe of Gradius-related games, threads like this one will eventually find their way to the original topic, anyway. :)


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:28 am 


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I think I've recovered on the crystal stage once out of ten billion credits in G2 lol.

And thats on the first loop.

Otherwise yeah, it's a good game. First two stages of the first loop are a bit dry, though not unreasonably so. After that it heats up pretty nicely with the earth and moai stage having some of the most rock solid level design fundamentals in the franchise. The boss rush can be a bit lengthy in parts, particularly the more rudimentary bosses themselves (while occaisionally dangerous, at least half of them are more tanky than they are deadly), especially on recovery, but the vicious and unpredictable zub rush is great fun every time. As is the utterly hectic finalie.

I'm also something of a fan of Gradius III Snes. I haven't revisited it in nearly a decade so I don't know how well it would hold up to my (now) more refined tastes, but it was one of the games that got me into the genre. I multilooped the game a number of times on the highest difficulty back then.
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Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:46 pm 


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pegboy wrote:
Difficulty rating:
III > V > IV > II > Gaiden > I


V is more difficulter than IV ??? :P
now I'm definitely warmed up for IV then! :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:39 pm 


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Kollision wrote:
pegboy wrote:
Difficulty rating:
III > V > IV > II > Gaiden > I


V is more difficulter than IV ??? :P
now I'm definitely warmed up for IV then! :mrgreen:

I would actually agree on that (the only part of the equation I would personally switch around is II for Gaiden, although that's a miniscule note). IV is technically more difficult - the hardest parts in IV (cell stage, fortress) are more demanding than the equivalents in V. V, however, is twice as long (if not a little bit longer) and still consistently challenging during the final stages. The intricate parts in IV don't last for that long which makes it much more likely to just get a good run eventually and making it past them, you really need to know what you're doing in V on the other hand. Dying in IV and V is somewhat comparable, too - you can always recover in both games if you can keep your composure. Someone who is more familiar with smaller hitboxes might have a (much?) easier time with V, I personally had to invest more time to clear V than I needed for IV. Will have to experiment with the weapon edit in V, just played it with type 1 for now, but I'm curious what some of the other arrangements will do.


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:48 pm 


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Klatrymadon wrote:
Another thing I loved about Gradius V at the time of its release was that it didn't feel like a 'retro' game - it didn't seem to rest on its laurels, on nostalgia or branding (although in some senses it obviously did). It felt fresh, bold, relevant, contemporary, etc - like it had come to reassert its position as #1, reassert its ability to do things that other shmups weren't doing, etc. I don't think I've ever been as excited about a shmup as I was about Gradius V.


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Besides I really don't like Thunder Cross 1, as it's probably one of the least rewarding 1-alls I've had. Bit of a snoozer that one, until recoveries on the last boss reduces your dps vs him to dph (damage per hours).


tbh the main reason to play TC1 is Konami STG lore. Besides the GV Type 3 reference you can enjoy "Machine Graveyard" Shooting Battle Arrange ver without feeling like a poseur! :cool: (how I wish they'd given "Great Battleship" a spin too, but then that one is pretty god damn metal as-is)

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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:02 pm 


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I know i'm a minority on this but IV is my fav by far, i love the pacing, the music, the recoveries and the best god damn moai stage of all time. It also has a perfect difficulty increase for the second loop plus rearrangements unlike 2 which is a complete snooze 1st loop then a brutal 2-1 to get powered up. If only they'd port the series to pc.


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:11 pm 



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The first two Gradius are the games that got me into the genre, the first one is fun and humble, not too difficult but the fortress can ruin your run pretty easily. Gradius II is awesome, i loved it for its fair challenge and fantastic presentaton/music, it's my favorite hori so far (not that i've played many anyway). I tried III and almost wanted to practice it, but the randomness of the cube rush is just too absurd, if it was on stage 3 or 4 fine, but stage 9? ugh. No idea about the other games, Gaiden looks pretty cool though.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:20 pm 



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Kollision wrote:
pegboy wrote:
Difficulty rating:
III > V > IV > II > Gaiden > I


V is more difficulter than IV ??? :P
now I'm definitely warmed up for IV then! :mrgreen:


Honestly I kind of struggled with placement of IV & V and Gaiden & II, they could easily be switched. The main reason I listed V>IV was mostly because of the length. I can see an argument for Gaiden > II as well. It was kind of coin toss for me. Gaiden > II is probably more accurate.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:34 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:


That's hella hot personification.

For girls edition.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:09 pm 


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V was my first Gradius. It wasn't hard to pick up, and I am close on a kuso clear. It does have a grandiose feeling about it.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:10 pm 


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On a Salamander tangent, that instant classic post from the "I'm drunk thread" belongs here.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:56 pm 


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Darius thread has a better title. Gradius is awesome. I don't suppose there are Gradius events, towels, and posters still being made in Japan. Gradiusburst coming?


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:35 am 



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Being a Gradius veteran, I do think V is way more accessible and forgiving than its predecessors, but it never feels easy or impossible. It maintains a great balance and is very good at making you accountable for your own mistakes.

Visually though, it's so stunningly beautiful (and can be hacked to run in 480p, to get rid of the interlace flicker) that I find myself playing it more often than the others. The awesome music is also a great excuse to play it really loud and just can't stop being amazed at the attention to detail and the technical excellence of the engine. It's a blast every time.

I also play a lot of Gradius III and Salamander/Life Force and would point to them as my favorites out of nostalgia, because those were the first games that showed me as a teenager what a real, serious challenge is. One starts to develop a pretty personal relationship with these games after a while.

Having said that, I do agree with complaints that G III's level layout and difficulty ramp-up is quite messy, especially in comparison to the exquisitely tuned G II.

It's also a shame that G IV is almost universally ignored or even hated. It's such a great game too and all in its own merits, since it technically shares very little with its brethren.

About Gradius Gaiden, I have the one and only complain I always had with V: Damn Konami not making a proper arcade version :(


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:51 pm 


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The original, at least on NES, is soooooo boring. It only gets slightly challenging at like the 6th level.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:25 pm 


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The original and Gaiden are far and away the best designed Gradius games. There's simply no argument.

Rolman wrote:
It's also a shame that G IV is almost universally ignored or even hated. It's such a great game too and all in its own merits, since it technically shares very little with its brethren.

Oh please, the vast majority of IV is another rehash of II and III. It's a cool game, but it's basically Gradius II/III Digest 3D, or whatever. I mean the first stage is pretty much a remake of Gradius II stage 1; even III's was a totally different design.
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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:54 pm 


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atheistgod1999 wrote:
The original, at least on NES, is soooooo boring. It only gets slightly challenging at like the 6th level.


The arcade version is a total different animal when it comes to difficulty.


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 Post subject: Re: General Gradius thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:31 pm 


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Rolman wrote:
I also play a lot of Gradius III and Salamander/Life Force and would point to them as my favorites out of nostalgia, because those were the first games that showed me as a teenager what a real, serious challenge is.

The Salamander remark reminds me that it should be noted once more how much better the PCE port is on every level. Hit detection, basic functionality of the shield, a decent fourth boss, great high-loop design etc. I still somewhat enjoy playing the arcade Salamander and Life Force, but dear Lord, are they rushed and unpolished. Dying out of nowhere, losing the shield to power-ups, dealing with incredibly sloppy bosses and such can be rather annoying.

Despatche wrote:
The original and Gaiden are far and away the best designed Gradius games. There's simply no argument.

If we're speaking about objective design, the SFC version of III is extremely well-balanced, as well. The only jarring spot is the very first boss from the third loop onwards, recovering everywhere else is feasible even without a vast knowledge of all the checkpoints.

Despatche wrote:
Oh please, the vast majority of IV is another rehash of II and III. It's a cool game, but it's basically Gradius II/III Digest 3D, or whatever. I mean the first stage is pretty much a remake of Gradius II stage 1; even III's was a totally different design.

That's undoubtedly true. The third stage even combines II's third stage (ice cubes) and III's second stage (bubbles) into one.

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atheistgod1999 wrote:
The original, at least on NES, is soooooo boring. It only gets slightly challenging at like the 6th level.


The arcade version is a total different animal when it comes to difficulty.

To be fair, the first loop of the arcade Gradius is not all that difficult, either. The arcade Gradius gets a lot harder on subsequent loops, however, unlike the Famicom/NES and the PCE ports which have a moreso linear difficulty curve. Both ports will never reach the respectable toughness of the arcade game's third loop, especially not the Famicom conversion which has the courtesy to not add suicide bullets and also allows protection from all sides with the shield.

Incidentally, that's my biggest gripe with Gradius II on the Famicom. They did a splendid job from a technical standpoint, recreating what they could whilst adding interesting tweaks, but the difficulty essentially never changes (with the extremely specific exception of the added suicide bullets on Covered Core's barriers). That doesn't deter from the enjoyment one can attain just achieving a clean 1-ALL, of course, but I really like playing higher loops in the series.

That's also the reason I want to play Gradius ReBirth, it looks like it would be right up my alley. Too bad they released it on the Wii. :?


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