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  • It wasn’t until years after I played Gradius III that I learned about all the extra things

  • the arcade version had that we, as SNES players, never saw. Did you know there was a crystal

  • level that was completely excised from the home version? As well as a stage that changed

  • the perspective of the game, turning it into a behind-the-ship 3D-ish... um... Fox escaping

  • from Venom in Starfox 64 kind of a thing? (That’s the best touchstone I can find.)

  • We got none of those. Chalk it up to this being a Super NES launch title (here in the

  • States, anyway). But back in the day, as today, I feel like this game is not left wanting

  • for the omissions. It’s 16 bits of Gradius. 16 bits of option-floating, laser-upgrading,

  • Moai-head-shooting chaos.

  • I could get into the whole history with the Bacterions and why youre out there in the

  • Vic Viper shooting up bad guys, but it didn’t matter much then or now. You fly to the right

  • - and now, for a limited time only, up and down occasionally - and make mincemeat of

  • any enemy craft, alien creatures, or mysterious statuary that get their dander up and try

  • to shoot you. To this end, you have a selection of weapons, most of which will be familiar

  • to fans of the series. Not content to simply copy Gradius II’s choice of loadout sets,

  • this version invites you to tailor your arsenal to your own preferences. I prefer my Vic Viper

  • optimized with 360-degree shielding, bidirectional missiles, twin lasers, and my options flying

  • in tight formation as I blast the bejeezus out of this weird dragon snake Midgardsormr

  • thing. On fire.

  • Whatever your armaments of choice, youve got ten stages of madness up in your face,

  • your only salvation being those weird interstellar strawberry jam capsules that you use to power

  • up your craft. Take a hit with your shields down or impact a wall, though, and your entire

  • payload is wasted. Fortunately, when the action gets fast and heavy, the game gets hit with

  • slowdown like Mega Man 3 on a cold day. Simply tip your hat to the grinding of the architecture,

  • make your way out of the particularly tight spots, and then you can continue blasting

  • through this gem. Whether youre blowing apart sand (which is not worth any points,

  • unfortunately), popping huge alien bubbles, or going really really really fast through

  • a series of space-tubes, the gameplay’s just as awesome as it was 21 years ago. You

  • can find it on the Wii Virtual Console (you know, that white box with the weird stick

  • you wave at it), or as part of Gradius III and IV for the PS2 and Gradius Collection

  • for the PSP. (You know, that oblong plastic slat with the screen in it.)

It wasn’t until years after I played Gradius III that I learned about all the extra things

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CGRundertow GRADIUS III for Super Nintendo Video Game Review

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    阿多賓 posted on 2013/04/10
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