Back when arcade cabinets still attracted queues of eager gamers, the Gradius series was a titan of the 2D shooter genre.
To this day, the various Gradius games, sometimes known under the alternative Nemesis moniker, still enjoy great affection among fans, but new releases are all too rare. But now, at least, the magnificent Gradius V, last seen passing under mainstream radar as a 2004 PS2 release, is available as a PS3 download.
Developed by Treasure, the studio famed for crafting influential shooter Ikaruga, Gradius V boasts an epic atmosphere all too rare in a genre typically more concerned with game mechanics than tone, but it hasn’t forgotten its arcade heritage, delivering a pitilessly difficult challenge packed with subtle gameplay. It should be noted, however, that this is a bare-bones rerelease, with no HD update or new features, and there is a barely detectable control lag that may concern high-level players. Nonetheless it remains an opportunity not to be missed: a chance to play a design masterpiece of the genre.
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