GRADIUS 3 / Konami / SNES (1991)


If you browse around here a bit, you'll probably get the impression I'm not the biggest fan of space shooters. This isn't entirely true though, I enjoy a good one every now and again. It's got to be a really good one though ... I just think the genre is flooded with too many samey generic shooters, and I don't buy into that whole weird culture of masochism that these really hardcore shooter fans get into, where every shooter has to be some punishing festival of death where you have to memorize every inch of the game's layout to even have a prayer of surviving.

Anyway, I generally enjoy the Gradius series and I think Gradius 3 is a really good one. The gameplay is solid and the difficulty is pretty well balanced, a bit of strategy helps but you don't really have to memorize the levels and can just kick back and play. It's got sharp graphics, cool music, inventive levels and neat boss encounters. This one also lets you customize your upgrade path at the beginning of the game, choosing what weapon you want in each slot. This is one of the good shooters, only issue is the slowdown when you have 3 options going and a bunch of enemies onscreen, but that's forgiveable given the game's general awesomeness. Good times and not a bad choice of Virtual Console download.

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Gameplay Video