Gradius III and IV (PS2)

Developer/Publisher: Konami

Release Date: November 13, 2000

System: PlayStation 2

Genre: Shmup/Arcade Shooter

Players: 1-2


Gradius III and IV is a PS2 compilation of two classic space shooters from the Gradius series. Players control the Vic Viper Starfighter in both titles as they battle the Bacterion Empire. Both games feature a few updated options such as an easy mode for beginners, but the ports largely retain their original form. 

Gradius III and IV feature the series signature weapon upgrade system where players collect power up pods that can be used to improve an aspect of the Vic Viper. These power ups include speed, missiles, an option that fires extra projectiles, and a shield. Players can choose from several upgrade loadouts that differ in a number of ways. For example, one loadout may use a standard laser while another employs a laser that spreads out in a ring pattern. Regardless of their loadout, players can use or save their power up pods as they wish in both games.

As shmups, both Gradius III and IV have players flying through stages, shooting enemies, collecting bonuses, and dodging dangerous terrain. A boss waits at the end of each stage. 

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