Format reviewed: PC EngCD/TurboGrafxCD
Submitted by: Alley Kat
This is an excellent conversion of the first arcade Gradius sequel from 1988, known in the west as Vulcan Venture.
Famed at the time for its visually stunning opening level featuring fiery dragons emerging from burning suns, the main addition here is being able to choose between four different weapon configerations and two different shield types at the start of the game.
Other than that its more of the same, albeit with a difficulty level that could make a grown man weep.
The PCE CD conversion is superb, boasting an extra level, inproved music and an extra ending for those with the machine-like dexterity to get there. Which doesnt include me, as this game is seriously tough.
Due to the uncompromising feature of stripping all weapons from the player upon death, the earlier Gradius games are only for the most skilled or patient of shooter fans. Even R-Type doesnt punish the player to the same extent, as its often possible to get the R9 moderately tooled up again with far less effort.
Despite that, games as well crafted as this are well deserving of your time (and tears).