Written by  :  Wurtzly (1072)
Written on  :  Sep 03, 2013
Platform  :  MSX
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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The 8-bit pew pew!

The Good

I already complimented in my review under the arcade version (if it's approved by now).

As for the MSX? Oh boy, Konami surely put their love into this conversion! Gradius is recreated on a far more limited system, and it has most of the content the arcade version has to offer, as good if not better!

I love when an obscure system like the MSX gets such a good treatment. Technical wise too, this game is crafted as well as reasonably possible. The quirks of the hardware is taken advantage in clever ways.

The graphics may not rival the arcade or the NES, but it is well crafted and does everything to look good, without being overworked.

The whole soundtrack is intact and comes across the chippy sounding little noisemaker of the MSX flawlessly! The sound effects are cute. The sound chip has limited number of channels, so the music and effects could have been possibly butchered, but they bridged over this by playing the complete tune in the first loop and then taking away a channel for sound effects.

Then there is a special cartridge version with advanced sound that features the SCC sound chip. The reworked soundtrack and effects for this are so phenomenal that one would believe that this is coming from an MSX or any 8-bit system! It's even better than the arcade original. Konami was spoiling MSX users!

It's got infinite continues, so you don't have to hang so anxiously to your lives or waste coins to be able to explore more of the game. The challenge and difficulty is enough to keep you hooked for a looong time! The game can be played with a joystick or the cursor keys.

The Bad

It's nearly flawless. The scrolling is not the strength of the MSX range, and thus the environment goes left by gradually jumping 8-pixel tiles. The sprites move smooth though, and it doesn't really get in the way, so I can easily forgive this!

The Bottom Line