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User Reviews

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Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 4.5
Graphics The visual quality of the game 4.4
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 4.3
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.3
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.8
Overall User Score (19 votes) 4.3

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
New attack patterns, flashier graphics, and perhaps a lot more attitude, but where oh where is the all important breath of fresh air? In response to that question I would pose one of my own, do we really need a Gradius that dares to be different? Sometimes the best in life can get no better, and if you decide to play God for a day then bad things have been known to happen. It's as such that Gradius V is best served as being a 12-gun salute to the past rather than the true sequel its name would seem to imply. It mimics its fore-fathers in such a way that it's respectful of their pedigree while pumping up the graphics to a level that would have made them cry tears of jealousy. The best of the old has been fused with the sweetest of the new... strawberries and cream indeed... Only a few games reach such lofty heights. This one is remarkable in most every way, and brilliantly executed.
Konami and Treasure reunite to bring us back to 2D heaven. Shooter fans have been waiting for a return to a once forgotten genre like this for a long time, and Gradius V does not disappoint as well. I only hope other companies, as well as Konami keep this in mind, as there is still a diehard shooter community out there. We all shudder to see how Neo Contra will turn out if it's going back to true 3D.
GameSpy (Sep 14, 2004)
Gradius V does some surprising things. It makes shooters feel mildly accessible again, and fixes the nearly 20 years of design flaws that slowly but surely turned me off of Konami's signature shooting series. You need only look at Gradius IV and Gradius V to see the difference between a rehash and a reinvention. Treasure's reinterpretation is boldly traditional yet traditionally bold; it's one of its best, and now I can't help but wonder what might happen if Konami threw 'em the Contra license. A guy can dream, can't he?
Gaming Target (Dec 02, 2004)
Konami and Treasure have both been doing their part when it comes to preserving 2D gaming. Konami revived the platform shooter with Contra: Shattered Soldier and continues to constantly churn out 2D entries in the Castlevania series for the GBA. And last year Treasure created the excellent Ikaruga, a critical and commercial success that proved the 2D space shooter is still cool. Naturally, these two crazy cats just had to get together and the results are the astounding fifth entry in the Gradius series.
Retro Gamer (Sep, 2004)
Gradius V therefore succeeds where similar updates have failed. It harnesses the raw power of PlayStation but remains true to the series’ rich lineage. And for that we should rejoice.
Video Games Daily (Aug 31, 2004)
Gradius V is an amazing game and one of the best shooters released in years. Fans of the series are no doubt in for a treat as Treasure has crafted the ultimate next-gen shoot 'em up. Borrowing some of the best elements from past Gradius games, along with Salamander 1 & 2 and even Ikaruga, Gradius V was no doubt a labor of love for Treasure and one that shooter fans should enjoy from start to finish.
92 (Oct 21, 2004)
Gradius V is a game that should be held up as one of the greatest this genre has to offer. At the end of the day though it still comes down to how much of a fan you are of 2D shooters. Shooter lovers should not hesitate to add it to their collection. I would urge those of you who are unsure to give it a try (it is a cheaper release after all) and to stick with it through the initially difficult beginnings. It is true that not many games of this type are being released these days, but when they end up being as playable and all-consuming as this title then there is nothing to worry about. The 2D shooter is far from dead.
Gamereactor (Sweden) (Nov 03, 2004)
Gradius V lyckas, precis som Ikaruga, gå en balansgång mellan att erbjuda utmaning för hardcore-spelarna och faktiskt vara spelbart för vanliga dödliga. Det polerade utseendet och musiken bidrar till en helgjuten actionupplevelse som är alldeles unik i dagens utbud.
Bordersdown (Jul 27, 2004)
Those caveats aside, Gradius V competes alongside the monumental R-Type Delta as the greatest shooter of its type, eclipsing even the previous Gradius titles as the best in the series. Balanced, tuned and counter-weighted to within a pixel’s distance of perfection, Treasure have masterminded a game both technically adept and visually astonishing. Revel in this pean to the art of destruction.
Minor complaints aside, Gradius V is a beautiful, responsive, and addictive shooter that brings the series back with class. The weapon type, power-up system, and control scheme also go a long way in complementing the dynamic levels to keep the game incredibly addictive. Despite not being a follower of the genre, I cannot deny the mesmerizing affect dodging multiple enemies, lasers, missiles, mines, and what-have-you has when you're actually making it through it all. Curiously, it has a T for Teen rating, but ignore that, because there is nothing but sweet, sweet mechanical and organic alien death - all non-obscene, of course - awaiting any and all newcomers.
90 (GAF) (Oct 20, 2007)
Gradius V also comes with the standard set of configuration options: difficulty, lives, etc. At one point, you could also submit your scores on the site Konami had set up, but it appears to be offline now. The value inherent in Gradius V was high at the time I purchased it in 2004 for $30, but at this point you may be able to find it even cheaper and it's an excellent addition to any gamer's library.
1UP (Sep 14, 2004)
Depending on how you slice its assortment of delays, Gradius V was supposed to see release a year ago, give or take. This is not a problem, however. Nobody who's interested in playing this game has come or gone in the intervening time. They've been here a while, and they'll be here a while yet.
Worth Playing (Oct 02, 2004)
Got 40 bones? There's no question. Pick this baby up. Unless you're a shooting god, it'll be a while before you beat this... and even then, once you do, you'll unlock lots of new ways to play it all over again. For the time being, Gradius V wins shooters.
Game Chronicles (Oct 08, 2004)
While arcade shooters are not exactly dominating the market right now the PS2 does have the luxury of having the largest selection of them to choose from. And while previous games like Silpheed and R-Type Final are both excellent games, there is something about the style and the legacy associated with the Gradius franchise that makes Gradius V a force to be reckoned with. Make no mistake, this is a hardcore game for hardcore gamers, so if you are up to the task, buckle up and sit back for the biggest and best shooter to hit the PS2 this year.
This is about as good as it gets for shooter fans these days. The enemies are too numerous to count, their unrelenting hail of weapon fire filling the screen in a mishmesh of glowing light. You weave in and out of the chaos, constantly tempting death as the lasers get so close your hull starts to sizzle. As you dart into the madness against all common sense, your multiples dart in after you, mindless automotons shadowing your every movement. While the enemy has set the sky ablaze to shred you apart, you cut yourself a path through the danger, penetrating into its sole weak spot, going for the kill. I swear, the expecience is almost sexual.
It's hard going on sadistic, but as good an old-skool shooter as you can get. Don't buy it now and you may regret it when it's deleted and £120 on eBay.
GamersMark (Sep 19, 2004)
Gradius V is easily the most beautiful ass whipping I’ve ever received. It’s one of the rare games that keeps me coming back for more, even when I’m not sure how much more I can handle. While maybe not the most innovative shooter around, Gradius V is almost certainly the best Shooter to have come out in years, and maybe the best Shooter to have come out ever. It offers little for those who aren’t already fans, but for anybody who loves this genre, Gradius V is a religious experience.
Gamer 2.0 (Oct 11, 2004)
Being a Treasure developed game, Gradius V feels more like one of the company's trademark titles than something from Konami, but that's'okay, because when all is said and done, Gradius V is a superb game. With just the main game and the Score Attack mode, it's a bit short on play options; however, for what it does offer, you get a lot of game for just $30. If you're into this type of game or if you have even'a remote interest in space shooters, you need to buy this game.
85 (Oct 22, 2004)
Nachdem Ikaruga den Shooterfunken in mir wieder entzündet hat, hat es Gradius V nun endgültig geschafft, dass Feuer wieder zum Brennen zu bringen. Nicht nur, dass der Titel mit einer bombastischen Präsentation, enormen Umfang und dazu noch intelligent designten Levels aufwarten kann, nein, das Gameplay von Gradius ist einfach unglaublich motivierend. Mit jedem Versuch kommt man ein Stückchen weiter, mit jedem neuen Anlauf versteht man es seine Multiples taktisch besser einzusetzen. Ein gestern noch unbezwingbar erscheinender Boss geht heute plötzlich in meinen Lasersalven gnadenlos unter. Gerade für ernsthafte Shooterfans ein wirklich leckerer Happen (zum Nice-Price von 30), der einen auf Monate hinaus beschäftigen kann - Zugreifen!
Game Critics (Feb 02, 2005)
Games like Gradius V are niche titles, and if you're reading this review then it's highly likely you already know what this series is about. It's a sad truth that the shmup is something of a dying genre in gaming, but with titles like this one, it's too soon to sound the final death knell for these classic games. Gradius V may not reinvent the wheel that is the space shooter, but it refines it to near perfection. This is a title that no serious gamer should miss.
DarkZero (Oct 29, 2004)
Konami delivered an amusing shooter that may inspire players to find other games similar to it. The cold hard truth is that not many games are developed around the side-scrolling type shooters anymore. Gradius V doesn’t disappoint and I am glad Konami got the right blueprints down on a solid shooter such as Gradius V. It’s my favorite shooter that brings back a genre that seemed to be extinct but now has other solid additions to the genre such as R-Type Final and Ikaruga.
Diehard GameFan (Sep 20, 2004)
Gradius V is in a deadlock with Metal Slug Three for best shooter of the year and is, in all honesty, a GOTY contender in my opinion. At only $30, if you own a Playstation 2, you owe it to yourself to experience Gradius V. Love it while you still can, and hopefully I’ll see your name on the scoreboards soon.
83 (Oct 04, 2004)
Gradius V zündet ein Effektfeuerwerk, dass die Wände beben: Die schiere Masse an Objekten, Explosionen, Lasern und Wasweißichnochalles ist atemberaubend, jede Sekunde explodiert irgendwas mit einem satten »WATZ!«, es gibt nur sehr wenige Verschnaufpausen. Und obwohl man nur auf zwei Ebenen spielt, gehört die 3D-Grafik in die Oberliga auf der PS2 - nur ganz selten schleicht sich mal ein Ruckler in den Laserregen. Dazu kommen noch der coole Mehrspielermodus, die faszinierende Sidekick-Kontrolle, eine einfache Steuerung und natürlich brachiale Obergegner, die den Spieler fordern, statt sich nur beballern zu lassen. Aber wieso dann »nur« 83 Prozent? Hauptsächlich liegt das an dem mittlerweile stark in die Jahre gekommenen Spielprinzip, welches zwar perfekt für eine aufregende Stunde zwischendurch geeignet ist, aber nicht viel länger am Stück motivieren kann.
83 (Dec 10, 2004)
Gradius V is a game for the hardcore, and the curious. The graphics and gameplay are superb and will have you wondering why there aren't more games like this any more. Certainly one worth adding to your collection.
Gaming Age (Sep 30, 2004)
For the 30-something gamer out there, who misses the games of days gone by, you will be pleased with the job Konami has done with Gradius V. It is old school, sure, but when has that really been a bad thing?
Though it has a disappointing dearth of unlockables and replay, as well as inconsistent hit detection, I must have a little bit of masochist in me, because I loved the old-school pain that Gradius V was dishing out. Still, don't go sending me any Showgirls special edition DVDs - I'm not that hungry for punishment.
GameSpot (Sep 14, 2004)
It was just about 20 years ago that the Vic Viper, the world's best-known alien-armada-killing single-pilot spacecraft, flew her maiden voyage in the original Gradius. That game is hardly the first side-scrolling space shoot-'em-up, but it's a genuine arcade classic, since it features genre-defining gameplay, graphics, and sound, as well as a healthy bit of strategy in its power-up system. Over the years, Gradius spawned a bunch of sequels and spin-offs, the latest of which is a PlayStation 2 game that pays homage to the series and its fans. It's true that Gradius V is best suited for nostalgic fans of old-school arcade action games--games whose controls were instantly accessible and whose storylines could be contained in a sentence.
Video Chums (Apr 14, 2015)
Gradius V is a must-have title for fans of classic shoot 'em ups although newcomers will tremble at the immense challenge that awaits them.
Factornews (Oct 07, 2004)
Gradius V est donc bien le Messie que tous les amateurs de gameplay à l'ancienne attendaient, la preuve éclatante que les concepts simples fonctionnent encore en ce début de XXIème siècle lorsqu'ils sont maîtrisés avec autant de brio, tant au niveau de la réalisation que des mécanismes de jeu en eux-mêmes. Si les vieux de la vieille verseront une larme de nostalgie en retrouvant un gameplay qui a bercé leur enfance, les nouveaux venus ne seront pas écartés puisqu'un grand nombre de règlages est disponible pour leur simplifier la vie. Et pour finir d'enfoncer le clou, le jeu est vendu à très petit prix (30€) : à ce tarif, il n'y a plus aucune raison de passer à côté de cette nouvelle référence.
80 (Oct 07, 2004)
La PS2 se dote d'un des plus beaux shoot'em up qui soit, toutes consoles confondues. Magnifique graphiquement, une bande-son incroyable de richesse, une maniabilité aux petits oignons, Gradius V prouve bien que le genre n'est pas mort, du moins avec des représentants de son acabit. Maintenant, le titre est aussi difficile, voire plus, que ses ancêtres et j'imagine avec peine qu'on puisse le terminer un jour en mode Normal. Dans tous les cas, il est inconcevable de passer à côté de ce bijou, qui plus est vendu à 30 €, si vous êtes un tant soit peu admirateur de shoot ou tout simplement de qualité vidéoludique.
UOL Jogos (Oct 28, 2004)
"Gradius V" é um daqueles jogos contagiantes, que apesar de sua incrível dificuldade acabam não frustrando, mas incentivando você a tentar de novo... e de novo... e de novo... e deixa você cada vez mais sintonizado. É muito recompensador.
Att Treasure lyckats ta Gradius och hotta upp det så att det känns modernt och tufft, men samtidigt inte slarva bort allt som gjorde de tidigare spelen unika, är beundransvärt. Det här är det mest högteknologiska rymdäventyr du kan spela hösten 2004.
Darkstation (Oct 03, 2004)
Anyone who is looking for a trip down memory lane should definitely think about picking up Gradius V as it is very challenging and incredibly addictive. The game does a great job of doing what it set out to do and this is a solid side scrolling shooter.
G4 TV: X-Play (Apr 10, 2006)
Treasure and Konami have done a marvelous job of bringing this series back to fans. While non-fans probably won’t dig in as much, this is still an exceptional example of the side-scrolling shooter. It looks great, plays better than ever, and the addition of a two-player option gives it significant staying power.
Quite simply put - this is the finest horizontal shooter on the PlayStation 2. In fact, it’s the finest horizontal shooter on any of the next-generation systems and a game that I can happily list as an 'essential' title to mention whenever asked what are the best games on PS2. It’s sad that you don’t see games of this type released in PAL territories much these days. Hopefully Gradius V can buck this trend, since its merely further proof that despite some companies pouring millions into over-hyped games, despite all the flashy graphics and irrelevant details like a car having the correct wheel trims or a racing having a 'trendy' licensed soundtrack, most can all still be completely outclassed by a game, where its roots are 17 years it’s senior. Considering it can be found for cheaper than normal, this is an essential purchase.
80 (Sep 29, 2004)
Eventually you can earn unlimited continues, so one way or another this game is going down. That may actually sound like a hindrance, but shooters are more about getting better than just winning. Newcomers shouldn't have much trouble getting through the first stage, but after that some major practice will be required. If you've never piloted a loaded spaceship before, "Gradius V" is a good place to start, but an excellent place for vets to test their mettle.
GameZone (Sep 28, 2004)
The Gradius series has been around almost as long as games themselves. Many old and new gamers recognize the name Gradius, and it’s no surprise that a new Gradius has been desired by so many shooter fans. The wait is over, because Gradius V for the Playstation 2 has arrived.
Bosses are huge, the graphics are pretty, and the action is intense - in other words, its everything a side-scrolling shooter should be.
IGN (Sep 14, 2004)
In the days of yore, mastering a game was a true challenge with one-hit deaths and furious amounts of opportunities to be hit with flying objects. Yes, I'm talking about the old-school shooters and of them Gradius was about as cool as it got. Getting through the game required some extreme pattern memorization and intense hand-eye coordination. Now, 18 years later, Gradius V has landed on the PS2 and that hardcore feel is still intact with some sweet new graphics. While still a daunting experience for those who are used to life bars, there is plenty for those who want a challenge.
Game Shark (Nov 15, 2004)
About the only things that keep the game from scoring higher is the lack of any meaningful innovation in the gameplay and the fact that the game only has seven stages to play. A real Gradius pro could probably play through it in a day. Of course if you are a Gradius pro you’ll almost surely want to pick Gradius V up and test your mettle against the Bacterion forces once again. It is also well worth picking up if you don’t have any 2-D shooters in your library. It is a genre that has a long and illustrious history and is still probably the ultimate test of a gamer’s reactions. And while not a true bargain title at $29.99, it won’t hurt the wallet too much.
Gamezine (Oct 12, 2004)
Enfin bref, au vu du test, on pourrait penser que Gradius V est le jeu parfait, en fait pas vraiment. Déjà, c’est un jeu de shoot. Loin de moi les a priori, mais le genre n’est pas vraiment courtisé par le commun des gamers ce qui le destine avant tout aux acharnés de la manette. Les curieux s’essayant au genre risquent là de haïr leur console jusqu’à la fin des temps. Konami, conscient de ce problème, a fixé le prix de son jeu à 30€ afin d’attirer les foules (et puis de toutes façons 60€ pour un jeu de shoot c’est l’arnaque). C’est tout le mal qu’on leur souhaite.
Next Level Gaming (Sep 21, 2004)
What is it about 2D side scrolling shooters that I love so much? It's not exactly the type of game that has the complexity of a modern day shooter. And by those standards they don't get a lot of press. But maybe I am continually drawn to them because they still remind me of my younger days of game playing. I'm about to turn 31, and I've really been playing video games for over 20 years now. And so I have seen a lot of side scrolling shooters in my time, both in the arcades and on home systems. I go back to when the big shooter was Asteroids. Yeah, back in 1979. And since then I have been playing side scrolling shooters like Defender, Stargate, R-Type, Galaxian, Galaga, Vanguard, Scramble, 1942, and countless others. I still own a Colecovision with Zaxxon, Cosmic Avenger, and Time Pilot.
73 (Sep 23, 2004)
Shoot'em'ups sind tot. Es leben die Shoot'em'ups. Totgeglaubte leben länger. . Ach, lassen wir diese dummen Wortspiele. Konami gibt dem Genre mit Gradius V wieder ein sattes Lebenszeichen, denn der Sidescrolling-Shooter bietet erstmals 3D-Grafik und spielerisch auch einige Neuigkeiten. Top oder Flop? - Lest selbst!
Games TM (Sep 09, 2004)
For all their glorious design and intricate attack patterns, many of their moves have already been perfected in titles like Radiant Silvergun. Perhaps we're being too harsh, but if we're brutally honest, we were expecting a lot more than what's actually been delivered. If you're a hardcore gamer and crave near flawless gameplay mechanics and intricate level design above all else, then you've found shooting nirvana. Anyone else may well end up disappointed.
GameDaily (Sep 16, 2004)
In the end, Gradius V is a top notch game in the shooter genre. You've got multiple options for your ship type, two player co-op, and a good number of levels that you'll never make it to because the game has some good, old fashioned difficulty to it. The graphics are great for a 2D shooter, with a ton of stuff going on at once, but there is a good amount of slowdown at times as well. Bottom line, if you like shooters buy Gradius V. If you don't like shooters, rent Gradius and find out what real games are made of!
70 (UK) (Aug 18, 2004)
Somewhere in a darkened, dusty, slightly damp corner of Planet Earth there is a being capable of playing Gradius V the way it is meant to be played. No continues, no pussyfooting about on 'Very Easy' and certainly no more than three ships, thank you. If we ever meet that Gradius God, we'd like to shake his trembling, withered, twitch-gaming hands - that's if, indeed, this being has hands, and isn't simply using advanced gaming Telekinesis to communicate with the PS2 via neural impulses. To the game's developer, Treasure, we say: do you lay awake at night trying to think of the most evil ways to put paid to gamers? Why not simply allow the game to consist of a series of gaming deaths from different angles, quickly followed by a Game Over screen? Oh you did?
Netjak (Jan 08, 2005)
Anyone here besides me play basketball? If you do, you've probably played ball with "That Guy". He’s the one who talks a lot of crap and has one move. He'll show up, and if you've never played against him before, he may score with his first move. If they give him the ball again, he can get a second one off you. Every time after that, though, you just swat his weak shot into his face. But he doesn't learn. He keeps coming back, running his mouth, buying new sneakers and gear. He works on his one move endlessly, so he's really slick with it, but it's still the same easy to block played-out move. Part of you is impressed with his persistence and the other part wants to call an intervention you can get him beyond that phase.
And this is it. This is Gradius V. It's a seat-of-your-pants side scrolling arcade game that has a deep history to fulfill. And for the most part, it does just that. It's fast, it's intense, and it looks really good. But it's also very short and slightly repetitive. Now, there are Internet rankings on the official website where you can post your score, so trying to outscore the top leaders may give a little replay value to the game, but that isn't going to do it for a shooter junkie like me. In the end, it's a solid game, but for me, it would have been no more than a weekend rental. Get it, play it, beat it, take it back.
Suffice to say, this isn't a bad game. It's certainly packed with enough bullets, and while the stages aren't terribly original, they're generally executed pretty well. It even brings some new things to the table via its enhanced focused on the multiples -- while it's not the biggest deal in the world, the Vic Viper is now able to control the little firepower doublers you can get to surround it, and it can use them to create a rotating "shield" or an evenly spaced wall of doom. Despite its positive elements, though, it's tough to recommend Gradius V when the mechanics and boss encounters of even decade-old Genesis shooters are substantially better. For the most part, this is a good game. It has its share of flaws, but you should find it above average overall.
The Video Game Critic (Dec 01, 2004)
Gradius V is extremely challenging but not insurmountable if you load up on weapons early. Of course, once your ship explodes you lose everything but a pea shooter, and then you're in for a real hurting. In the end, Gradius V is a slick-looking shooter, but it can't hold a candle to the gameplay of the original.