School of Shmups: Gradius

Game: Gradius
Original Release: 1985
Developer: Konami

Platform: Gradius was released on a great number of systems. The most important of its original releases were the arcade version and the NES port, which was technically inferior but was the easiest way for most people to experience it.

How to play it: These days, your best bet for playing Gradius is probably the NES version offered on the Virtual Console. It has some small changes to the level design, and you can only carry two Options, but the rest of the port is very faithful and quite impressive for the NES hardware. If you are purist and need the arcade version, you will have to track down the excellent Gradius Collection on the PSP.

What it is: While not one of the very earliest shmups, Gradius is still something of a pioneer. →  Read the rest

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 2.23.07

New Virtual Console consoles
It looks like Wii owners will now have the chance to download Neo Geo and MSX games. I’d like to see the original Metal Gear, which is supposed to be significantly cooler than the NES port, and Master System favorites (that were ports from the MSX) Miracle Warriors and Golvellius. Of course the West may never get the MSX emulator because most (or all) of the system’s games are in Japanese. Maybe after Nintendo translates Fire Emblem 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 I will believe there’s a possibility they translate super obscure Japanese computer games on a system 99.8% of Americans have never heard of.

Speaking of Master System, why not give us a Wii emulator for Phantasy Star, Wonder Boy, Zillion, Alex Kidd and company? →  Read the rest