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Gradius III & IV

by Sony
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Price: $66.98
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  • 1 or 2 Players
  • Digital or Analog Control
  • Vast array of weapons and enemies
  • All new C6 movies for both Gradius III & IV
  • Added options not found in the arcade versions

Frequently Bought Together

Gradius III & IV + R-Type Final + Raiden 3 - PlayStation 2
Price for all three: $138.58

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Product Details

  • ASIN: B00004U62O
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: November 14, 2000
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,548 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)

Product Description

Every console system pays homage to the past, even as consumers leap into the future. The Dreamcast hosted various Midway and Namco arcade packages, and there was the famous (or infamous, depending on how you feel about 2-D space shooters) GigaWing. Sony and Konami are getting into the act by bringing the Gradius series to PlayStation2--at launch, no less. While it gives many, if not most, people a significant "warm, fuzzy" feeling to revisit the past, one can make a strong case that developing a PS2 version of Gradius III & IV was more about padding the launch lineup.

If you're a fan of the side-scrolling-shooter genre, however, this edition likely will please you. It has almost everything that a trigger-happy arcade hound could want: rapid-fire framerate, lots of color and animation, and that wonderful '80s feel. It also has some of the glitz that younger video game fans demand, such as two completely new CG intro videos that look pretty dang cool.

Konami has pulled out all of the stops in revamping the look of the gameplay, too. The two games now are quite polygonally charged and texturally sophisticated. The graphics now use environmental mapping, and polygon morphing makes the animation very smooth. Another nice feature, especially for a game like Gradius is that a stage-selection mode and a continue feature have been added to allow players to go back to wherever they want to start over, revisit, and/or practice a tricky spot.

While it might not register in the minds of those of us who are addicted to high-profile launch games like Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore, Gradius III & IV might be good to buy for casual gamers of all ages and skill ranges, since Konami has added modes for beginners and advanced players. Everyone from granny to baby brother should be able to pick up this title and thrash right out of the box. --Todd Mowatt


  • Enhanced gameplay nostalgia
  • New stage-selection and continue features
  • Appealing to casual gamers and fans of the genre only

Product Description

With Gradius 3 & 4 you get two shooting games on one disc! Gradius 3 starts with a dazzling intro movie and then settles into a side-scrolling shooter. You must shoot your way against numerous alien ships hurtling toward you while picking up different power-ups--such as speed tune-ups, missile weapons, lasers, and shields--to keep your end up in an ever more intense battle. Also, you can pick up the husks of burned-out foes for more rewards.

Gradius 4 is essentially the same type of game, but the side-scrolling action often breaks up and allows you to move in less restrictive ways. Of course, that newfound freedom doesn't necessarily work to your advantage; wild enemies can now come sweeping at you from all angles.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Gradius III & IV(2000). A PS2 collection of two classic arcade space shooters.
Back in the 80s and early 90s, space shooters were a very popular breed of arcade game. The first many didn't offer much more than just firing at endless ships over and over again, but several others opted to add something unique to the formula. 1985 saw the introduction of Gradius, a game where you controlled the Vic Viper space jet through many challenging levels full of aliens, robots, and varying terrain. What was unique about Gradius was the customizable power up system it had. At the bottom of the screen, a long list of various upgrades for the Vic Viper is shown, and the more powerups you collect, the more useful upgrades you can acquire. You can add anything to the ship such as increased speed, bombs, multidirectional guns, piercing laser canons, or even add a helper ship to battle alongside you. It's a very deep customizing system, and it only increased with each new game. There was the spinoff Salamander(1986) a.k.a. Life Force, and Gradius II(1988) which were both successful sequels over in Japan. Now we get to this incredible PS2 collection focusing on Gradius III(1989) and Gradius IV(1997). Here's a brief description of each of the games:
Gradius III offers the most levels, most upgrade customizing, and it's also the most difficult release yet. Since it was released back in the late 80s, the graphics are 16-bit quality with midi-sound effects and music. To date, I find this to be my favorite Gradius game of all. The levels offer plenty of variety ranging from sand pyramids, to warping bubble fields, to erupting volcanoes, to stone mountains containing those Easter Island statues, to crystal caves, and even a few bio-organic stages as well.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rob Cameron October 25, 2000
Okay, before you get your hopes up too much, this is *not* a new Gradius game. It's an arcade perfect translation of Gradius III and IV from the arcades. It's just a regular 2d side scrolling game.
That doesn't mean it isn't a great game! Gradius is one of the best side-scrolling games ever made. Just because you got a brand spanking new 128 bit system doesn't mean you're too good for the classics, does it? :) I think it's great to actually see a 2d game now and then. Everything is 3d these days!
If you're looking for a really cool semi-3d shooter, check out Slipheed: The Lost Planet. (You might remember Slipheed from the Sega CD days.) I say semi-3d because it's a top-down shooter, so you don't really have full 3d movement (like a flight sim) but there are huge 3d bosses and all kinds of sweet terrain and backgrounds. Also a great game to show off the graphics power of your shiny new system!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars don't be 2d sprite hatin' October 19, 2000
By tt
Ahh... I remember those days with the Nes/Snes/Genesis and mindless side scroll-shooter games. Extremely fun for a while then the "mindless" part kicks in. If you enjoy games like einhander by square or the r-type series, get this game. If you dont, atleast rent it.
oh and a response to another reviewer whom shal remain nameless: just because a game isnt 3d doesnt make it a waste you ignorant ignorant fool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHMUPS! May 8, 2001
Well here we are almost 10 years since Gradius has seen the light of day in the US. Konami's back with a vengance!
Gradius 3: This IS NOT the same as the SNES version! This is a straight port of the arcade version. Most people will say well if you played the SNES version, you've played them all. I insanely say "Shut up and go play your Atari Jaguar". G3 is probably the most insanely fun game Konami has out for the PS2. Warining, have insane ammounts of Extra Strength Rogaine ready, "Bosses on Parade" is insanely hard and you will be pulling your hair out.
Gradius 4: This IS NOT a straight port of the Japanese arcade game. Konami went through and replace an insane majority of the sprites with 3D models. The game play is similar to G3 with different levels and enemies, but it's a insanely fun game as well.
Now I'm off to play the insanely fun "Gauntlet Dark Legacy"
(Number of times a form of 'insane' was used: 7)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
While I'm not certain if its possible to love and hate something at the same time, I am sure that you can be draw to an object and thoroughly repulsed by it in the same breath. I say that because that's how I often feel about this game and its barrages of endless enemies, its boards that fill like mazes with clutter, and its array of weaponry that you have to have to make it through levels. Here, dying is not an option because demise lets you continue only in a proverbial hornets nest with only the most bareboned of essential, sometimes feeding you a power-up for your weaponry and sometimes not. In fact, with many of the horrors it asks you mind to master, it oftentimes sends you reeling through a maze of sensations much akin to driving in a tornado, knowing all the while that there can be no mistakes. Therein lies the potential of frustration, leading you to lock the game away from both your mind and your console. Still, even after the game is set aside and the anger swells, I want to go back and beat it.
Contained here are two relatively similar versions of Gradius, both handling like the first Gradius release of yore. In fact, many things are quite the same, except the fact that there are even more obstacles blocking your paths and there are increased graphics on one of the two portions of the Gradius 3/Gradius 4 puzzle. You still work off the power-up items, finding different colored enemies to shoot that allow you to pick through a small list of items, and you still have to fight monstrosities at the end of each board. So, if you are a fan of 2-D games, then this would be something to at least try out. If you're a fan of the original Gradius, then its a must. Be warned, however, that before you finish it you might find yourself calmly seeking psychiatric help.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars These games can be incredibly fun...
...If intense difficulty and aggravation equates fun in your vocabulary, that is.

These two titles are from a perhaps bygone age of shmups which were as rewarding as... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cieje3
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic arcade game!
This version of the game is the arcade version which is a lot harder than the original SNES Gradius III, which I never played, but once you get used to it, it is still a fun... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kelly L Hanson
1.0 out of 5 stars Hacked Tripe Versions of Arcade and SNES Classics
Let me start off by saying that back in the day of the Super Nintendo, I did own Gradius 3 and had an absolute blast with it. Read more
Published 22 months ago by S. Morales
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game!
We played an older version of this game back in the 80's. Great to see it's still around. Fantastic Shooter Game.
Published on December 3, 2011 by riker1960
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Skool done right!
Great! also check out Gradius V made by TREASURE!!

that's right, Konami had Treasure produce the game!
Published on January 14, 2010 by Video Game History
2.0 out of 5 stars Regression - extremely disappointing
When I saw that there were PS2 adaptations of Gradius III and IV, I was extremely excited, having seen friends play Gradius V in times past. Read more
Published on June 20, 2008 by M. Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars gradius 3 &4
great game!!! i used to play it when i was younger. just wonted to add to my collection.

i recieved it in a timely matter in great shape. Read more
Published on April 5, 2005 by Mark A. Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Man.................... good luck
youll need it this game is tough and like many reviews before me have stated its not for everyone but im not one to give up easy so im keeping it anyway rtype is childs play... Read more
Published on August 18, 2004 by Darkjedi
5.0 out of 5 stars There's Still A Place For Side Scrolling Action
When I grew up, I had a Nintendo and then a Genesis. These systems had awesome, fun games. Then when PS1 and N64 came out, game developers tried to take every game that was cool on... Read more
Published on December 8, 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But could of been better.
Although i am a great fan of Gradius, Konami, really rush the combo. It did'nt make a great couple. However, only buy this game if you want Gradius IV. Read more
Published on April 19, 2003 by erika simonelli
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