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Game info

Gradius - Nemesis

Gradius - Nemesis
GenreShoot em Up
Reviewed byndial
Gradius: Nemesis is a shoot 'em up originally released for the arcades and later converted to other platforms like NES/Famicom, MSX, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Sharp X68000!
Gradius - NemesisSTORY / GAMEPLAY
Gradius: Nemesis a great side-scrolling shooter involving a spaceship that bombs enemies on the ground and also features a checkpoint system where the player is sent back to an earlier point of the level. Combined with its relatively slow scrolling and checkpoint based system, these aspects make Gradius very similar to R-Type (released two years later in 1987). The most unique element of Gradius is the power-up system, which allows you to customize your weaponry. Certain enemies -usually marked with different colors- will drop some small orange orbs. Collecting an orb will activate and increase your power meter. At any point you can select a highlighted item and the power meter will reset. This is very similar to the awesome shooter Project X released for the Amiga early in the 90s. First you have the Speed Up which obviously makes your ship faster. The second is the Missiles, which fires a missile-like projectile -usually upwards or downwards- which can be used to hit enemies that your regular guns can't target. In the arcade games, the missiles are activated by a separate button but in most of the conversions the standard Fire and Missile attacks are assigned to the same button. The Dual Weapon lets you fire in two different directions simultaneously! Although its few technical issues in graphics, the MSX Gradius remains the best in any computer version. The numerous other home computer counterparts -the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum- are all pretty inferior.

Although there are plenty of colors, the MSX version suffers from the same issue as most of the other shooters for the system (such as the famous R-Type); the sprites move smoothly but the scrolling is incredibly "jerky", which makes it hard to reckon the speed of enemy projectiles, a fact that turns the game harder than it really is and can potentially become frustrating! It also suffers from the same limitations found on the NES version -miniaturized bosses, limited options and no vertical scrolling in certain stages. The sound is great though, as the standard PSG music is used here and sounds almost the same as in the NES version of the game.
  • Gradius - Nemesis
  • Gradius - Nemesis
  • Gradius - Nemesis
  • Gradius - Nemesis
  • Gradius - Nemesis
  • Gradius - Nemesis
Gameplay sample
Hardware information


MSXCPU: ZiLOG Z80A at 3,58MHz
MEMORY: 32, 64 KB and 128 KB exist, 32KB ROM (16Kb for bios, 16Kb for Basic)
GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918, Video RAM: 16 KB supporting a 16 color palette and up to 256x192 resolution (support 32 sprites).
SOUND: General Instrument AY-3-8910 (PSG), 3 channels, 8 octaves
The MSX (default) color palette
15-color YPbPr-encoded palette (15 on screen)
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