Gradius V


Don’t we all remember the good old days? The days where we had a little spacecraft that we had to maneuver around the screen trying to watch out for enemy fire and falling debris. If you haven’t figured out what I am talking about yet, I am talking about the old shooter titles. It’s quite unfortunate that they have really fallen off the map of gaming, but now Konami is bringing back its successful shooter series in Gradius V for the PS2.


When I look at games like Gradius V, I remember all those days where the graphics of a game mattered less and less and the true value of the game was determined in the gameplay department. The days where storylines were an afterthought and challenging, fast and fun gameplay was all the rage. In a way Gradius V reminds us about what made gaming one of the highest grossing money market in the entertainment business today.

For those of you who are wondering exactly what Gradius V is, it’s a 2D side scrolling shooting game. Many of you may be sitting there thinking why we would pay full boat for a game like this. And let me tell you this may be one of the hardest games you will play all year.

I’ll admit right off the bat that I am not very good at these types of shooting games. Give me a first person shooter and I can pick up and play it and be good at it in ten minutes. Give me this game and a week and I still will tell you this is a very hard game. To be successful in Gradius V you first have to have very good hand to eye coordination and possess above-average memorization skills. When I say memorization skills this is a game that requires a whole lot of trial and error, where you will have to go through the same mission over and over and over again until you can remember exactly how to get through each mission. This may sound like an easy or boring task, but the gameplay in Gradius V is very fast pace and entertaining.

Many may be turned away by the mere fact that it only takes one mistake or one hit to make your ship blow up. What this does for the game is it makes you have to be perfect when going through the levels. This is the reason I said that you will have to go through missions more the once, as only one mistake will cause you to die.

By far the most intriguing portion of Gradius V is the boss fights, which offer the most challenge in the game. The bosses in the game seem to really want you dead as they shoot a whole lot of bullets right at you and you will be attempting to dodge them while trying to take the boss out, which is not an easy task.

To sum it all up for everyone even at the easiest of difficulty settings this game is still a huge challenge. I found myself still having to replay levels over and over again as they were just extremely difficult. Put this game to the higher difficulty settings and like I said earlier you could be playing one of the hardest games of the year.

The gameplay of Gradius V isn’t anything spectacular but it does provide some of the best side shooting action that I have seen in quite sometime. Any old school gamer looking for this type of gameplay should be very satisfied with how well this game handles.


I have reviewed of a few of these old-school type games that don’t try to take their game into the new-age type graphics. Gradius V is a perfect example of a game that sticks close to its roots and creates a game that looks the way fans of the series would want.

The one thing I must commend the developers of Gradius V for doing was that they stuck close to the roots of the game. Now its not that the game doesn’t look good because I am here to tell you that it does. But I am also here to tell you that the game doesn’t have a whole lot of detail or high resolution graphics. What Gradius V does do very well is use colors to their advantage. When I say that both the ships and environments have so much color that does wonders for the game. With this color they add plenty of detail to the bosses and your ship to really bring out the best to the game.

To top it all off the frame-rate stays 100% smooth the whole time, so there will be no slow down. Overall the graphics aren’t anything to knock your socks off but enough to get the old-school game a new age look without ruining the gameplay.

Fun Factor

Gradius V is a game that will really make fans of the old school type games really happy, as it really does a nice job of bringing back some fond memories of older side scrolling shooters. Gradius V gameplay is exactly what gamers would expect when going for a game like Gradius V as it is very challenging and stays true to its genre. If you ask me any fan of old-time shooters will have a blast playing Gradius V even if it is hard.


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.

The owner and editor-in-chief of I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.