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Gradius III is the most difficult game I've played in recent memory, hell, maybe in my life. I understand it was originally an arcade game, and I suppose that making the game so difficult would allow for more quarters to be pumped into the game, increasing revenue for the arcade operator.
But Gradius III is INSANELY hard, even more so than Gradius and Gradius II. There are so many situations in which the entire screen is full of bullets, and the only safe spots are spaces that are barely the size of your ship. At least in Ikaruga everything happens the same each time, so you could memorize patterns. This does not apply to Gradius III.
I've been working my way through Gradius Collection on the PSP for over a year and a half, playing it occasionally. I think it took me around eight hours over three days to beat the Stage 3 boss in Gradius III, Big Core MK III, even though it's obvious what needs to be done. You'll need to position yourself in between the initial diamond/crisscrossing lasers, which I was able to do consistently after some practice. After taking some damage, the boss will switch to shooting a wall of lasers, and the only safe spot is the gap between the shots.
The Stage 5 boss, Vaif, was also frustrating, and it took me another couple of sessions over two days to beat him. So for anyone who needs a strategy for this boss, here's mine. You'll need a few options and missiles/smart bombs, and working quickly is essential.
As you move into the boss area, move to the left side of the screen and position your options below you. This will allow you to take out the bottom left Moai quickly. The next Moai to open is the top right one. Move up next to the top middle Moai and shoot it out quickly. The next one to open is the top left, but you can't attack it just yet. Position yourself to take out the next Moai to open, with is the bottom right one, with either your missiles or lasers. While you're doing all this, eliminate the smaller Moai heads that the bigger ones shoot when you can.
Assuming you've worked quickly, at this point, you have three Moai gone. The only ones left are the top and bottom middle ones and the top left one. The top middle one is the next one to open, which is your next priority. Up until now, the smaller Moai heads haven't been too much of a problem. This will change, because more and more of them are being released, so you'll need a new strategy to avoid them. When they are released, move in a clockwise direction around the screen. You don't want to shoot them, since they expand, until you are back on the left side of the screen. You'll only have a short time after eliminating them to focus your fire on the top middle Moai. If you're lucky, while you're taking this one out, you'll also get the bottom one with your missiles.
When the only remaining Moai is the top left one, he will shoot out four smaller Moai. Again, move in a clockwise pattern, leading them to the right, and get back to the left to take them down. Now, you want to position your options near the mouth of the Moai, and this may take a few passes, avoiding the Moai's attacks before you succeed.
7Dec 06At this time last year, there was a buzz surrounding the XBOX360 launch, and this year, I get to experience it again with the recent launches of the PS3 and Wii. I saw both consoles at Best Buy and Target, and I was able to play the PS3 a couple of times, but yesterday I played the Nintendo Wii for the first time.
On the PS3, I played NBA 07 and some racing game, which I really don't know the title of, but seems to be the demo at EB and Best Buy. When playing, the PS3, I felt the same way I did when playing the XBOX360 last year; sure, the graphics were clearer and sharper, but the gaming experience was pretty much the same.
As for the Wii, kudos to Nintendo for taking a chance on an innovative way to play video games. I played the tennis game in Wii Sports, and was pretty impressed with the controller functionality. Although there are only a few Wii titles out, I think we all see the potential for the system. It opens up a whole new dimension of gaming, and there is no question that game developers will find creative and innovative ways of playing games on the Wii.
I think sometimes people overlook the fact that Nintendo has innovated console gaming, with their competitors incorporating Nintendo's changes the following generation. For example, the N64 introduced an analog stick,
which wasn't available in Sega or Sony's consoles until later. Nintendo also introduced rumble (force feedback) and the idea of having four controller ports on the console itself, things which pretty much are standard in the next generation of consoles (Dreamcast, XBOX, Gamecube).
Now, Nintendo has eschewed conventional gamepad type controllers for something that detects your physical movement, and has made it the standard input for the Wii. The PS2 had EyeToy, but it was an optional peripheral, and only a few games supported it. If I remember correctly, Sony added the motion sensor feature to its Sixaxis controller after Nintendo announced the specs of the Wii controller, and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft offers something similar on the XBOX360 in the near future. I believe that Sony and Microsoft will recognize motion sensing as the next hot thing in gaming.
One other thought on the Wii. There are certainly games available on the Wii and either the XBOX360 or PS3 (Call of Duty 3, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Need For Speed Carbon), and I bet that playing them on the Wii is an entirely different experience. It's interesting to see how different the gameplay will be for cross platform titles.
Well, school's out for the summer, so I finally had some time to spend with my XBOX again. I finally got around to finishing the Crazy X challenges in Crazy Taxi 3, which has been on my play list since last summer! I also posted a user review of the game.
Anyway, I'm a big Crazy Taxi fan, since the original on the Dreamcast, and I own all three games. It's my kind of game, the kind that doesn't take things seriously, and is easy to play, but hard to master. The appeal is in trying to master the routes and shorcuts, cutting seconds off your time, and being rewarded by having your score appear in the high score list.
Crazy Taxi is a true arcade game at heart, much like Ikaruga, another one of my favorites, in which there aren't a whole bunch of levels, but you don't play to advance the storyline, you play in order to master the game.
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