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July 16 2005
Gradius Collection - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
Sept. 2006AtariKonamiKonami1$79.95

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This package looks pretty nice.
If you're an old school gamer (ie one over 30) like myself then chances are you would have played a version of Gradius somewhere along the line. The series is, along with Irem's R-Type, probably the most recognised side scrolling shooter the world over. Realising that the gameplay is as good as ever Konami have decided to create a compilation of the series, called Gradius Collection. Are we excited? You better believe it.

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Let's just hope there's no slowdown.
Gradius Collection is a compilation of five beloved games in the Gradius series and available for the first time on the PSP. Spanning more than 20 years, the five games Gradius, Gradius II, Gradius III, Gradius IV, and the long awaited Gradius Gaiden, a Playstation title which has never been released outside Japan. In all this compilation promises to deliver hours of classic 2D shooting action on the go. The developers are including a variety of display modes including the original arcade orientation and widescreen PSP mode.

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Selecting the game to play.
One thing to note is that Gradius III in this collection is actually the ultra hard version, and not the dumbed-down SNES version which many people prefer (due to the reduced difficulty). Rounding out the package is a Gallery Mode where gamers can listen to the pumping music from each title and view movies and trailers from some of the original releases. If there's one downer it's that Konami haven't included any support for 2-player gaming. Why not use the PSP's Wi-Fi capabilities guys?

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Yet more mayhem.
Graphically the five games should be pretty much exact replicas of their arcade counterparts - the latter couple which really were, and still are, quite special. I would hope that there won't be any slowdown, but given the history of side scrolling shooters thats a feat we'll wait to judge with our own eyes first.

Konami and Atari Australia are currently aiming Gradius Collection for a September release - and we can't wait for it.