90 is the R-Type Leo of the Konami series. That is to say, most
people haven't had the chance to play this one. With releases on
such consoles as the MSX and the Sharp X68000, and to my knowledge
no US port, Nem90 is quite a rarity.
MSX version has already been reviewed here on Shmups, so I'm not
going into much detail on this game. But needless to say the 68k
version has beautiful graphics, and killer gameplay that makes the
Gradius series what it is. From the title screen on, you can
see the attention to detail and expert use of the color palate,
taking full advantage of what the 68k has to offer. The jungle level
two has the best Gradius graphics I've seen so far, and that says
a lot for a game that is 7 years old.
again, the premise in this and the MSX version is that now you can
enter into a boss and steal its weapons. Before, I would opt not
to do this, since it makes the weapons bar larger and harder to
power up, but collecting all the boss weapons really gives you an
arsenal. Check out the reflex weapon, which shoots out Moai head
cheerios that move up and down with your ship!
I even got bonus levels somehow (shots 23-27) each complete with
a new boss! I think these are accessed by collecting the boss weapons,
but I'm not sure. They appear on the second trip back from Nemesis
(remember you have to go through this game twice to beat itů..)
Music on Nem90 is also tops, and the only gripe I have with this
game, and I had to look REAL hard, is the lack of a decent ending.
With such graphical feats on the levels, why couldn't we get a nice
HEY, the END BOSS IS ACTUALLY DIFFICULT! THIS ONE PUTS UP A FIGHT!