welcome to episode #2 of fred's adventures in 8-bit gaming. gradius is a classic. it's a side-scroller, and you're a ship that as you go along gets more and more decked out with extra speed, shields, missiles, and lasers. you have to shoot various mechanical-looking enemies and dodge their variously-shaped projectiles to, i suppose, save the world. the game gets pretty tough, but one of the best features is an upgrade, similar to in galaga, where you get an enhancement that acts like an additional ship and doubles your firepower. in gradius you can get up to two of these at one time which is totally the high point of the game, although apparently in the arcade version you can get even more. yet another NES game that's gotten me completely hooked and has me looking forward to the sequels.


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