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Konami shooter games that took inspiration from the Gradius series

April 20, 2015

It's been a long time since the days of the 1980s when gaming was in its golden age. Where has the time gone? Out the door and into a newer generation as always, but that doesn't mean you can't relive the old days once again right? The one thing you never lose sight of, is the fire that you had when you were much younger. Once that is gone, then you really will be as "old as you feel".

Gaming is certainly no exception to the rule, and one of the biggest complaints I see from gamers who grew up during those same years is the fact that too many games on the market today are just rehashes of older games.

That brings up an important question. Has gaming gotten to a point to where the imagination has run dry? If so the industry is in a lot of trouble, because there will soon be a mass exodus of gamers who are moving into the same realm that I myself  have never left. Classic gaming.

Why? Because I personally believe that's when gaming was at its finest, and if companies don't start taking note and using what was "tried and true" during that era, they will suffer the same fate as so many other game companies that have already bitten the dust.

Thunder Cross 1 and 2 was a shining example of a game where Konami actually took inspiration from itself. Specifically from the Gradius series. Sure, it was done before with titles like Parodius, Salamander, and Xexex.

But Thunder Cross is one of those lost in time gems that many either forgot about, or never even knew about. At the time, similar games were using a new technique called "layered scrolling", which was considered a marvel to look at, both of which Thunder Cross 1 and 2 made significant use of.

The game music soundtrack was nothing short of spectacular, as it was released on a CD along with other hit titles like Ajax, Salamander, and of course Gradius II. Also the Konami IV collection had Thunder Cross 2 along with Golfing Greats and Crime Fighters 2.

Still, there was a reprint made in 1993, but neither Thunder Cross game has yet to see the light of day on any format such as PSN, Xbox Live, or Nintendo's Virtual Console for Wii or 3DS systems.

The only way to play it now is by way of actually owning the arcade cabinet itself, or arcade board and a jamma system setup, or by way of using what many other fans use, which is an emulator. Not that I will get into the details of that on this blog, but it should be apparent by now.

Other non-standard formats that you will find it in some fashion include the Pony Canyon Laserdisc, a vintage system that is pretty hard to find these days.

Speaking of which, here are both games using MAME as an instrument to show the entire game's play through so you can get an idea of how the power-up system works, which also makes use of the extra ship option you always see in traditional Konami shooter games.

Grab a drink and a snack, because it's time to relive your childhood once again, or experience it for the first time for newer generations who are looking for something challenging. Although not exactly within the realm of the latest cutting edge technology, which for some is starting to seem like more of a drag these days.

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