So it all boils down to this… 2-2 after four gruelling rounds of 8-bit action, the fate of the Master System and NES hinges on this final battle. A battle to end all battles? Possibly. Choose your favourite 8-bit shooter from the nominees thus:
UKNESBoy chooses… Gradius! (NES)
The NES wasn’t known for perfect ports of arcade games but one game that broke the mould was Konami’s version of Gradius. Starting out with a slow clunky ship, you work your way up with more powerful weapons and shields.
It offers the player difficult decisions – bulk up your defence, or making a strong attack your best form of defence? There is no local co op but when your back is against the wall, bullets and ships all around you sometimes you realise how better off you are on your own with just your reflexes. A must have on NES.
Arcade Attack chooses… R-Type! (Master System)
The MS isn’t renowned for its shoot-em-ups, which is a crying shame because it all started out so well. The iconic R-Type with graphics inspired by H.R. Giger is one of the all-time classics and this 8-bit port was quite the achievement.
Retaining the fast-paced action of the other ports, the graphics and sound stretch the capability of the MS to its limit – and this was in the late 80s! Many of the enjoyable power-ups from previous versions are also available – including the force pod (you know what I’m talking about!) Excellent collision detection, big baddies, with only occasional blurring = one hell of a game.
So there you have it – cast your vote and decide the outcome of the first ever (and by no means last) 8-bit battle.
And the winner is… Gradius! 28 votes to 27!