The History of Gradius and How It Produced a Number of Similar Spinoff Games

Turning back the clock to 1985, when Gradius first started out as a stand alone arcade game. It looked like a typical side scrolling shooter at first, but upon playing it, was much more than that. Gradius had a unique type of power up menu system, such as option, laser, missile, and force field. The menu was accessed by obtaining pill type icons when you destroy certain types of ships. The release of Gradius on the Nintendo 8-bit system also help give birth to the original Konami code that was used to get full fire power in Gradius, and as it also gave 30 lives in Contra. As time went on, the sequel to Gradius, simply called Gradius II, mostly shined on the arcade format, as others didn't live up to the game graphic wise. There would also be greater improvements when Gradius 3 was developed, but there were also issues with slowdown.

If you remember the bubble stage, Gradius 3 suffered horribly from a slow CPU and made the game less playable for some, although it's been said that the slow down issue made it easier to get through it all. Gradius IV didn't even see the light of day until exactly 10 years later, and it also lacked the weapon editing function of past Gradius games, however it did have a greater amount of weaponry to use within the game itself. It made Gradius have a new turning point in its history, something new to the series. Gradius V didn't make the scene until a few years later when the Playstation 2 was at its height in popularity, and thus introduced a new 3D type setting environment, although much of the game flow had stayed within a 2D realm, as Gradius has always shined in.

To this day there hasn't been a follow up to Gradius V, but between its birth back in 1985 up until now, there have been other Gradius adventures, such as the Game Boy Advance and other lesser systems. It was basically spinoffs between now and then that took after the Gradius series. Games like Salamander, or some of you may know it by another name, which is LifeForce. Salamander was a different twist to Gradius, in that it had both horizontal and vertical type stages added to it, that was likely a first in shoot em up history. The weapon upgrade system was almost identical to the Gradius series, as it had the same options, except Salamander had a few others, such as Ripple.

The last somewhat of a spinoff took place with the Parodius series. I say "series" because there was more than one of them, and it took on a whole new meaning in terms of how Gradius games have always looked. Parodius had more of a cartoon type graphic setting that seemed weird by comparison. The weapon upgrade system also was slightly different from Gradius, but was for the most part the same basic concept. Nemesis was a spinoff that marked the first time in Gradius history that a portable hand held version of Gradius could now be played, and also borrowed elements from previous Gradius games to boot.

Where is the Gradius game franchise headed to nowadays? No one really knows except for Konami games development, and a new Gradius game hasn't really been produced since the birth of Gradius V back in 2004, almost a decade ago. Only lesser systems like Mobile devices and Nintendo's WiiWare system have seen a rebirth of Gradius, and it seems in the past few years Gradius has yet to make a comeback. I predict that given the time, Konami will see to it's resurrection.

Borderlands 2 Review

Back in 2009 a relatively small developer named Gearbox announced that they'd be releasing a game called Borderlands. No one really knew what to expect. I know I didn't. I remember hearing about the game all that year and I didn't want to get too hyped up, just to be disappointed. But I was pleasantly surprised by the final game, a very addictive loot-based shooter. Wow, I never thought I'd ever say that. Why? Well because those two really don't go hand in hand. Luckily, Gearbox found a way to melt down what makes both Halo and Diablo so successful. You had the polished first person shooter game play of Bungie's baby, and the incredible sense of wonder while you're looting creatures like Blizzard's game Diablo.

So with a game so good, it wasn't a surprise that Gearbox decided to develop another entry in the Borderlands series. One of the first game's faults was that the areas were too bland- you were literally stuck in a desert the whole entire time. Luckily that issue is resolved in the second game. There's plenty of varied terrain to blast away bugs, skags and general psychopaths. We also got a slew of all new playable characters.

In the first game you had four very different and outlandish classes to play as. This one is no different. The only class that plays radically differently is the Assassin class, also known as Zer0. What makes him different is the fact that his melee attacks are generally useful. I went with this specialization throughout the game, and it was very different to play as a guy who's meant to slice and dice rather than use one of the bajillion guns in the game.

Actually, that's one of the game's many strong points: the vast array of weapons. Most of the time you'll find some common trashy ones but sometimes you'll catch a break and pick up something truly amazing. At one point I had a gun that talked back to me every time I reloaded or zoomed in. Yeah, sure, eventually it got a little old but I couldn't help but chuckle every time he said something off the wall.

If you played the first one, then of course you'll recognize the outlandish sense of humor. In fact, I think it's possibly one of the funniest video games ever made. The main adversary Handsome Jack is deviously hilarious with his off-putting sense of destruction. He makes for a way better bad guy than in the previous game. Every time I saw him pop up on the top right of my screen I knew there was going to be something worth listening to.

Not everything is perfect. There are some really, really mundane missions. There definitely could have been a little bit more variety when it came to quests at hand. You'll fight through an area, come to a big open spot and you'll no doubt be encountering the boss of that area. Sure, the boss might have something humorous about him but when every other quest is a kill mission you might expect a little bit more of a unique way to get to him.

That's another gripe I had with this game: the traveling system. With such a big game space to play in, I would have thought they would try and polish the driving mechanics in this game. Though not terrible, the vehicles seem to always be driving with soap-covered wheels. It's just not responsive enough for such a polished game- the only change that they've given them is that they're able to use an emergency break which in many cases just leads to more problems. That's one of the gripes I had with the first game but there were minimal changes to it with this sequel. Luckily, you won't find yourself in any vigorous vehicle missions.

Finally, I need to touch upon the amazing cooperative mode. This game is truly made to be played with your friends on PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. Sure, it's fun to just blast around with random people but if you actually know the guys you're playing with you won't have to worry about random jerks stealing all your loot. I just wish they had some sort of loot based system like some of the Massively Mutliplayer games out there. Maybe a need before greed loot system or something. Other than that, the multiplayer is great and was essentially lag free every time I loaded it up.

If you're only going to get a couple of games this year, I would highly recommended picking up Borderlands 2. It's well worth the price tag, and you'll have endless amounts of fun destroying baddies and looting the many interesting weapons in the game. There are plenty more triple-A titles coming out this year but if you want a for sure thing right now, pick up Gearbox's latest. You'll be making the right decision.

Tom and Jerry Games

Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse have been a source of entertainment not only for children, but also adults for years. You most likely used to watch them in a highly aggressive competitive situation during your childhood. Now your children look captivated with these humorous and entertaining enemies. You are amused with thrilling episodes of these cartoons on TV, but now all your family members can enjoy it all day, 24/7 on the internet in the form of exhilarating flash games. You can enjoy these games online, for free, and can help Jerry pain, round up cheese, or even play ice ball. A number of games can be chosen and your child or even you can surely be entertained for hours up till end.

In recent years, many people have criticized the Tom and Jerry hinges on cartoon violence. Fortunately, that ostensible violence seems baseless as compared to boisterous fun provided by the online flash games based on the cat and mouse. Now you don't need to worry as your kids will be engaged for hours and you can have rest for sure that the fun is really amazing and harmless.

As these games are absolutely free, you won't need to pay for the entertainment of your kids. There are exactly hundreds of titles for your choice, all officially licensed by Hanna Barbera. There's Tom and Jerry: Cat Crossing, Super Cheese Bounce, and Robin Hood Challenge, to name a few. Some other characters include Spike and Tyke, and of course, Mrs. Jerry Cat. You can choose any title from the above. Definitely your children will not miss a single moment of action in games like Run Jerry Run, and Refriger-raiders. With this set of games, you'll be really contented and delighted to have your kids engaged with some fun and entertainment for the whole day.

Tom and Jerry seldom speak, as you may have noticed, so you don't need to worry about your kids turning up the volume of your computer too loud to disturb you while playing the free online games. Of course, these games are incomplete without showing some frolic and tramp mishaps, so the kids will certainly want to increase the sound up for that.

The reality is that you will also play some of the online flash games like your kids do because the fun and entertainment of popular cat and mouse will grab your attention but you might not let on to your kids. The world of online Tom and Jerry flash games provides something for everyone and it will not be troublesome for you and your kids to play. Various puzzle, strategy and adventure games provide amusement and laughter for the whole family.

So set out on the web right now to entertain yourself and your kids with free online games. If you just try a little bit, you'll definitely find something for everyone. These modern games show the strident pair of enemies in all their usual slap and stick action while keeping a check on the violent elements. You will see your kids helping Tom and Jerry outwit one another or even join together as a team to take down Spike the Bulldog one more time. With thrilling puzzles and strategy games, fun is surely endless. So it's the time to step in the exciting world of these online games, you'll love the choices and your kids will think that you are the coolest and best parents around just for helping them get online to play games.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiplayer Online Games

Online gamings nowadays are indeed very popular especially to the youth of today's generation. Thousands of online games are now wide spread at the circles of the World Wide Web. An online game only requires a computer network, which is the internet, through a personal computer or a video game console that can be linked into other players on the web. This proves that typically, online gaming is a means for linking players together instead of the usual pattern of playing games. As what have stated, one of the benefits that online gaming offers is to connect to multiplayer games.

Multiplayer games are games played by more than one person by means of a computer and an internet connection which allows players to play in similar game setting at the same time. It serves as an avenue for players to benefit from interactions with another person by either as forming of a joint venture or competition. This also allows them to have a form of social communication.

Advantages of Multiplier Online Games

· Promotes Association

Multiplayer games allow players to build their own networks of alliance. This promotes interaction within the players since they need to support each other in order to win the game. This will also allow players to build teamwork in order to attain victory.

· Boost Self Reliance

Multiplayer online games will also contribute in boosting one's self confidence since this type of gaming not only limited for forming groups or teams but as well as in developing competition within each player. This will entice each to do better as reward points are still given individually to those players who show off throughout the game.

· Improves Social Interaction Capacity

Since this permits alliances and competition, this will surely improve a player's social interaction capacity as it allows supervision of co-players activity, resources and skills. Players will also be required to communicate with one another in order to achieve a common goal or have a good fight.

· Most exciting game experience

Multiplayer gaming will promise you to practice a more exciting game experience since you are now dealing or fighting with other individual unlike in a typical one-player game which only put up a fight between you and the computer. Having an alive competitor or partner will entice you think of strategies and techniques to achieve your goal.

Disadvantages of Multiplier Online Games

· Requires long hours of playing

Since you are playing with multiple other players, you cannot just stop from playing because this will affect the network. Typically, this will require you to play in long hours depending also o your co-players playing the game.

· Incurs health hazards

Due to the long hours of playing, numerous health problems may be acquired such as eye or carpel tunnel syndrome, poor postures and severe stress on joints and nerves. Everybody should be aware that there are real health hazards involve in spending too much time in front of the computer.

The modern technology truly makes twists on typical online games which are, as what can be observed, widely accepted by this generation. With the advantages and disadvantages stated above, it is now for you to decide whether you would like to engage in or practice multiplayer games.

Top 5 80s Arcade Games

I can remember looking forward to going to the local convenience store as a kid to play the latest arcade games in the 1980's. My friends and I would dig up as many quarters as we could find and spend countless hours playing these ground breaking games. The late 70' and early 80's were known as the "golden age" of the arcade game industry. These games reached mainstream popularity during this time in part because of new types of game play involving hand-eye coordination, skill, timing and shooting things as fast as possible. The arcade game industry reached its peak in 1982 by generating $8 billion in quarters, equal to $18.5 billion in 2011! These are our top 5.

5. Defender

I remember this being an extremely hard game although very challenging and entertaining to play. The object of the game is to fight waves of invading aliens while protecting astronauts on an alien planet. Any astronauts that are captured by the aliens come back as mutants to attack you. If you failed to protects the astronauts, the planet would explode and become full of mutants. Defender earned high praise for its audio and video and was listed as the number six arcade game in technical, creative, and cultural impact by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008. It is noted as being one of the most difficult games in the industry, utilizing a joystick and five other buttons in order to play. Defender sold 60,000 hardware units and generated gross revenues of $1 billion through 2002.

4. Ms. Pac-Man

Coming in at number 4 is the girlfriend of the original Pac-Man with 125,000 hardware units sold. Although she never got her man, she managed to entertain millions of people around the world. She was also a television star, appearing in the Pac-Man animated TV series where she played Pepper, Pac-Man's wife. The object of the game was to eat all the pellets and avoid the ghosts to score as many points as possible. Eating certain power pellets allowed her to eat the ghosts and there were also fruit bonuses that when consumed would increase point value. As you reach higher levels, the ghosts move faster and the energy pellets change the ghosts for less time. Ms. Pac-Man wears a little red bow and scenes of her and Pac-Man's relationship are shown during intermissions between levels. One other noteworthy feature that differs from the original Pac-Man game is that the orange ghost is named Sue, instead of Clyde. The game is said to have 256 levels but obviously I have never made it that far!

3. Donkey Kong

This was one of my ultimate favorites to play as a kid. The game was groundbreaking for its time and featured an ape, a damsel in distress and an Italian plumber playing out a wacky storyline. Mario, a carpenter, runs up platforms and climbs ladders at a construction site while the ape named Donkey Kong throws barrels at him. Mario must also dodge fire and other obstacles to get to the top of the platforms and rescue the damsel being held by the grouchy Donkey Kong. Mario became Nintendo's flagship character and spawned several different game sequels. Nintendo originally wanted to make a Popeye comics game but could not get a license for him. They decided to develop their own characters and created a love triangle between an ape, a carpenter, and a girlfriend, that was similar to the love triangle between Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl. Donkey Kong was created in 1981 and sold 132,000 hardware units and generated $280 million through 1982.

2. Space Invaders

This is probably one of the most addictive games I have ever played. When it eventually came out on Atari 2600, my friends and I would play it for hours on end. The game consists of a laser canon at the bottom of the screen that moves from side to side while you shoot at waves of approaching alien invaders. After shooting the first wave of aliens, the remaining ones begin to approach much faster. Soon the aliens begin firing back and there are bunkers you can move beneath to avoid their fire. Eventually the bunkers are destroyed by the aliens firing at them which make the game all the more challenging. The sound effects are eerily exciting as you play. Although this game was released in 1978, we decided to include it in this list because of its impact on the video gaming industry. It was so advanced for its time and was almost solely responsible for expanding the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry. It sold 360,000 hardware units and generated $2.7 billion in gross revenues.

1. Pac-Man

This was the grandaddy of them all! What made Pac-Man so popular was its appeal to both genders. While many of the early games involved space and aliens, Pac-Man was a game almost anyone could enjoy regardless of what their interests were. It was basically the same concept as Ms. Pac-Man except it was released before her. The object was to eat all the pellets and avoid the ghosts to score as many points as possible. The ghost's movements are preset and were given their own distinct personalities to help keep the game interesting. The red ghost chases Pac-Man and the pink and blue ghosts try to get in front of Pac-Man. The orange ghost, Clyde, chases Pac-Man but moves towards the lower left corner of the screen when it gets too close to him. The game has 255 levels but a bug in the programming keeps you from going past that. Pac-Man is one of the highest grossing games of all time. It boasts 400,000 hardware units sold with gross revenues of $3.5 billion!