Gradius II is a conversion from Hard Puncher, one of only 2 boxing games I have in my collection and unfortunately I am a lover not a fighter.On paper, the Konami Twin 16 hardware is a monster...two 68000 processors and multiple sound controller chips and in some ways, I am impressed with the result.
Here you can see how much arcade board estate has been reduced from the conversion. Mon Ami has really outdone himself this time. I was giggling like a little girl when I opened it up and saw the result.
The backside of the board is equally impressive.
I always felt Konami arcade game colour palate are rather flat, but this game ups the colour use quite a bit. Also the title screen is pretty epic.
Apart from Asteroid, I think Gradius II pays homage to rock (ahem, space ice...) blasting as a source of tension and demonstrating the fact you need firepower to get anywhere in this game. Sorry folks, no Konami code available here.
Here I am playing my second ever credit on this game. While I was playing I noticed the announcer absent from the game so I have since sent the board back to check on a controller chip in the sound section of the board. And until that time, I shall wait another day to "Shoot the core!".
The second game I got back was my fixed In the Hunt from Irem. It was in a pretty bad condition when I first received it, dressed in cobwebs and possible humid storage conditions. I was surprised it even powered up and play. Alas, the sprites were faulty having at least 1 bad layer of scrolling tiles that is present on the title screen, intermission screens and also explosion animation. It was a nightmare to fix as it seems the problem all lies on the CPU section of the board.
As luck with have it, a faulty Major Title 2 board has been on sale in the local auctions for the price of a meal for 2 in KFC. I bought it for Mon Ami without hesitation as I was feeling like a lucky punk that day.
The gamble paid off and now I have a working In the Hunt board. Thank god M92 CPU and ROM boards are interchangeable, I salute you IREM engineers!
Let's go hunting! In a great twist of irony, it is the enemies that is hunting the player.
Not since Metal Slug that so much emphasis is placed on the animation of firepower.
To be honest, I really suck in this game. I need a bit more time getting use to the pace as the screen only scrolls as fast as the player.