Konami / Ultra Games (1990)
I can still remember that Christmas in 1989 when I first got my Nintendo Game Boy. I was in heaven. Tetris and Baseball were the games that kept me busy at first. Then I found myself walking down the aisle of my local Toys R Us store and I came across the game called Nemesis.
The box art alone really captivated me. It looked oh so familiar, but why? It wasn't until after I bought the game and got home to play it that I realized this was somehow related to a game I had on my NES, Gradius. I think that Gradius/Lifeforce/Nemesis were my first introduction to the shmup genre. I never would have guessed back then that this game would hold up so well or that I'd become a huge fan of that genre.
If you can't tell, I'm playing this game on my Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Player. Nemesis is a fairly good version of the Gradius game. Some changes were made to the level design, but it features the same game play.
I haven't played this game in a long time and this was probably the first time I've played the game using a GameCube controller. I found that it was easier to use the D pad over the analog stick which surprised me. Perhaps it was just muscle memory from all those years playing the game on the actual Game Boy hardware.
I prefer vertical scrolling shooters, but I've always enjoyed the Gradius series of games. Perhaps the power up system of collecting orbs and choosing what upgrade I want to activate and when I want to activate it. Of course this system can be a double edged sword. What I mean by that is you can level yourself to be quite powerful, only to lose it all when your ship takes that one lone stray bullet.
On my play through the other day, I hate to admit but I got my butt handed to me! Maybe it was because I was still trying to use the analog stick to control the game or maybe it's just because I was rusty. Either way the game still holds up well. The ship's graphics are small, but look at the detail on this boss! Not too bad for a game released in 1990. Nemesis may not be the best shooter, but its a worthy addition to anyone's collection.