Welcome to Cover Art! A section of the site where we look at a retro video game’s box cover art and briefly discuss it’s gameplay and legacy.
Gradius III is a shmup (shoot-em-up) developed by Konami, originally for arcades and later, for the SNES. It was a US Super Nintendo launch released in August of 1991.
Considered by many to be one of the hardest games of all time, Gradius III pits you in outer space combat against the Bacterion Empire. None of that matters as the brutal difficulty of Gradius III is what makes it stand out. It’s gameplay is notably unique from other shooters in the genre since Gradius uses a power up system which lets you decide which upgrades you’ll get progressively. Furthermore, Gradius III features one of the most memorable game soundtracks on the SNES. If you couldn’t tell, I really love Gradius III. The SNES version available for Nintendo’s Wii Virtual Console and the arcade version was released on the PS2 and PSP.