Logarithmic action. That cryptic label was how Sega defined Gain Ground, their 1988 action-strategy hybrid. And the more I play it, the more accurate that description becomes in my mind. Gain Ground combines the cold logic of strategic planning with the fiery tradition of arcade action. It’s a wholly unique game, rewarding and often misunderstood.
As I took the Vic Viper across burning suns and lava-born dragons I began to realize the scope of the adventure unfolding before me. Gradius II is a game of blinking lights in computerized bases and dodging lasers in asteroid belts, a story in which large mechanical enemies are defeated through quick reflexes and sheer force of will.