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2005.03.31

グラディウスⅡ

grdius2b

1988年にコナミから発表されたビデオゲームです。

本作がゲームセンターに登場した際の盛り上がりはかなり異常なものでした。マニアはもとよりその予備軍とも云える年少者たちが常に筐体の周りを取り囲みプレイしていたのです。人気作品ならばなかなか席が空かない事も珍しくはない時代ではありましたが、プレイヤーがこれほど躍起になって攻略しようとしていたゲームも少ないでしょう。
名作の名を冠した正規の続編と云う事と、先だって登場した「沙羅曼陀」の大ヒットを受けての事実と見てよいと思います。また、当時はセガの体感ゲームを始めとする大型筐体物が幅を効かせていたので、純粋なビデオゲームの大作に皆が飢えていたのかも知れません。

そうした期待に違わず本作は非常に素晴らしい完成度を誇り大ヒットしました。
当初はマニアの為だけの高難度ゲームと云う印象があったのですが、雑誌などから攻略法が流布するに従い一般プレイヤーも無理なく楽しめるようになりロングヒットを記録したのです。

私もそれなりに遊び十分楽しませてもらいましたが、実を云うとあまり好きな作品ではありません。
その理由は個人的な主観から生ずるセンスの不一致でした。「グラディウス」と「沙羅曼陀」にはあったグラフィカルな統一感が本作には乏しいと思わせるところに多少の嫌悪を抱いたからだと云えます。

しかしゲームとして評価するのなら本作が最も高い完成度を持っているとも認めています。
自機のパワーアップを4種類から選択出来る融通性。美しく多彩な面構成。素晴らしい音色のBGM。良く考えられた難易度……などなど素晴らしいところは幾らでも列挙出来るくらいです。

でも全体として何だかセンス悪いんですよねえ。逆に悪い部分を列挙すると……統一感のない面グラフィック。格好悪いキャラクター(特にボス敵)。種類によってバランスの悪いパワーアップ。単純に乗りの良い曲(志が低いか阿世している)。こちらも結構出て来ますね。

ゲームとして大変面白く纏まっているのだけれども全体の統一感が散漫な作品……と云うのが私の評価となってしまっています。面白いのだけれど格好悪い。これが為に当時はまっていた方のようには遊び込めなかったのだと思います。
しかし現在にプレイして見るとグラディウスシリーズの中で一番楽しめる作品なのは事実ですね。これ以上付け足すと蛇足になると云うぎりぎりの線で纏まっているように思います。
前作「グラディウス」に思い入れが強過ぎる為の偏見であるのかも知れません。改めてMAMEでやり込んで見ようかな……。

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