Shmups! We love them and we are not shy to admit it.The Super Nintendo always fell short to the lush number of shmup offerings present on the PC Engine, Mega Drive and even the NES / Famicom. Yet whisper Axelay in the wind and a wave of awe will overcome everyone.

However, today's news is in regard to another classic Konami shmup, the early arcade-to-SNES home conversion of Gradius III. True, it suffers from slowdown when the screen gets crowded - a common complain among earlier Super Nintendo titles - but at least such slowdown was also present in the original arcade game and it actually makes the game easier by increasing your odds of survival when the screen gets filled with danger.

Gradius III has now become the very first shmup on Super Nintendo to receive a MSU-1 audio digital enhancement patch, a joint effort between the usual suspects (PepilloPEV, Conn and Kurrono) and you can sample the end results in the gameplay clip below.


There are, as of time of writing, three different sound packs available to download, featuring several CD quality Gradius series soundtracks, including the original arcade cabinet FM soundtrack if you fancy a more arcade accurate aural experience. All of them provide an excellent excuse to replay this stellar game.

Hopefully this is just the first SNES shmup to get this special treatment. Other obvious candidates include the aforementioned Axelay, Space Megaforce / Super Aleste, UN Squadron / Area 88, Sonic Wings / Aerofighters, Super R-Type, R-Type 3, Darius Twin, Darius Force, Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie, the Parodius trilogy, Pop'n Twin Bee, Phalanx... erm, are we sure the SNES had the weakest shmup selection of all 4th generation hardware?! Perhaps we were misled...

Blow up the comments section below with your favourite shmup memories.