Released in Japanesearcades as "Gradius IV Fukkatsu" (Fukkatsu being Japanese for "resurrection"), Gradius IV was the first Gradius game ported to the PlayStation 2. IV lacked the Weapon Edit function of its predecessor, but it had a bigger array of weaponry than the original Gradius games. Released on the PS2 as a compilation pack together with the arcade version of Gradius III. ("Gradius III & IV").
You control a spaceship with which you use to fly through space and several different types of terrain, blasting at spaceships, aliens, organisms, and armaments. You collect power-up pods that you can use to activate power-ups such as speed, bombs, double-shots, lasers, options, and shields. At the end of the level there is a boss creature that you must defeat to continue on to the next level.