Galaga Legions DX mini-review
Okay, I’ll make this a fast review.
Just like Pac-Man before it, Galaga recently got an upgraded version (called Galaga Legions), one that added new and fun elements to the Galaga concept and brought it to the modern age in a fun but still classic package that anyone can love. And now comes the upgrade to the upgrade. Pac-Man Championship Edition was a great Pac-Man game with a nice twist on the old gameplay, but the DX edition did so much more and was so much more fun, so I couldn’t wait for the DX edition of Galaga Legions, since the normal Galaga Legions, while sort of fun, was missing a certain something.
So read on and see if DX gives Legions what it needed!
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Date of Release: August 2nd 2011 (PSN), July 13th 2011 (XBLA)
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Twin-stick shooter
Rated E for everyone
At its basics, Galaga Legions DX is a twin-stick shooter. Move with the left analog stick, aim with the right analog stick. The only other control here is the R1 button, which changes the formation of your guns and the way you aim.
The basic goal of every level is simple: kill enemies as fast as possible to rack up a high score. Each “Area” is split in 5 “Levels”, each having its own amount of “Waves”. Almost every wave will eventually just leave the screen if you give it enough time, so really you can clear any area in the game by just surviving for a few minutes. But that’s no fun! You might as well be shooting stuff for those 5 minutes.
So here you have a few enemy types: classic Galaga enemies, blocks, Galaga Leaders, bombs and a variety of mid-bosses and bosses. To clear out each wave, you have to kill every enemy. There’s the classic “just shoot everything” way, but that’s time-consuming. The better way is to target the high-rank enemies. Galaga Leaders are stuck to a set of galagas, and destroying the leader will destroy the pack. Midbosses and bosses are interesting, as killing all the ones on-screen will destroy every normal enemy as well. Sometimes getting TO the bosses/midbosses isn’t clear-cut, but some waves have bombs coming in, which can either blow up vertically or horizontally, killing every enemy in the explosion (you’re immune to that though). Another option is to stay really close to enemies, since the closer to your guns the enemies are, the faster your guns will shoot (a standard classic shooter gameplay mechanic). Sometimes enemy formations are placed in such ways that you might want to shoot at multiple angles at the same time. By pressing R1, your guns will shoot at different angles (or reset back to shooting in the direction you’re aiming only), which can help clear out certain waves faster. Also, if you’re close to getting hit, the action will slow down (though the timer won’t), so you can get out of the way fairly easily. This is a great feature, since you’d probably die a lot otherwise.
When you’ve cleared out a level’s last wave, the time you have remaining goes to level 5, so, the faster you clear out each level, the more time you have to build up a high score in level 5. Level 5 is always pretty interesting. It always starts up with a black hole-like object, that enables you to capture Galaga to aid you, and adds 2 more guns to your ship. The galaga go behind you and will basically act as extra guns, though they can be destroyed by bullets or by touching enemies. If you set your guns to shoot at an angle, you can pretty much have bullets covering the screen (though the damage output on single targets is lowered a lot). Since you have more firepower, you can clear out more waves at a faster rate, racking up more points, up to a maximum of 99 waves (which I’m convinced isn’t possible, or maybe I just suck at the game, despite being placed number 50 in the rankings at the moment of this writing).
This game looks great. It’s generally really easy to see what’s going on and to see everything on screen without any of it being obscured. There’s tons of stuff going on at all times, but it’s almost never overwhelming, other than in the final area where it SHOULD be a bit overwhelming, and even then a bit of practice will get you through. One thing I love here is that, like in Pac-Man CE DX, you can choose the visual style of the game, and there’s a nice amount of choices, including the obvious classic sprites. The backgrounds could be a bit more varied though, most levels just look the same.
The sound is nice too, the sound cues are pretty good at helping the player out when it comes to knowing what’s going on. There’s also a lot of music cues reminiscent of the classic game. No problem here either.
I love this game. The score-oriented gameplay gives it near infinite replay value especially if you want to reach the top of the leaderboards (the game has problems updating the leaderboards on-the-fly though, so you may have to reset to see how high you are in the rankings). The gameplay is incredibly fun and engaging, and makes sure to never bore you. The presentation is top-notch. And it’s a HUGE update to the first Galaga Legions, which frankly wasn’t that great. Pick it up!
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