Saturday, August 23, 2008

Galaga Legions Review

Hey guys, just finished a review for the latest XBLA title, Galaga Legions. It's up at the classic site. Enjoy.

I will also probably be doing a bit of a review type feature on current iPhone games, so stay tuned for that.
UPDATE (3/22/10) VFH Classic is dead:

After more than 20 years, we finally have a new Galaga game, entitled Galaga Legions for the XBLA. The game follows the standard Galaga formula, with wave after wave of enemies attacking, although there are a few new things thrown in to give the game a fresh new angle.

The standard Galaga game simply had the waves of enemies approach, and go back to the top of the screen, and then drop some bombs on you while you shot them down. This game plays a bit differently. For starters, not only can you shoot, but you can set up two satellites that will shoot as well, which are easily placed by using the L thumb-stick. The direction in which you move the stick is the direction in which the satellite will face and shoot and they will be placed at the spot in where you move the stick. You can also call back the satellites to your side by pressing the L shoulder button.

Placement of these satellites is key and the main strategic point of the game. Before a Galaga army attacks, a blue line will outline their movement pattern and then an orange square will show a little warning of where exactly they will come from. This is your chance to place those satellites in appropriate positions. Obviously, you can place them again and again, but getting them set up before the enemy shows up is much easier in destroying them. Also, each Galaga formation contains a special enemy ship, and if that ship is destroyed, the entire formation explodes, so taking those ships out before you get overwhelmed is also your priority.

The game contains two modes, each of which contains the same areas. The first is an Adventure mode, which lets you play through all five areas, if you can survive that long that is. You will always start on the first area and try to make it all the way through. Unfortunately, there is only one difficulty level and no continues, so if you aren’t good enough to beat it, you are out of luck. The other mode is Champion mode, where you can choose from any of the five areas and play through it to try to get a high score. Also, there is no multiplayer mode of any kind, so that is a bit of a downer.

To make the game easier though, there is an option for auto-fire, so your ship and satellites will be constantly firing, however this will obviously be detrimental to your combo, so if you want a high score, you may want to turn this feature off, although of course it is good for beginners.

Aside from those main modes, there are also a few short tutorials to teach you about the combo system and how to use the satellites effectively and other such things. There is also a demo mode, which is just a video of the computer playing, which of course is quite impressive and allows you to further see how things should be done. There is also a replay feature where you can watch a replay of your previous game.

The graphics are pretty flashy and at first, disorienting, but once you get the hang of the game and realize how everything works, you can figure out what is happening, although it is very possible to lose your ship in all the madness going on, making it difficult to avoid enemy ships and attacks and survive. Ships explode in a multitude if little particles, and the background has lots going on in a space-type environment. There is also a cool option to change the skins of the game, which just change the ships. You have the new look, the vintage arcade Galaga look, and the original Galaxian skin, all of which have been updated to look shiny and flashy, and are really cool. The music is semi-techno, but not very obtrusive or intense, and it stays fairly static throughout the game making it less and less noticeable, but it goes with the gameplay well.

Overall, the game is a decent space-shooter, which stays true to its roots, I guess. The additions and revisions made to Legions have been done to make the game more exciting and strategic, and I would say that they have been done wisely, as they mix things up a bit from other shooters, which are abundant. For 800 MS points, you are getting five stages, each lasting around 5-10 minutes, and you will of course have to play them again and again before you truly master them. If you like these types of games, then you will enjoy Galaga Legions, however, if you don’t, this one won’t by any means change your mind.

Posted in cooperation with GamersPlatform


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