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Galaga (Arcade) artwork

Galaga (Arcade) review


"Iíve always had a love for shooters, and thus, the arcade era of video gaming is what I consider to be the best times of my life in terms of gaming. A shooter, no matter how shallow it may be in depth, sometimes have the effect of that long-term addiction that refuses to let you put down your controller or stop putting in quarters. Unfortunately, I was one of those affected by that lust, so you can take a guess at where a good amount of my allowance went. "



Iíve always had a love for shooters, and thus, the arcade era of video gaming is what I consider to be the best times of my life in terms of gaming. A shooter, no matter how shallow it may be in depth, sometimes have the effect of that long-term addiction that refuses to let you put down your controller or stop putting in quarters. Unfortunately, I was one of those affected by that lust, so you can take a guess at where a good amount of my allowance went.

Unfortunately, my local arcade was pretty small, and it didnít have a lot of arcade classics. But it did have Galaga, designed by the highly acclaimed Namco and released in North America by Bootleg, and that was where a good percentage of my quarters went, followed up by Space Invaders. A couple of plays after a day of school eased any stressful problems that I had gathered during the day.

There is no story to Galaga, but shooters arenít exactly known for their stories. The only known premise of the story is that youíre a lone fighter in a spacecraft (with a couple of spare ships) who must drive off vast hordes and legions of evil space aliens known as the Galaga who are set to exterminate the Earth.

In a two-dimensional interface, youíre given a single weapon Ė the laser of limitless ammo. There exist three different enemies; the Hornet Fighter, the Moth Fighter, and the aptly-named Galaga Commander. The Hornet Fighters will swoop down to the lower part of the side where your fighter is located, and try to bomb you. The Moth Fighters will try to ram you or shoot from a distance. The Galaga Commander is also capable of shooting, and is the only unit able to use the Tractor Beam, which will hold one of your starships hostage.

Of course, that isnít the only threat in the game. At random times, a laser will come down from the top of the screen on the far right and far left sides of the screen. This surprise attack has more than once taken one of my fighters.

It is unfortunate to note that there are a few in-game glitches that have likely been exploited to rack up impossible scores, thus ruining the challenge of matching somebodyís score for some shooter fans. The most notable one is a glitch that causes the enemies to stop firing (Though the random laser wonít stop shooting).

Galaga utilizes no more than 12 colors at a rough estimate. Itís not exactly the best, and while the various units are distinguishable, the background is made up of a bunch of one-pixel stars that flash a lot. However, unlike aesthetics, the single sound track does complement the game well, and itís easily memorable to me. Also, the explosion effect actually sounds realistic.

Galaga is a cult game with lots of dedicated players. In fact, whereas in an average playthrough, one could garner around 500, 000 points, the world record is 15, 999, 990, and was done over a course of 9 hours. It saddens me that that arcade no longer exists, for while Galaga may lack in the graphical department, the rest of the game is a terrific experience. Itís a simple premise, but for me, itís a premise that could have lasted a lifetime of gaming.

Rating: 9/10

yamishuryou's avatar
Community review by yamishuryou (August 23, 2004)

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