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Zunou Senkan Galg (NES) artwork

Zunou Senkan Galg (NES) review


"The diva sees you struggling, curls her fat lips into a smug smile, and makes another demand. “Oh, and do that without continues,” she says with a sassy shake of her hips. You get three lives in ZSG and not a single continue. It demands that you grab 100 pieces from a potential 100 or more levels without getting a single game over, and with only one hit per life. "



Some games are like divas. They can be pushy, unreasonable and demanding of ridiculous tasks. The old school shmup Zunou Senkan Galg is like that from the start. First thing ZSG does is demand you grab 100 pieces of a weapon so you can destroy the mysterious antagonist Dragg. You might think there's some easy way to do this, as if pieces are constantly coming down the screen at you, but the stone cold reality should hit you after about the fifth part or so: there's only one piece per level. Remembering this handy skill called math, that puts us at 100 levels. It's then that you hit the power button or click on the cute little X at the top right hand corner of your emulator and move on to bigger and better games.

But being the dutiful assistant in this relationship, you just can't let the diva down. You decide to tolerate all 100 of those levels, come hell or high blood pressure. You swoop in and grab five, six, seven pieces and everything's going fine until the diva makes another demand: she wants you to dodge rain drops. That screen that started off reasonable enough is soon filled to capacity with waffles, sperms, lightbulbs, and depressed Walmart logos, and eventually their projectile. Enemies come in massive swarms with bullets flying at you from every angle, leaving you little room at all between shots and sometimes even cornering you. This might be a doable task were it not for the slightly loose controls, causing you to accidentally fly into the wall and quite often into enemies or shots. I can't count the number of times I crashed into a plain vertical wall just because I wasn't able to gauge my ship's speed and position correctly in relation to all the stimuli on the screen.

The diva sees you struggling, curls her fat lips into a smug smile, and makes another demand. “Oh, and do that without continues,” she says with a sassy shake of her hips. You get three lives in ZSG and not a single continue. It demands that you grab 100 pieces from a potential 100 or more levels without getting a single game over, and with only one hit per life.

Perhaps the biggest demand is that you do it all without losing interest. Either the challenge will scare you off or the cheap development. It's understandable for games from 1985 to feel primitive, but ZSG goes the distance. You have to battle through only three different environments--a river, what looks like a cross between a boiler room and a tiled bathroom wall, and outer space with flickering stars and intermittent floating pieces of pipework and machinery that all look slapped together--none of which have anything remotely interesting about them. Meanwhile, you listen to the same droning, irritating music loop over and over again. There are no power ups or items or anything that enhances your ship or your shots. You go about it with the same, dull, straightforward gameplay from start to finish. After 30 levels you head back to the river and the cycle stars a new. All to be done for roughly 100 levels. Many would call this game vanilla, but that's an insult to a delicious, yet uninteresting flavor; try cardboard.

If you value your free time, you'll tell that diva to get bent and find yourself a real job. Sure, there's an invincibility code that makes ZSG doable, but who wants to play 100 or more levels with zero challenge? Bottom line, there are far better games and even better shmups out there, ones that have a more stable difficulty and interesting gameplay. Life's too short to play awful games or take unreasonable demands from stuck up divas. Give this game the finger and walk out on it. You'll only be doing yourself a favor.

Rating: 2/10

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (March 10, 2011)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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overdrive posted March 10, 2011:

You win the Overdrive Masochist of the Week award!!!

This is a tough game to stomach, isn't it?
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JoeTheDestroyer posted March 10, 2011:

No kidding. This game should be outlawed as a cruel form of torture. Thankfully, I was able to stop playing. I never did get all the way to Dragg.

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