Galaga Legions (Xbox 360) review
"Galaga Legions has got to be one of the most handicapped shoot-em-ups I have ever played. Right from the very start, after your ship launches into space, the game will actually alert you to where every single formation will appear from. Hell, not only that, but it goes the extra distance to show you the path it'll first take when they appear on screen. But since your ship can only shoot in one direction (up), that should at least give you a semblance of a challenge, right? Well, a new add..."
Galaga Legions has got to be one of the most handicapped shoot-em-ups I have ever played. Right from the very start, after your ship launches into space, the game will actually alert you to where every single formation will appear from. Hell, not only that, but it goes the extra distance to show you the path it'll first take when they appear on screen. But since your ship can only shoot in one direction (up), that should at least give you a semblance of a challenge, right? Well, a new addition has been added to your space fighter in this sequel: two satellites. You can plant these two buggers anywhere on screen, pointing them in any of the four-way directions with your right analog stick. You can place one satellite in the upper-left corner, another in the center of the screen, and you can have your ship move freely about, destroying anything else those two miss. I mean, with all of this going for you right out of the gate, Galaga Legions must be one easy game to play through, eh?
Even with all these features to aid you in stopping the Galaga invasion, you'll still have a tough time making it through the game's five stages. These aren't your ordinary enemy formations that just pop up on screen, moving in predicable line patterns; these bastards appear with an absurd amount of speed, flying everywhere and way possible. You can destroy these formations the basic way by taking out every single enemy in the formation one by one, but it's highly discouraged. If you let them roam around too long, most of them will eventually lock-on to your ship. The best way to easily end a formation is by going for the weak spot. They look like yellow orbs, and are usually located at the beginning or end of an enemy formation. However, that's not always the case, especially later on in the game when the formations take on more insane appearances.
Oh, and don't think these formations just attack once or twice at a time. Well... they do at first, but after a minute or so, they come raining down on your ship with four or five formations, which is the norm for most of the game. To give you an ideal about how insane it gets, here's just a small example of what you'll be dealing with: after just entering Galaga territory in a certain stage, you'll have an onslaught of formations on the top of the screen, falling towards and shooting at your ship, forcing you to quickly destroy them before they get a chance to touch you. That's not the only thing you'll have to worry about as you take them out, because some of the destroyed formations will release a red orb that will dash down in the direction of your ship.
Once you're finished with them, you'll need to quickly align your ship to the center of the screen, because wall formations will come charging in from the top and bottom, and then the left and right sections of the screen. If you hit their weak spots in time, each wall will instantly be destroyed. And if not, then... you better be good with your dodging skills. You won't have time to rest (or any other moment in the game, actually) when you're done with those formations, because another giant formation will come down from the top. This one has multiple weak spots, which means it won't be instantly destroyed like the others. To make matters worse, this formation locks on to your ship, which means it'll follow you anywhere until you completely destroy it. Believe it or not, these are actually the more easier formations you'll have to deal with; there are much more hectic, crazier, screen-filling formations in this game.
If you haven't realized it by now, this is a memorization shmup. You're gonna die a lot. You'll be playing these stages over and over again until you know where these formations appear (even with the help of the "alerts", they're hard to predict at times) and how they move about the screen. It's not hard hard, like, say, Ikaruga, but it's hard enough that you'll be seeing the Game Over screen quite a bit. However, with some patience and practice, you'll get the hang of it, knowing where to shoot first and when to deploy your satellites in the right spots. It's really quite an enjoyable game despite the difficulty, and with all the colorful objects and all the other special effects that appear onscreen due to the insanity, it's quite a sight to see, as well. And if you're a score freak, then you're gonna try like crazy in both the Adventure (play all the stages in order) and Championship (only play a certain stage) modes to see how high you can get on the leaderboards.
Now, this has to be said: this ain't your father's Galaga. If you're going into this expecting it to play similarly to the original Galaga, then you're gonna be in for a rude awakening. Galaga Legions more resembles hectic, memorization shooters like Ikaruga, so, if you're a fan of those, definitely check this title out. However, if you're a fan of Galaga, I'd still recommend giving this a shot; it may be a different experience, but it's still a blast to play.
Community review by pickhut (August 25, 2008)
Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.
If you enjoyed this Galaga Legions review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!