Everyone remembers the good old days of arcade gaming, right? Yes? Good, because way back in 1981 the old school gaming legends that are Namco Bandai released a now timeless classic called Galaga. Skip ahead 27 years to 2008 and they released Galaga Legions, the same game at heart, just with a fresh new name, graphics, gameplay and (obviously) a new platform! Both games were huge hits when they came out, but now we’re in 2011 and Namco Bandai have dusted off the franchise once again. Will their latest release, Galaga Legions DX, follow the path of its predecessors?
Game: Galaga Legions DX
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Available on: Xbox LIVE Arcade (Coming soon to the PlayStation Network)
My first impressions of Galaga Legions DX were pretty good, it’s cheap, cheerful, hardly breaking the bank at 800 MS points on the Xbox LIVE Arcade and it has the feel of a nice re-injection of life into an old classic (think Pac-Man C.E.). This stayed true for about the first 25 or so minutes of play, however, after that point it became woefully repetitive! Now while I understand it’s a remake of a 1981 classic, which may have had 255 levels, this is 2011 and we expect games to keep us interested way past the half hour mark!
Having said that, its repetitiveness is really the only major flaw I could find with Galaga Legions DX and to their credit, Namco Bandai have added a new Time Attack mode (alongside the Championship Mode added in Galaga Legions) to try and slap a bit of replay value into the game. It actually work as well, as after completing the Arcade mode I was slightly annoyed to only be placed in the top 40% on the scoreboards, resulting in me using Time Attack mode to push myself up a bit further.
I played the whole game through on its hardest difficulty setting and it actually presented a refreshingly annoying challenge at some points! There’s no feeling quite like being pinned in the corner of your TV screen while fighting off what looks like the squiddy invasion of Zion from the Matrix films! I was even forced to admit defeat at one point and grumpily knocked the difficulty down a notch to get past a particularly frustrating stage.
As you’d expect with an arcade remake, the controls aren’t rocket science (it’s just sticks, triggers and the shoulder buttons) and the interface is incredibly easy to get used to, even with the new addition of directly controllable satellites which orbit the player. Anyone who’s played Galaga Legions will remember its crazily fast paced and hectic gameplay; Legions DX keeps this going with the players satellites having two different fire modes, resulting in multiple methods of galactic destruction!
The graphics are basically the same as those in Galaga Legions, with a number of small updates and some nice new particle effects. However, Namco Bandai have also added a number of nice new visual modes, allowing you to change the player and enemies models to a variety of different themes, including those found in 1981 version. It’s new age of fun, but with a vintage feel!
Galaga Legions DX is crazy, fast paced and, more importantly, fun. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must buy. On the other hand, if you’ve never played a Galaga game before it’s a nice entry point into the series. It’s debatable whether or not you’ll still be playing it six months time, but it can’t be argued that it does provide immense amusement in short bursts.