Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 08/09/02 | Updated: 08/09/02

The best Galaga game that still carries the original series name.

Galaga ’88 is an upgraded version of the original time waster that allows you a little bit of a difference in the game play and plenty of things to shoot. The visuals have been upgraded, though the game play itself of shooting the enemies as they come down has remained the same for the most part. Those who are looking for a different game will find that the basics are still the same, though the way that you go about doing it has changed in more noticeable ways. If you like the Galaga series and you’re looking for something a little different from the norm, then you might just find it here in Galaga ’88.

-The Game Play-

The game play works a little like this in which you have to shoot down a stream of several incoming enemies that come across the screen in different patterns. Once you’ve gotten them to a point at which they reside at the top of the screen, you merely have to follow back and forth when they swoop down and fire on them again to destroy them! You can score better points if you hit them on the first entry in which they all move in a streaming pattern before they get to the top of the screen. Something that you need to be on the look out for is a specific looking enemy that will capture your ship if you let it.

Once you’ve let it capture your ship, you can destroy it on its way down and regain your ship, gaining a double shot that will last with you until either it or you are destroyed by incoming fire. This only adds to the challenge and the ability to gain extra points through successful attacks! The two player option that is available is also fun, but only allows you to play one at a time in a competitive manner through all of the stages. Extra lives are gained through point markers and the game goes on for several stages, with the difficulty increasing after each one.

Now, one of the more interesting features that the game has to offer is that you can now use warps, collect power ups in order to change your weapons capability and you have things getting in your way. Obstacles that get in your way changes the way that pattern shooting games work, and you’ll find that the higher up you get in the stages, the more often you’ll find things in your way. Another neat feature that the game has to offer is the fact that you can start out with either a single ship, or a dual ship that has twice the firepower. As you move through the game, you can upgrade the ship yet again to gain access to a super ship that simply rocks!

The control is simple enough that anyone of any skill level and age can pick up. All you have to do is avoid the different enemies as they come down screen and hit the firing button to shoot up at them! The game hasn’t gained any sort of special moves or anything else that would be considered advanced, so there isn’t anything that needs to be learned other than how to move and avoid the incoming fire. With the dual ships, you have twice the fire power, but still nothing changes in the basic controls and all you have to do is learn to fire when it is needed and when to avoid as necessary!

-The Visuals-

One of the key points of the game, the visuals have been overhauled in a wide manner to allow you the ability to have a theme with each passing stage. In some stages, you’ll be cruising over an asteroid field, and in other times, you might find yourself going through a ship yard. Probably one of the most impressive features that I’ve seen in the Galaga ’88 is the warping feature that allows you to go from one stage to another without even a hitch. The special effects have been changed to include the different weapons, though the explosions and otherwise really don’t have much of an impact on the presentation of the game!

-The Audio-

Just like in the previous versions of the Galaga games, there isn’t any music that accompanies you through the stages, though you have a neat little jingle at the start of the stages. Aside from that, you’re listening to the same game theme of little is better, though the sound effects do happen to make an effect. The sound effects of the game pretty much takes precedence over everything else in the game and because the game isn’t sound intensive and you’ll have the opportunity to play music out of something outside source. The sound effects though allow you to really get into the arcade feel of the game and offer plenty of ‘noise’ in order to get through the stages. A noticeable sound effect that comes out is when you reach a bonus stage and you complete it with a victory song that is rather uplifting and gets you geared up for the next stage!

-The Verdict-

Galaga ’88 is essentially the same game from the other versions in which you have the same audio and same basic premise of what you have to do. The upgrades on the game in the visuals and in the game play department do happen to place this game above others in the series, but only in terms of difficulty and design. If you like the Galaga games and you can find this machine, then by all means, find it and have a play. Though there are more in the series that go by other names, this is probably one of the best sequels that still carries the Galaga name!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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