Review by Iinky winky

Reviewed: 09/05/06

Pure and simple, Galaga is a gaming classic.

Galaga is an extremely primitive game when compared to games of today, and even when compared with other NES games. The allure of Galaga is that it is a primitive and simplistic game. Sometimes you just need a break from from playing games where you have to collect items or remember all the different branching paths. When you want a game where the object is to kill every enemy and score as many points as possible without worrying about upgrades or bosses, you come to games like Galaga. Galaga is the epitome of classic arcade gaming and Namco did a wonderful job of bringing this game to the NES.

The most important aspect of an arcade game is the game play and controls, and even though this is the NES, the game is a direct port of the arcade game and the game play is just as good as in the arcades. The A and B buttons both fire your gun and only the left and right direction keys are used on the control pad and they move your ship left and right respectively. The responsiveness of the controls are excellent and you will never lose because of a problem with the controls. The regular stages in the game consist of enemy ships flying onto the screen in formation and then settling on the top of the screen in rows, where the ships will start to dive bomb and shoot you. Occasionally you'll come upon a bonus stage where ships quickly enter and exit the screen in formation and you have to shoot as many as you can. The more you hit, the more points you get added to your score. You can also perform a trick by letting a ship capture your ship and then you re-capture it and you'll have to ships, which means double the fire power. That is what the whole game consists of. It is very simple and there is little variation, but it is extremely addictive and the levels get harder over time.

This game is one of the first NES games released and the graphics prove it. You will not be amazed by the graphics even by NES standards. The game has three different enemies, a black background with colored dots moving down screen to represent stars and motion and the green enemy ships will emit a beam. You also have a bullet of your own. That is the extent of the graphics. What there is though is done well. The stars move fluidly, and the animations of the ships are very nice. The graphics do the job of representing the game on the screen, but that's all it really does.

Galaga is unique, like most early arcade games, in that story and sound are virtually non-existent and are really a non factor in the game. Because of that, I'll review those two categories together. The story of Galaga is extremely simple. You are a pilot of a space craft and your planet is under attack, so you are charged with going into space and destroying all of the alien ships. Like the story, the sound and sound effects in Galaga are very simple. There is a brief tune that plays when you start the first level and when you start a bonus stage, and you hear bleeps when you fire the weapon and variations of a crashing sound when you hit an enemy ship. You also hear a pitched noise when ships start to dive bomb you. A random sound effect also plays constantly and may be the "sound" of the ships moving left and right.

Galaga is a classic game without a doubt and this port is excellent. You will find that you will come back to this game over and over again when you are bored of the more complex games, and just want to destroy tons of ships. I highly recommend that you buy this game on any platform.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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