Galaga Legions DX Review: Same Ol’ Galaga…Not As Frustrating

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)
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Pros:
Fun game with lots of shooting action
Focus Fire a welcome feature

Cons:
Game feels a little too easy compared to previous Galaga Legions

Galaga Legions is just like what Pac-Man Championship Edition is…an updated version of the classic original. While Pac-Man’s updated look felt like more of the same the idea behind Galaga felt like a re-imagining of the wheel. Galaga Legions was a tough game where memorization became key as wave after wave of enemies would literally fill the screen making you run for your life trying to avoid certain death. With the release of Galaga Legions DX, the concept is the same however the technique of shooting has gone through a big change.

Like any previous Galaga game the idea is to shoot down all enemies on the screen then wash, rinse and repeat the same thing over and over again. As a retro gamer, I found Galaga a fun game to challenge my high scores against friends and strangers alike. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge. Then many years later Galaga Legions came along and after playing a few rounds the one thing that went through my mind was “man this game is a pain in the ass.” At times I got so frustrated that I would throw my controller down and have fits of rage. All this memorization was really screwing with my head. Eventually after awhile I got over it and life went on, but how would I respond to the new DX title. Well that answer is with much happiness and joy.

Galaga Legions DX is still the same concept as the original Legions game except this time it focuses in on more of a time based attack scheme. Each of the game’s nine areas features five levels of intense shooter action. There’s also a Championship Mode with only five levels. Each of these modes are based on the same idea of getting the highest score possible while completing each level in the shortest amount of time. Speaking of time there’s also a Time Attack Mode which is based on how quickly you dispose of your enemies on each level. Throughout this whole process your being graded on your skills all which are based on points scored. Sounds pretty simple right? Well it really is.

Just like Galaga Legions the use of satellites also play a key role in your fight to survive. In this version however, your satellites stick close to home. Instead of placing satellites in different locations while you run away, each satellite stays with you and all you do is move the right thumbstick to aim and fire. This now makes Galaga Legions DX into a twin-stick shooter which to my account is a fairly common genre on Xbox Live Arcade. Your shots also come in two varieties: direct for a more frontal attack and spread to cover your left and right sides. Capturing enemy ships (which happens at level five of each area) also plays a big role especially when you need to clear larger waves of enemies and also offers that little extra protection when space starts getting a little tight in the corners.

While Galaga Legions DX sounds like good fun for all shmup fans out there let me also address a couple of issues keeping from being a great title. One has to be the difficulty. Even on the hardest difficulty, I found Galaga Legions DX a little too easy with the Focus Fire feature which could be a downer to the hardcore shmup players as they’ll think that the game is “dumbed down.” To others I think they will find this a welcome addition making it more “friendly” to the casual gamer or die-hard Galaga fan. In the end you can’t please everyone. I also have to comment on the whole timer aspect. The original game didn’t have this which made working your way through each level more of a challenge. This is why you have a Time Attack mode. THe main game didn’t need this as well.

If your a Galaga fan then you’ll feel right at home with Galaga Legions DX. Sure it may be a bit simpler in the difficulty department, but it doesn’t really hurt the game as much because you’ll be playing it over and over just to beat that high score. Since it’s also the 30th anniversary of the game you’ll also notice that you can change the enemies to look like the classic arcade games Galaga, Galaxian, and Galpus, or just stick with the current look. Overall, Galaga Legions DX is a lot of fun to play and a definite recommend to shmup fans.

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