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Galaga: Destination Earth Review
publisher: Hasbro Interactive
P200, 64MB RAM, 300MB HDD, 6X CD-ROM
|ESRB rating: n/a
release date: Sep 23, 00 (released)
|» All About Galaga: Destination Earth on ActionTrip|
Branislav "Bane" Babovic
It has been almost two decades since an Atari Game appeared, a game that would change the arcade game genre forever. Since it appeared in 1984 it served as a pattern to a swarm of games, leaving its mark even on some games that will become gaming legends. There was hardly a platform in those days that didn't have its version of this game.
The idea was in a word, brilliant. Controlling a small and fragile craft as it devastates hosts of enemies with its front lasers. After each defeated wave, you'd have to face a new one, with a greater number of faster enemies. The goal was as simple as it gets - stay in one piece and get the highest score. It certainly remained one of my favorite games of all times (even though I never managed getting past the 32nd level). After so many years, we face the challenge again!
Galaga: Destination Earth is a combination of new technology and a somewhat altered contents of the original game. A lot of things happened in computer industry since the times when things like FPSs and hardware acceleration didn't exist. Atari is no longer on the gaming scene so Hasbro Interactive took up the job. In regard to the old saying "don't fix it if it ain't broken," they barely changed anything about the game concept. The gameplay remained the same, apart from some technical improvements. The graphics have been changed in order to suite modern standards, and the entire game has been converted to a pseudo-3D environment, with a four-way side-scroller (meaning, you can't move the camera freely through the otherwise full 3D environment). The game also features a multitude of new visual effects and pre-rendered video sequences... Still, the new Galaga is more of a tribute to the original than a modern PC game.
You can fly through space trash, asteroid fields, and Saturn rings, chasing insect-like aliens. The game will take you to the very surface of earth in pursuit of the alien invaders. You can even take their weapons and crafts and use them in defense of humanity through the numerous levels.
Just like most arcade games, this game features levels where you have to fire as quick as possible in order to get the maximum amount of credits. The new Galaga has been made in full 3D including all ships, enemies, terrains, weapons, and power-ups. All these things can be seen in most games today, but Hasbro decided to make a true replica of the old legend, which can offer something new and interesting, instead of just making a casual shoot-em-up.
The enemies appear in a usual circular manner before they make a formation and start shooting at you. When they all take their positions, the Galactic Commander (your character is called that way in the game) can start shooting them down with his lasers. The game is now in 3D, and the ship is still moving in a single direction but the game now features several points of view.
The original Galaga had some interesting features that made it more challenging: it had star fields that moved with different speeds, or weapons that relied on pilot's precision. The firing mechanism worked only while you kept destroying entire waves. If you missed a single enemy, it would freeze for a moment. The new version of the game features all of these elements, which only goes to prove that the developers realized what made the original game a hit. Hasbro didn't stop there; they decided to improve all game "cosmetics". The original only featured moving the ship horizontally on a single line. The new version has two more perspectives: it includes classical third person view, and horizontal movement with a side view. The user cannot choose which view he will use - the game will trigger different views as scripted. To make the game somewhat easier, the third person view features a crosshair, if it didn't this mode would be impossible to play.
Apart from all that, the developers also introduced a story, which is to provide a plausible explanation for destroying all those space bugs. Your goal is not only to get to the top of the High-Score list; you also have to save Earth from the ongoing alien invasion. The game contains different levels with different tasks. For instance, in the second mission you have to gather escape pods from a destroyed space ship, and then activate a defense cannon. In the next mission, you have to activate the water pumps, and so on... Getting those pods was the hardest thing to do in the game. I never figured out why.
The game supports resolutions up to 1024x768. Hasbro sure made a wise move here, especially if you ask anyone who feels nostalgic for the old hits.
8.0 Very Good
Remake of one of the biggest gaming legends;
Even though it resembles old Galaga, it doesn't have a chance against modern action games.
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