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Computer and Video Games (CVG)
The Megadrive could have played host to a conversion not far removed from the arcade game, but instead it has to put up with a sub-standard blaster which looks disappointing and possesses little in the way of addictive qualities. The graphics are generally flat and unexciting, and the maze sections are a bit of a travesty - layered caverns have been replaced with a horrible striped effect which plays havoc with the eyes and puts the player right off. Other annoying aspects include the fact that it's almost impossible to see the bullets which you're firing, the lack of any challenge as the game is too easy even on the most difficult setting and the big problem with most of Sega's sit-down cabinet conversions, strip away the hydraulic seat and there's not much there. Keep away.
I so really wanted to like Galaxy Force II. It was a favorite of mine in arcades, and the thought of it on my favorite console was more than I dared hope for at the time. I guess my friends all knew something I didn't, as no one else expressed any interest in the home port, even though we all played the coin-op extensively. It was a bitter lesson for me, and made me all the more angry towards the lack of intelligent use for the Sega CD later on. This could have been a killer app for that system if ever there was one, and instead we are left with a half baked port that barely shows up for the race, let alone keeps pace with its more powerful sibling. At least there is the much superior Saturn version, which remedies most of the problems that plague this horrible experiment. Cold comfort to be sure, and an even colder reality.
The Video Game Critic
Your gun is pretty useless for the most part, but Galaxy Force has another trick up its sleeve. Markers appear on objects you move a cursor over, and by pressing the missile button, you can unleash a swarm of guided missiles that destroy these targets instantly - very impressive. If this sounds a bit familiar, that's because it's basically the same shooting mechanism used much later by the Panzer Dragoon games (Saturn, Xbox). Galaxy Force II also makes an admirable (but unnecessary) attempt as voice syntheses, telling you to turn left or right while navigating the tunnels. With all the technology, you'd think this would be a decent game, but it's too easy and gets downright boring after only a few minutes.