Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2004
Platform  :  NES

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More fun than Galaxian or Space Invaders

The Good

In the 1980s, I was unfortunate enough not to find Galaga in the arcades, so I hadn't heard about it until the early 1990s, but until then, I was used to playing classic gems such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Final Fight, Rainbow Islands, and many others. This review is for Galaga: Demons of Earth for the NES. No, it's not the sequel to Galaga. It is actually the original game that sports a new subtitle.

The object of the game is to shoot all the invaders, which first fly onto the screen in five packs. The gameplay is similar to Galaxian, in which a ship will dive-bomb and shoot a bullet, but will go around into a full circle once they are off screen. Among these invaders are big green ones. If you shoot these guys, they will turn blue. Shoot them again, and they will be destroyed. It is these invaders that sometimes stop in the middle of space and emit a series of rays. Getting in the way of these rays will cause your ship to be sucked towards the invader, which results in your ship captured and a loss of a life. The captured ship will turn red to indicate that it belongs to the pack. If you shoot the ship, you will receive 1000 points. Shooting the big invaders twice while they are dive-bombing will give you extra points that vary depending on how far they've dive-bombed.

After every two or so stages, you will reach a challenging stage. The object of these stages are to shoot as many dive-bombers as you can while they make their way across the screen and fly off. Extra points will be awarded for shooting all the ships in a pack. After the challenging stage, you should be over your 10,000 point mark, and you only need to get 20,000 for an extra life, as 30,000 points is the game's default high score. To start off with, you have three lives. Once all your lives are expired, the game ends, and a results page appears which tells you how many shots were fired, the number of successful hits, and the hit-miss ratio, as well as the level you got up to. Galaxian lacked this sort of page.

As you progress through stages, the gameplay gets more difficult. From Stage 2 onwards, invaders will shoot one or two bullets as they fly onto the screen. Furthermore, after the first challenging stage, two invaders will separate from the pack and go south off the screen. The sound and graphics are also similar to Galaxian, with the scrolling star background and the dive-bombing sound. The music is way out of there, if you know what I mean. I am sure that there is more music in this game.

The Bad

Galaga: Demons of Earth lacks a score advance table, which was present in Galaxian, so I had no idea how much invaders are worth. The numbers above is only a estimation.

The Bottom Line

Galaga: Demons of Earth is worth a game if you get back from a hard day's work at the office or factory.

Rating: ***½