Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2004
Platform  :  NES

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Much better than its PC counterpart

The Good

I first heard about Galaxian when I had my old Commodore 64. One morning I got up and found it sitting right next to me while I was eating my breakfast. I loaded it up before I went to school and had three games before I had to catch the school bus.

The object of the game is simple: go through repetitive wave after repetitive wave of intense action by sliding your ship left or right and shoot any Galaxian (the invader) that gets in the line of fire, as they try to dive-bomb and shoot at you with their lasers, and get the highest score possible. The Galaxians consists of drones, emissiaries, hornets, and commanders. The wave ends when all Galaxians are shot. Sadly, I can't tell which is which, but since each Galaxian is color-coded, I'll identify each galaxian by their color. The commander is the exception to this rule. They are easy identifiable due to their appearance, a shield. For the rest, there are three rows of green Galaxians and these are easy to kill, and so are the red ones. Each Galaxian has their own attack pattern. For example, the green ones dive-bomb in a straight light, while the blue ones dive-bomb, and then go in a zig-zag pattern, making them harder to kill. Strategy: try to shoot the blue ones first before shooting the commanders, and you could not have this problem.

What's really hard is in situations where there are more than two Galaxians dive-bombing and shooting at you. The number of points added to your score will depend on the type of Galaxian you kill. For instance, you get 30 points for shooting green, 40 for shooting blue, 50 for shooting red, and 60 for shooting a commander. When they dive-bomb, you get 60 points for shooting a green Galaxian, 80 for shooting blue, and 100 for shooting red. The points for the commander vary and go 150, 200, 300, and 800 points.

I have played the NES version of Galaxian, which is much better than the DOS version. It comes close to the original arcade game, with the number of colors used (which makes the Galaxians easily identifiable), the sounds, and the scrolling star background. I believe that the Atari console version of the game has variations, but I can't tell you what they are, as I don't have this version.

The Bad

Repetitive waves, and also no plot. But this game was made in the early 80's, a time when simple arcade games exist with no plots.

The Bottom Line

If you have played Space Invaders, got bored with it, and want to try something new, then I'm sure this game will tickle you fancy. But don't get destroyed while shooting, as you have three lives to start off with.

With the various remakes that were based on arcade games, including Pac-Man, Galaga, and Space Invaders, I have yet to see a remake of Galaxian. If I do, I would expect the following features:

  • Dazzling SVGA graphics and 3-D sound
  • Two players can play simultaneously, through serial link, or TCP/IP
  • The option of playing the original arcade game, accessed by doing something gamers won't think of, such as entering a cheat or getting to No. 1 in the highscore ranks in the one game
  • Waves will be mission-based
  • The ability to save and load games

Rating: ***