Review: Galaga Legions DX
When Pac-Man CE DX launched, it took the thing that everybody remembered about Pac-Man, chomping ghosts, and turned it up to 11, having the player keep track of more ghosts than the original could ever hope to provide. Now, I want you to think of the defining feature of Galaga. It’s trickier, isn’t it? The only thing that springs to mind for me is the blue aliens capturing your ship, and if you recapture it, you get two ships to play with. Now, this is nowhere to be found in Galaga Legions DX. What Namco Bandai has done here is attempt to update a classic, but at the same time they’ve failed to take notice of what made the original game so special in the first place.
Galaga Legions is at heart a twin stick shooter. Enemies swarm you from every possible angle, and you have to take them out as efficiently as possible. Shooting each individual bug isn’t going to catapult you to a high score, so going for the explosive ones is your best shot at glory, as a timer will be counting down throughout each wave. This sometimes turns the game from a shooter in to more of a puzzle game, which is certainly a good way of making you think about how best to handle your opponents. However, after playing through the first stage, the only thing the game has left to do is to ratchet up the difficulty, and ratchet it up it does. Enemy ships swarm you from every direction, leaving you ducking and weaving between spacecraft and bullets in some of the later levels. It’s exhilarating, and by far the best part of the game, save for the titular Legions.
The Legions made me yell out excitedly the first time I obtained them. At the end of the last wave on each stage, you’ll get a power up that makes a ton of tiny little spacecraft swarm around your ship, shooting in whatever direction you aim in. It makes you in to a straight up killing machine, dispatching everything around you with relative ease. The music, which is usually a monotonus thumping techno affair, kicks up a notch in to something suitably rousing, and the game gives you the freedom to go completely crazy. This is perhaps where the biggest flaw in Galaga Legions DX lies. Next to Pac-Man’s most recent PSN title, Galaga looks positively restrained. The music isn’t as aggressively thumping. The visuals, while flashy, don’t have the same neon glow that inhabited Pac-Man. And the game won’t even let you play all of it. There’s a greyed out option on the main menu that is apparently only for special events, and for all I know that could be where the craziness is hidden. I’m likely wrong though.
Galaga Legions DX is a game that hasn’t been allowed to let its hair down. It’s entertaining in short bursts, but it feels flat and somewhat lifeless in execution. If you liked Galaga, you’ll get a kick out of the alternate ship designs based on various iterations of the franchise, but there’s really nothing else here worth getting excited over. The game’s menu music sums it all off perfectly. It starts off vaguely nostalgic before kicking in to overdrive, and then fades in to the background, completely irrelevant.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Flashy graphics
- The Legion mechanic is entertaining
What I Dislike:
- The music is fairly lackluster
- The game doesn't feel like Galaga