Galaga

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a game by Bandai
Genre: Arcade Classics
Platforms: PC, NESNES
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 5 reviews
User Rating: 6.4/10 - 53 votes
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See also: Arcade Games, Galaga Games
Galaga
Galaga
Galaga

If you’re looking to experience the early era of gaming, it doesn’t get much better than with Galaga. Released in 1981, this title is one that is regarded as one of the best of its class. The gameplay is super fun and sure to keep you immersed for long periods of time.

Galaga was Namco's supercharged successor to Galaxian, a prior spacecraft shooting game. It immediately became a legendary arcade game, with wonderful modifications to the Galaxian gameplay, good 1981-era visuals, and extremely memorable SFX and jingles. Sequels would come, but Galaga remained unrivaled. It is without a doubt one of the best games of all time.

Gameplay

In the NES version, you pilot a spacecraft that moves laterally in an attempt to kill the insect-like foes who constantly gather to attack, using missiles – or themselves – as ammo. The aliens' proclivity to attack in formation distinguishes this shooter from others. While this can make their trajectories predictable at times, more often than not, the player will be hastily moving from place to place in an attempt to dodge the firestorm.

While you may be inclined to simply hammer the fire button, this has a negative impact on their score because an accuracy bonus is provided at the conclusion of each level. Because there are an endless amount of stages in the game, the accuracy bonuses become critical in reaching the coveted top score.

Getting a significant number of points requires a significant amount of devotion, but a fundamental tactic to adopt is to let the boss Galaga to "catch" the player's spacecraft in its tractor beam as long as the player has at least one additional life. The captured spacecraft can be released by defeating the boss Galaga, resulting in the fusion of the captured ship with the current one. The player is now a target twice the size, but more significantly, twice the power. Unfortunately, there is also no method to obtain a "triple ship" by capturing and then releasing another ship.

Modern space games like Elite Dangerous and EVE Online are miles ahead of Galaga, but we should still appreciate Galaga for paving the way back in 1981.

Xbox 360 version

For the Xbox 360 version, Galaga's sights and sounds are crisp and faithful to the arcade version's appearance and sound. Borders have plenty of area on the vertically oriented screen. If you're a heathen, you can extend the game out of its intended aspect ratio, but you'll only crowd out the amazing original arcade-cabinet artwork that borders the screen. Galaga is highly addicting and will surely consume a significant amount of your time. It's impossible to stop playing once you've begun. Despite being over three decades old, the game shows its age aesthetically and aurally, yet the gameplay never disappoints.

7

The NES edition of Galaga is a no-brainer for any lover of classic space-shooting action, assuming you don't already own the title in some form or another. As for the 360 version, it is also a fun experience, but not quite the same compared to the NES.

Pros

  • Fun nostalgic gameplay
  • Simple controls

Cons

  • Dated level design

Download Galaga

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

NES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

An all-new armada of alien bugs is out to get you! Originally released as Galaga '88 in the arcades, this is a great sequel to the original.

  • Manufacturer: NEC Home Electronics
  • Machine: TurboGrafx-1 6

Way, way back, when the universe was young and video games had just appeared on the scene, a game called Space Invaders blasted into every arcade, bar and pizza parlor in the country, sucking millions of coins from the pockets of the American populous. Money talks a language all game developers understand, and it wasn't long before the next generation of Space Invaders-type games made its appearance. Galaga was among them.

Galaga took Space Invaders' basic idea and transformed it from a relatively static shooting gallery into an inventive, visually appealing fast-action blastathon, the likes of which had never been seen before at that time. Now the aliens could really fight back; they didn't have to stay in their neat little rows, but instead they could swoop down upon the player's gun in dizzying spirals and loops, firing all the way.

Now it's 1990 - gad, where did the '80s go? - and Galaga has been updated to meet the high standards of today's competitive video-game market, the result being an addictive and inventive space-battle contest that's guaranteed to please any shoot-'em-up fan. Galaga 90 is most definitely a worthy addition to your video-game library.

Let's talk about graphics. With Galaga '90 you won't play for the highest score; rather, you'll try to last long enough to see as many of the stunning animations as possible. The attacking creatures flow onto the screen in circular and zigzag patterns, before regrouping into lines across the top. When hit, some creatures explode with an effect not unlike a Fourth of July fireworks display. Colorful, indeed.

Once all a wave's creatures are on the screen, the creatures break from their ranks and swoop down upon you, sometimes transforming into different shapes. You need to be quick on the controller to stay clear of both them and their fire. However, when you first play, you'll be so busy watching the aliens' antics, you'll forget to man your guns.

Sometimes a creature or obstacle on the screen will, when hit, leave behind a blue capsule for you to scoop up. These capsules allow you to warp to different "dimensions", where you can earn bonus points and fight a different class of enemy.

Your fighter, just like the creatures against which you must battle, is capable of taking on different forms. A single fighter may be used or the fighters may be combined into double-and triple-shot crafts. With these high-powered fighters, you can spray the screen with destruction as you try to rid the world of the Galaga corps. Of course, the double and triple ships are wider than the single version and so make better targets for the opponent.

Now let's talk about music. Games for the TurboGrafx-16 seem to feature unusually good music, and Galaga '90 doesn't break that tradition. In fact, one jazz piece, played during an intermediate screen, is good enough to tape for later playback in your car. Good stuff! The only problem with the music is that there isn't enough of it.

Galaga '90 is an excellent shoot-'em-up. However, you should keep in mind that this type of game isn't for everyone. Very little strategy or thought is involved. Mostly, you pound the fire button until your fingers bleed.

Anyone got a Band-aid?

  • Manufacturer: Bandai USA
  • Machine: Nintendo Entertainment System

Eight years ago, Galaga made its American debut in arcades. Since then, it has been one of the more successful coin-op sequels in videogaming history. It was so popular on its own, in fact, that few today know that Galaga was the direct sequel to Galaxians, another arcade hit.

Now Galaga has come home for the Nintendo Entertainment System. First released in Japan for the original version of the NES (known as the Famicom), this game is a look-alike, sound-alike and play-alike translation of the arcade.

In deep space, your starfighter is under the missile and suicide attack of the Galaga, a strange alien race who look like insects. They swarm onto the screen in groups before diving for your fighter. This gives you the opportunity to destroy them before they can assemble into a powerful attack formation. The Galaga spiders weave side to side as they come down. The Galaga bees are the trickiest, for they swirl around in loops, and at higher levels will mutate into three aliens. The Galaga bosses are the toughest - they need to be shot at twice. Destroying one of these temporarily weakens the entire Galaga fleet.

What makes Galaga unique is its "double-fire" feature. Every so often, a boss Galaga descends and releases a tractor-beam. If your fighter gets caught in its field, the alien takes it to the top of the screen. With one of your remaining fighters, you must shoot the boss, as it dives, to free your kidnapped fighter. If you have no fighters left, the game ends. But it's possible to destroy your own captured fighter if you're not careful, and shooting the boss Galaga when it's not attacking makes the fighter turn on you. A freed fighter will connect side by side with the first one, merging into a dual fighter that has double firing. This makes destroying the waves of creatures much easier - but your new, wider ship will also be harder to protect from the aliens' suicide dives.

Every third screen is a "challenging stage". Various, non-attacking Galaga fly by in unpredictable directions. A bonus of 10,000 points is awarded should you manage to shoot them all. To make this perfect score, you almost always need to play with a dual fighter.

At the end of a game, results are shown indicating the total number of shots that the player fired compared to that of aliens hit, and the percent ratio of the two. While this information is somewhat interesting, it seems more trivial than necessary.

Galaga on the NES plays identically to its quarter-eating counterpart. The flight patterns of the Galaga as they swoop into formation are the same. And the little tricks and techniques used in the arcade still work here. Veterans will definitely feel right at home.

The graphics in Galaga bear more than a passing resemblance to their arcade counterpart. This game doesn't look similar - it looks exactly like the coin-op. The appearance of everything, from each of the Galaga aliens to the player's own ship, will be familiar to long-time arcaders. The one minus would have to be the scrolling starfieid, which does more flickering than moving but, thankfully, is not distracting.

Accompanying the graphics are the equally familiar sound effects and music. The squall of the Galaga aliens as they are shot and their screech when they dive are still here, reproduced fully on the NES. And the background music is just as captivating.

About the only justifiable complaint that can be made about Galaga is the size of the game field. On the arcade version, the screen is higher than it is wide. Obviously, this is not so on the NES, as the screen proportions on all televisions and computer monitors are the exact opposite.

To compensate for this, the playing field of the NES version is set to the left, in an area that is more square than rectangle. The high score, individual player scores, ships remaining and level indicators are displayed on the right side. However, there is no definite border separating the two. This makes it somewhat difficult to tell where the middle of the game field is, which is especially important to know for doing well on challenging screens.

Galaga is highly addictive. This isn't one of those games that eventually comes to an end or that you can complete - the Galaga attackers will always beat you, no matter what. But you'll find yourself pressing the START button over and over again. The challenge presented in this game is forever tempting and never seems too dull. Succinctly, Galaga is pure, simple fun.

From the chomping Pac-Man,to smashing Mario Bros.,comes Galaga, a game that takes place in space, you fight as space-ship, blasting your way through whatever comes at you,the game is awesome,I downloaded this game when my Pops told me about it.It starts out easy like a chocolate pie,but gets hard every level more,how far can you go?

Its a must download,its better than Pac-Man in my opinion,more explosions(even though Pac-Man doesn't have explosions).This game is one you old school fans will love.It will be like you went back to the past, and took the first Galaga that came out with the old system Nintendo.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots