Monday, September 6, 2010

Game of the Week: Galaga

Everyone knows how Space Invaders was a huge hit video game in the late 1970s. Then in 1979 Namco and Midway released to the arcades a game called Galaxian, which had some similarities to Space Invaders but included better graphics, color and generally better action play.

Galaxian, too, turned out to be an arcade favorite, so to continue their success, Namco and Midway came up with a sequel game.

That arcade wonder would be Galaga, released in 1981.

The gameplay will sound familiar. The player controls a ship at the bottom of the screen while shooting at attacking alien spacecraft at the top of the screen. From there, the action changes slightly. Unlike Space Invaders, in Galaga the enemies can actually fly down to attack (and sometimes crash into) the player's ship, all while dropping bombs. Also, to add to the fun, "boss" alien enemy ships at the top of the screen can fly down and attempt to use a tractor beam to capture the player's craft; this sounds like a bad thing, and can be, but it can turn into awesome gameplay if the player can then shoot the "boss" ship and gets their captured ship returned. But not only is the captured ship returned, but it is attached to the player's current ship and allows for double firing. Awesome, right?

Galaga also had a few extras when compared to earlier space shooting games. For instance, the player's ship can fire a lot of bullets at once whereas in most earlier games the player could only fire off one shot at a time. Also, in my opinion, the graphics for Galaga were topnotch for the time period, with brighter colors (and even better sounds) than other similar games.

If you like the old-fashioned space shooters, you've got to love Galaga. It was a great game for its time.

No comments:

Post a Comment