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E308 hands-on: Galaga Legions


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There's really no way to get around this, so here it is: Galaga Legions might as well be called Galaga Championship Edition. It's made by the same Namco team that made Pac-Man Championship Edition and it achieves the same success: reinventing an arcade classic and making it relevant again. At the same time, it is definitely still Galaga in much the same way that Pac-Man CE is still Pac-Man. It's new, it's classic, it's pretty. Period.

There probably isn't much need to elaborate on that, but I'm going to anyway. On the surface, Galaga Legions is the same as it's ever been. You're job is to pilot a ship and obliterate wave after wave of bug-like aliens. The ship can now move in all directions, not just left and right. The firing mechanics are still the same though; the ship can only shoot straight up. This is problematic, because enemies can come at you from all sides. How do you deal with this? Satellites.

The satellites are undoubtedly the biggest addition to the Galaga formula and the most fun. Satellites are deployed with the right stick and their direction of fire corresponds to the direction pressed on the right stick. Press up, and your ship will deploy a satellite that constantly shoots up. Satellites can be deployed in any of the four main directions up, down, left and right. Only two satellites can be deployed at any one time though, so strategy and quick thinking is key.


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Aiding players with their strategy is another new feature. Before each wave of enemies hits the screen, luminescent lines trace the paths that the enemies will take. This gives you crucial seconds to place your satellites in positions where they will do the most damage. For instance, say an enemy path is traced through the center of the screen. Before they arrive, quickly place a satellite on either side of the path shooting inward. You've just created a funnel of alien death. Enemies come in multiple waves though, so satellites have to constantly be shuffled on the fly. Of course, you don't always have time to make immaculate plans, so sometimes a turret will be deployed simply to keep an approaching baddie off your tail.

Quite simply, Galaga Legions is beautiful, bright, frenetic fun. It's a must play. Thankfully, it shouldn't be long before the masses get to try it out, as we were told that it should be available in the next 4-6 weeks.

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