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|Manufacturer:||General Computer Corp.|
|Rating:||5 out of 5|
Many people call Galaga the premiere shooter of all time - then they discuss everything they hate about it. Wtf? I adore Galaga with savage passion. It was one of those magical games that appealed to me both in the arcade and on home consoles. Hell, I'll play it on any platform it's released on - Galaga rules!
OK, perhaps the 7800 release was a little washed out on the colors and didn't seem quite as vibrant. Some say the audio isn't as good, but not all of us port audio from a 1986 game console through a set of Bose speakers. The audio isn't stellar, but it's just fine. There - I complained a bit which justifies my 5-Ship rating as unbiased. Right?
As the Galagans take back planets they lost in a centuries-old interstellar war, you are thrust into the Intergalactic Warrior Fleet piloting your own Intergalactic Command Ship. With no training, you head out on your first mission. Come on. What could go wrong? You have a joystick and a fire button at your disposal!
No time to bitch & moan about having to save the world. The wretched Galagans are now reclaiming YOUR planet as their own. They'll come at you in swooping waves, group attacks and single suicide missions. It's kill or be killed - how long will you stave off their advances before needing a bathroom break?
You start with 4 lives in the form of Command Ships. Attacking you will be Drones (blue), Hornets (red) and Flagship Commanders (Yellow). they form by swirling in from the sides and often shooting and dive-bombing your ship. As they descend, they swoop in groups sometimes circling your position from beneath the visible area at the bottom of the screen. I like the multi-fire ability as the single on-screen shot scenario of Galaxian always irritated me. Anther strategic factor is allowing capture of one of your ships (which takes it as a "life"). Only fire on the captor when he is swooping down to attack you, otherwise you'll destroy your own Command Ship. When you shoot the attacking Galagan, he'll release your ship that merges into a double shooting craft. Nice!
Galaga's arcade controls were beautifully simple - a 2-way joystick and a fire button. All the excitement came from the programatic flights of the dreaded Galagans.
Galaga is for 1 or 2 players and features three difficulty levels; Novice, Advanced and Expert.
After the first two levels you'll face a Challenge Stage in which 5 groups of 8 fly in various formations. They won't fire at you, but your bonus score depends on how many you take out. Get all 40 and you'll earn a 10,000 point bonus!
The release on the Atari 7800 is not a perfect replica of the arcade version which seems to be the bone of contention with so many reviews I see. The Atari 7800 was the first Atari console to really compete with the quality of arcade games. I said "compete" not equal or surpass - the 7800 had limitations like all consoles. Galaga was also unique to the 7800 at it's time of release. Versions had not been released for the 2600 nor 5200.
Additionally, this Atari 7800 release was created in 1984 and sat dormant until being released in 1987. If you go with Expert mode, Galaga on the 7800 provides enough fast and furious action to satisfy any avid classic gamer.
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