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|Title:||Galaxy 5000: Racing in the 51st Century|
|Rating:||3.5 out of 5|
This is a pretty cool head-to-head racing game set in the future with quite a few quirks and slick extras to make it a lot more fun than I had expected. Up to 4 players can race their spaceships (officially called Turbocrafts) simultaneously as long as only 2 are human. As far as the 51st century is concerned, I'm hoping we've advanced a bit more than what we see in this NES game.
There are multiple tracks organized in a solar system map - yo begin racing on Mercury. If you win, you advance. In the last 10 seconds the track begins to disintegrate possibly dumping you into the abyss.
So, the 51st century isn't as advanced as you might have thought, but this game has quite a few features that you don't see too often on the NES. First off, you can play solo or with a friend in 2-player mode. No worrying about split screen nonsense. Once a ship gets a screen ahead of the player, he gets a bonus and the lagging ship is automatically advanced to the leading ship. There are always 4 ships in the race, even in single player races.
Remember the days when racing games had their entire course laid out on one screen - like Atari's Indy 500 - and you needed a paddle with infinite spin? You were always steering relative to the car on the screen. You almost had to detach from how one would drive from the perspective of a driver who was in motion with the car. I'm over-complicating this. :) In Galaxy 5000 they offer 2 different steering motifs. You can either steer based on the ship's position relative to the screen or based on the actual direction of travel
Unlike most racing games - even those set in space - the A button makes the craft jump. This comes in handy when in tight quarters with fellow racers or at time when you want to cut a corner and make a leap ahead. If that fails, the B button shoots your weapon.
You begin with a standard weapon, but you can update it in later races. Once you upgrade your weapon, the Start button lets you select a different weapon. There are 5 different ships each with their own attributes. Choose wisely.
At the end of each race a summary screen appears telling you your score, cash and various stats from objects destroyed to the number of times you got a screen ahead. you can also access the damage screen and use some of your cash for repairs. Cash can also be used to upgrade your turbocraft. In some areas you'll discover invisible roads. As you seemingly drive off into space, the road fills in beneath you.
The best advice is to shoot at everything. This removes obstacles and gains you cash! We dig this game. It's very unassuming, but when you get into the intricacies and experiment with the steering options, there's quite a lot to like in this title. Definitely worth a look and several plays!
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