MISSION: REVIEW GALAXIAN
|Source // Wikipedia|
I've not got a Scooby what Galaxian is, so it's a good job I've been told by a book that I absolutely must play it. Like all media, Galaxian is built upon what has come before it, and it doesn't take a genius to work out that Space Invaders was the game that laid the foundations here. Namco have taken what works and added more to it, in a colourful shooter that shows off the early days of the video game remix culture, if you will.
But once again I've completely missed the boat to the arcades of the 1970s, and so I'm stuck with versions that don't run and ports that do. The NES seems a safe bet for playing games on, I hear that was pretty popular, so I've been playing Galaxian on that.
|Yeah, I'm still getting my eye in...|
We all know Space Invaders, we all know how easy it is to pick up and play, so how does Galaxian improve upon a winning formula?
We now have a ship, we don't need any cover to hide behind, we're going to take it to those Alien scum and show them who owns this place and oh blimey they're dive bombing me.
Unlike the rigid ranks of the invaders from space, these aliens break rank and hurtle towards you, even in mini squadrons. You can go for the easy kill at close range (assuming you don't walk into their shots...) or avoid them and watch them return to their ranks as another ship breaks off and tries to catch you out again.
This simple mechanic keeps you on your toes that little bit more than Space Invaders did. There is no hiding here, only dodging.
|Or failed attempts at dodging|
If you ever tire of Space Invaders, fire up Galaxian. I can't believe a title like this didn't get lodged in my brain. Again it's easy to play, again it rewards those who put in the time to fully master it. If you've a few minutes to kill, there's a score just waiting to be improved upon and beaten, right there in the HUD.
Galaxian escaped my knowledge, but it shouldn't escape yours. Play it alongside Space Invaders, play multiple versions of these kinds of games, see which additions improved the core game and which didn't, because what went on here in the 70s is still going on in gaming today. You'll have your favourites, but these stepping stones in gaming are remembered for a reason.
Galaxian is the first video game released with all of its graphics displayed in true RGB colour.
Galaxian, developed by Namco, first released in 1979.
Version played: NES, 1984, via emulation.