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Embraced Invaders- Galaga Remix Reviewed

Galaga Remixed for the iPhone/Ipod Touch. Developer: Namco, Publisher: Namco.

TideGear’s Take: If you haven’t played Galaga, then you probably just haven’t been paying attention. The Galaga series (including Galaxian) was essentially the next logical step after Space Invaders hit the scene. The enemies were now individualized and agile and this made a world of difference. Galaga is the link between the pioneering concept of Space Invaders and modern shmups. In a way, Galaga is to Ikaruga as Pac-Man is to Metal Gear. (Think about it. In a way, Pac-Man was one of the first stealth games!) Galaga is when the shmup genre had found its distillation, it was an archetype for many.

Galaga Remix
is an iPhone/Touch game that Namco would call an “arrangement” of the
original game. It appears to be a less graphically detailed version of
the Galaga Arrangement found on Namco Museum Battle Collection for the PSP. It also lacks a two player support that the PSP version had. Still, this is Galaga.
The graphics and gameplay are attractive and the framerate stays pretty
even with a lot going on. For some reason, it retains the same sound
effects of the original but the music is updated. The Remix mode
supports touchscreen (sliding), accelerometer and on-screen button
controls. I felt no need to use anything but the touchscreen slide
controls as they worked quite well. At first I thought the game might
be a bit too easy, but once world 4 rolls around you have to start
ramping up your skills.

Unfortunately, there’s some issues that
keep this from being great. The game menus are slow to load and
highscore entry has no confirm, so its easy to accidentally enter
“AAA”.  The original mode is scaled a bit badly, leaving the graphics
looking a bit odd. Even worse, the great touchscreen slide control
scheme found in Remix mode is badly implemented in Original mode. The
lack of a shoot button requires you to tap anywhere which will either
mess up your piloting or obscure your vision just to fire. The other
control methods in Original mode aren’t much better. This is
unacceptable in an action game like this. At least the Remix mode works
well.

At $5.99 USD, Galaga Remix is a bit pricey for a
fairly straightforward remake with some problems and omissions. It’s
possibly worth the money to hardcore Galaga fans, but others may want to steer clear. If you have a PSP, just get yourself a copy of Namco Museum Battle Collection. I’d have been much happier with a port of the excellent Galaga Legions.

DesertEagle’s Take: After a few moments with the original mode of Galaga Remixed, something was amiss; I concluded that either my mental facilities or my reflexes were failing me. The initial wave of galactic marauders was relentless, raining a constant barrage of missiles upon my plucky rocketship. During a recent trip to a local arcade, Galaga’s foes seemed deliberately less bloodthirsty. Perhaps Father Time had ravaged my carefully cultivated reflexes.

A trip down emulation lane proved that the original mode oppositional was presented faithfully; enemies released the same number of bombs. A few more playthroughs confirmed TideGear’s analysis; controlling your ship was far more difficult with the iPhone’s screen. The game demands a squatty stick and fire button- Apple’s hardware just doesn’t measure up for arcade aficionados. Consider this an incidental supplement to the compelling Remixed Mode.

The title’s main game is a worthy successor to the Galaga linage- While Legions was an entertaining diversion, it didn’t feel like a true successor to the beloved arcade classic. Remixed faithfully enhances the extraterrestrial exterminating experience; offering a multitude of levels that gradually rise in challenge. My only gripe with the title is the dual fighter’s initially weak output. Fans of the classic will be dismayed to see their twin shot reduced to a single, thicker missile at first, forcing players to continue to power-up.

After having played a dozen iPhone shmups, only two apps get the nod, the Raiden-esque Sky Force Reloaded and now, Galaga Remixed. While its price of admission is a bit more than the typical diversion, the title offers a realized extension of the tried-and-true Galaga mechanics. Sometimes, that’s all an itchy trigger finger desires.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

25 comments

  1. Nice two-man review! I like it!

  2. Awesome review. I like the (hopefully) new format!

  3. I used to play that game as a kid. I must have spent at least $100 on it.

  4. $5.99?!?! Wow, that’s a bit pricey, considering I can get 31 other games along with Galaga for 11 more in the Namco Collection.

  5. Who the hell hasn’t played Galaga. Not even my grandma is immune- I made her play one time.

  6. I hope this one’s better than Katamari. I wont a refund on that one. That game sucked on the iphone.

  7. Pretty good review. Twice the excitement!

  8. What that stuff on the side for? Those green lines?

  9. Looks cool, but not $5.99 cool.

  10. Glad to hear this one is out, I’ve been looking forward to it.

  11. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    “While Legions was an entertaining diversion, it didn’t feel like a true successor to the beloved arcade classic.” Says you! >_< As for other iPhone shmups, I’d recommend Hot Field. This… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qTlBOazXoM …also looks cool, but I haven’t played it yet.

  12. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    Oh, and Space Ninja rocks, but that’s not technically a shmup.

  13. Pulled the trigger on it. Cant resist Galaga, not bad at all. Load times are super short 1-2 seconds between levels.

  14. My thought precisely. Does Namco ever have sales, or are they one of the publisher that maintain their price?

  15. Agreed- the twin fighter thing is almost worthless at first. I thought your missile would at least fly through multiple aliens.

  16. I usually don’t spend too much on apps, but is IS Galaga.

    Glad to hear DE reflexes are ok, I don’t want to hear about his retirement 😉

  17. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    I’ve never witnessed it, that I recall. >_<

  18. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    I’ve seen the man grab lightning bolts out of the air and use them as toothpicks!

  19. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    As far as I can tell, it’s just a display showing how far along you are in the current world.

  20. I just got it, TideGear is right, it starts getting difficult in the 4th level. Right now my ass is getting handing to me.

  21. Like the two man review, even tho you guys seems to agree…

  22. Graphics look decent; good to hear there are multiple control methods.

  23. Online high score tables? I always always very competitive at this!

  24. I might pick this up when I have a bit more cash. Thanks for the reviews, gentlemen.

  25. Thanks for the Iphone nods. I see that X-Play is stating to cover the platform now.