XBLA Review: Galaga Legions

A true sequel to the original Galaga, has the wait been worth it?

The original Galaga captivated players all over the world, and now … it’s back with Galaga Legions! But this isn’t just a boring remake! Featuring table-turning game dynamics, super-slick visuals, and mind-blowingly vast waves of enemies, this is the definitive version of the arcade shooter classic!

  • Classic Galaga action redefined: Galaga, the classic top-down arcade shooter released by Namco in 1981, is many fans’ favorite arcade game of all time. Now, completely updated and revitalized Galaga Legions bursts onto the scene with new game dynamics and spectacular graphics.
  • Achievements: New achievements are offered for you to conquer. Show the world your old-school Galaga skills are new school enough to beat them!

    The original Galaga is a fair and simple shooter; sure it can be tough at times but not nearly as relentless as Geometry Wars or its sequel. Legions on the other hand, ups the difficulty up several notches and adds in elements that take away the classic nature of the original.

    The most noticeable change is the way the game plays. Essentially you can only blast upwards but you can position two ships in either of the 4 directions and make them blast when you hold down the trigger, the problem is that you need to keep repositioning the ships to deal with incoming enemies from different directions, it’s a good idea but poorly executed. The issue is that you are focusing more on positioning them than blasting the enemies heading for you.

    The difficulty has been increased to almost Geometry Wars level, which isn’t a bad thing but at least with GW you can blast in any direction with the right analog stick, the forced angle for blasting is annoying, especially when you have to keep moving these ships in to save you. The trouble is that the game can be too hard because of that, if only it allowed you the same control as GW then it wouldn’t be a problem.

    The upgraded visuals look spectacular, although none of it really matters when you are getting blown to pieces by unrelenting enemies. There can be so many on the screen, it’s ridiculous. If enemies are coming from all 4 directions, how can you possibly hold them all back when you can only really cover 3 positions of them and have to keep moving around? I can’t deny that the game is good fun, but it can be frustrating at times.

    The Verdict

    Maybe that’s what Namco were thinking when they made the game; they wanted to frustrate people like Geometry Wars has. The trouble is that it doesn’t feel at all like a Galaga game, it seems to have strayed too far from its roots to be considered a sequel. It can be good at times but there’s just too much strong competition from Geometry Wars 2 for it to be considered a must-have blaster.