E3 2008: Galaga Legions Hands-On

We had a blast with this reinvigorated space shooter for Xbox Live Arcade.

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Of all the Xbox Live Arcade games on display at E3 2008, Galaga Legions is the most surprising. That is, until you find out that it has been developed by the same Namco Bandai team that completely reenergized Pac-Man in the impressive Xbox Live Arcade title, Pac-Man Championship Edition. That game was no fluke; these guys are pros at reinvigorating classic games, and they've applied their restorative powers to Galaga.

Sure, you still pilot a ship from a top-down perspective while swarms of enemies descend upon you. But now there are two major differences. The first is the presence of satellites. You have two of these handy-dandy gadgets. To place one, you simply flick the right stick in whichever direction you want it to face and shoot. To place another, simply flick the right stick again. As you continue to flick, your oldest of two satellites will disappear to be replaced by the new one. Though you can only shoot upward, these satellites can fire in four directions and can be deployed on the fly with a minimum of effort. The result is a completely new tactical layer and a whole new galaxy of tactical potential.

This is compounded by the fact that before the swarms of enemy ships fly onto the screen, you'll see trails indicating their paths. Not only are these intersecting lines cool to look at, but they also let you anticipate the enemy paths and set your satellites accordingly. Then you simply move to a place without any lines and clean up the stragglers. Of course, if a huge mass of enemies get by your well-placed traps, it's time to get defensive. Place your new satellites, and then draw the swarm over and over into their lines of fire to survive.

We played through a single chaotic level and barely survived to the end only to discover we'd beaten the tutorial. The next level was level one. This is excellent news, because we had a great time. And chances are if you dig a tutorial, you're really going to like the game it leads to. Look for this space ace to land on Xbox Live Arcade later this summer.

Discussion

19 comments
Jackyll87
Jackyll87

@otanikun: They are not ruining the titles. Rather they are opening them up to a whole new population of gamers who might not have played them before. You have to keep an open mind. By adding some things to a retro game which could not have been done technologically when the game came out, they might just end up making it better than the original.

Sharvie
Sharvie

Looks pretty. I hope it'll be good, i loved the original.

otanikun
otanikun

Poor Galaga, I just don't see the need to bump up classic games like this for the 21st century with updated graphics and game play; the original titles are timeless classics. Why ruin them?

Josepiphus
Josepiphus

cool. My favorite arcade game of all time... I do wish the graphics we're a bit more traditional.

tyzwain
tyzwain

Yes! Now this is a title worthy of the 360.

leofiregod
leofiregod

galaga is one of my all time favorite games. This new one looks cool

gmax
gmax

Seems like they showed this in some of the live coverage too... Seemed pretty busy...

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

sounds like a pretty decent title

shinian
shinian

This can be a pretty good game.

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

Poor Kristen had some problems with this game, but it looked great while she was dying.

ne0man
ne0man

galaga is an incredible classic, I'm really eager to get my hands on this and geometry wars2 (and castle crashers), cheap and great games, also I love pacman ce, if this turns out to be on the same level of quality i'll never get tired of it

lettuceman44
lettuceman44

Not to sure about this. Never played Galaga before.

grambyte
grambyte

I was all over the classic version back in the days costing my parents hella quarters. Can't wait for this to be released. Wish they'd give a date.

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

I really love old-school games, and I'm glad that they are revamping Galaga, one of my most favorites. It looks really hectic too.

edubuccaneer
edubuccaneer moderator

Galaga as one of the best old school arcade shooters, and this re-imagining is looking great. Can't wait to try it out.