Xbox Live Arcade captures Galaga

Namco's arcade classic gets yet another lease on life in the form of a $5 straight port on Xbox Live Marketplace.

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In 1981, the first Galaga arcade machine was turned on inside a North American arcade. In the subsequent quarter century, the Namco Games classic has remained popular, spawning several arcade sequels. During the early 1990s, one original Galaga near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus was used as an ersatz Breathalyzer--if a player could not score more than 30,000 points, his car keys were immediately seized. Today, a working unit remains a popular attraction at one of the more popular dives in San Francisco's Chinatown district.

Galaga has also been ported to numerous non-arcade platforms. In the 1980s it came to the Nintendo Entertainment System, the TurboGrafx-16, the Commodore 64, and the Atari 7800. In the 1990s, it came to the Game Boy on its own and to the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 as part of the Namco Museum collection. The first decade of the 21st Century saw Galaga-inclusive editions of Namco Museum released on the PC, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Game Boy Advance. Galaga has also appeared on mobile phones and PDAs.

Now, Galaga has come to the newest game platform--the Xbox 360. As part of its Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays release campaign, Microsoft today made the game available on Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Marketplace points (approximately $5). But while many other older games rereleased on Xbox Live Arcade have modern-day features like online multiplayer and updated graphics options, the 360 Galaga is a straight port of the arcade game, offering only offline one- or two-player games. For more information, check out GameSpot's full review.

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