Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: TBA 2008
Galaga Legions was developed by the same team that made Pac-Man Championship Edition, and much like the dot-chomping fellow, this new Xbox Live Arcade iteration is a successful update to the original Galaga formula. Although the premise is still the same - you pilot a spaceship and are tasked with shooting down waves of insect-like aliens - Galaga Legions incorporates a number of additions that help modernize the title.
First of all, you can move your ship in all directions with the left thumbstick, so you're no longer restricted to moving left and right at the bottom of the screen. A dilemma is that enemies fly at you from all directions, but your ship can only shoot straight up. In the original Galaga, when you freed one of your captured ships, you gained the ability to control two ships at the same time, which doubled your firepower to … two bullets at a time.
Galaga Legions introduces satellites into the fray. You can now deploy two satellites with the right thumbstick, positioning them in the ideal locations to offer the best defense or offense against the waves of enemies. Satellites can be redeployed at any time, and you don't even need to pick them up from their previous locations. Simply push the right thumbstick in one of the four main directions (up, down, left and right), and a satellite will be repositioned relative to your current location. Since satellites can only shoot straight, the deployment position will also be its direction of fire.
The sheer number of enemies that will populate the screen in Galaga Legions really puts to shame the alien formations of yore. They're bright, colorful, and pretty darn fast, so before the enemies begin their onslaught, the game provides you with some hints. Orange boxes identify where the enemies will be coming from, and a set of blue lines identifies the trajectory they will take. Act quickly to place your two satellites in the best locations to take down the alien scum. Enemies arrive in multiple waves, so you'll have to redeploy the satellites as the situation merits. In some formations, you'll be able to capture alien ships, quite the role reversal from the original Galaga. If you gun down a special freighter vessel, the remaining aliens will start fighting for your side.
Galaga Legions is proof positive that some classics don't need much adjustment to be made relevant for today's more discerning gamer. If you were a fan of the original series, be prepared to fall in love with it all over again. If you weren't yet a twinkle in your father's eye when it all began, then be sure to check it out when it hits XBLA in the upcoming weeks and find out what all of the fuss was about.
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