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HotRod FAQ

Galaga 88 - December 30, '99 by Dorsola
Game:Galaga 88Company:Namco
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

Remember Galaga? Probably the most famous Space-Invaders offshoot ever made, aside from Galaxian? Well, seven years later, Namco did a proper sequel to this game, and called it Galaga '88. Unlike its predecessor, Gaplus, Galaga '88 keeps alive the simplicity of the original Galaga, with almost the same exact gameplay, many of the same strategies and ideas, while at the same time adding some nice new graphics, a "super ship" (capable of firing three shots at once), dimensional warps, and a basic plot.
Those of you who read my Gaplus review and saw me spouting off about how it was too complicated a game are probably wondering why I don't say the same thing about Galaga '88. The main reason is that the gameplay is pretty much the same - the new graphics and the new items add a nice touch to an otherwise plain and simple shooter game. We have detailed backgrounds (one unique backdrop for each level), detailed enemies, a couple of vertical scrolling areas, and a variety of neat alien dances for bonus rounds. The sound is very cool in this game as well - they reorchestrated the original Galaga music and many of the sound effects, and added some new tunes along the way - in my opinion, it sounds a lot better than Gaplus ever did.
As far as controls go, we're back to the basics - a simple left-and-right joystick and one fire button. Your ship moves about as fast as it did in the original Galaga, though shots are a bit faster in this rendition. This has the tendency to improve your play control a bit, and at the same time it helps to keep the challenge factor reasonably high. The game gets considerably more difficult as you go along.
Emulation in MAME is nearly perfect, and a separate emulator known as JAS-SYS1 also emulates Galaga '88, albeit less faithfully. Unfortunately, the original hardware has three CPUs in addition to the video and sound subsystems, and this makes emulation at full speed rather difficult. The game performs nicely on a fast computer, but will not work well on anything less than a Pentium 233.
Still, it's a great game - it's what a sequel of a classic game should be: It looks great, it sounds great, and it has some neat new stuff in it, but best of all, it's still FUN!
Graphics
10
9
Sound
Play Control
7
8
Challenge
Replay Value
8
5
Performance

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews