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HotRod FAQ

Gaplus - December 30, '99 by Dorsola
Game:GaplusCompany:Namco
Type:ShooterPlayers:1/2

In a different review, I mentioned how Namco seems to have gone through a bunch of phases with their game development. Gaplus is one of the games they tried to make look and sound really fancy, since they had the hardware available to do so at the time. Gaplus, which is basically a glitzy clone of Galaga (and the name implies "Galaga Plus"), is unfortunately a big disappointment, at least for me.
Don't get me wrong: The game is pretty neat, visually pleasing, and it has a number of neat new features that the original Galaga didn't. Among these are more complex enemy movement patterns, the ability to move your ship up and down as well as left and right, hidden bonuses, powerups, and even the ability to capture your enemies. But in my opinion, all of this tends to detract from what appealed to me most about Galaga - its simplicity. Namco made this game too complex for its own good, in my opinion.
The graphics are quite detailed, with realistic-looking insectoids you have to shoot down and a three-layer scrolling star background. Sound is so-so - higher quality than the original Galaga, but just because the quality's higher doesn't mean I'm necessarily enthralled with it. (The intro music, for instance, is really dumb IMHO.)
Because you can move in two dimensions, the game control is more complex and, for the most part, appropriately executed. Two-dimensional movement, however, is one of the things I find myself disappointed with, because it adds more complexity to a game that was meant to be simple. I do have to admit, though: This added movement, and the necessity for it (there are stages where you HAVE to dodge the bugs by moving up or down), increase the game's overall challenge. Couple that with perfect (or near-perfect) emulation in MAME and JAS, and you have a game that's worth trying.
Who knows? Maybe you'll be happier with this game than I was. If you wanna see a REAL sequel to Galaga, though, check out Galaga '88. =)
Graphics
8
6
Sound
Play Control
6
7
Challenge
Replay Value
4
10
Performance

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews