When the Pac-Man franchise received a gameplay and graphical overhaul with the release of Pac-Man Championship Edition back in June 2007, it was received rather warmly by both critics and gamers. Soon after came Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which further tweaked the formula. It comes as no surprise, then that another old arcade title would receive similar treatment. Such is the case with Galaga Legions and Galaga Legions DX, available on both XBLA and PSN. Galaga Legions DX likewise benefits from improved and stylish graphics and fun gameplay to boot. However, the positives of the title are unfortunately held back by limited replay value and a concept that quickly becomes stale.
YEARS LATER, A FRESH COAT OF PAINT
Back to the Basics -The objective in Galaga Legions DX is rather simple: use the analog sticks to both aim and shoot objects to rack up points. The left analog moves the ship and aims, while the right analog stick shoots. There are ten stages comprised of five levels each. A timer begins counting down as the stage begins. If you manage to clear it quickly enough, the time will carry over, in hopes that it will eventually give extra time for the bonus round. Such a concept is fun and simply allows you to turn off your brain for awhile and relax with the simple premise. Furthermore, there is some strategy involved as the game encourages the player to use chains to kills objects and enemies, and the player can use other means to this endeavor as well such as the blowing up of bombs for example. After each stage has been completed, a graph will appear to track your progress to show you just how exactly you can improve in order to move up the leaderboards. That said, unless you're addicted to leaderboards, the gameplay does not lend itself to replayability and becomes stale after awhile.
Impressive Visuals - Perhaps the best accomplishment the game achieves are the stunning visuals that are beautiful to behold. The game sports a classy neon vibe to objects, enemies, and projectiles that are constantly moving about the screen. The graphics are especially well portrayed on an HDTV. Also of note are the solid sound effects that bring the action on screen to life by being loud enough to have a noticeable impact.
OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
Doesn't Last Long - Unfortunately, Legions is neither an all absorbing nor a long experience. In fact, you can beat the stages and levels the game has to offer in roughly two hours. The replay factor comes into play only if you are interested in where you stand on the leaderboards. While this certainly appeals to some gamers, it hardly pertains to everyone, if at all the majority. While I certainly had fun playing the stages, I couldn't quite bring myself to have another go around as simply shooting up enemies and objects over and over becomes stale. Furthermore, the lack of a multiplayer component also hurts the title. While there is a proclaimed Tournament Mode available, it was greyed out when I tried accessing it, so there is no telling what exactly it has to offer.
Doesn't Hold Up - While it is a neat gameplay mechanic to utilize both analog sticks for shooting and aiming, the race against the clock and the fast paced action will most likely only hold your attention for the first go around, if that. While it is nice to turn your brain off for awhile, the game does not provide enough variety nor challenge to make the gameplay interesting for hours on end. The overly simplistic arcade concept holds novelty at first but fails in taking hold of the player and absorbing him or her for hours on end. Without a sustained fun factor, the game does not succeed as best as it can.
It is quite difficult for me to recommend Galaga Legions DX with its $10 price tag. While there are stunning graphics and improved gameplay, the game does not provide enough content for those not interested in leaderboards. It is nice to see older titles receiving a modern day treatment, but this downloadable title may be one you want to pass on if you are looking for a four to six hour experience. On the other hand, if you can overlook the brevity and eventual staleness, then this game does enough right to warrant your attention.