Instead of the top-down formation shooting that the original Galaga
had, along with its relatives Galaxian
, and Galaga ?88
, Galaga: Destination Earth
offers three different modes of attack. There?s the standard top-down style, and then there?s a side-scrolling view a la Darius
. Then there?s the aforementioned behind-the-ship view that is more like Starfox
than any other game I can think of. The game switches between the three modes rather regularly, keeping it fresh and interesting. It seems that it stays in the Starfox
-style mode more than any of the others, however.
The two scrolling modes are eminently playable, with enemies swooping down and you blowing them to smithereens. You can pick up power-ups that let you use a tractor beam on an enemy, making them your ally, and as in the classic game, you can get pulled in yourself by the motherships and make dual fighters. This is all well and good, and quite entertaining. Inane trigger-pumping action, perhaps; but there?s certainly nothing wrong with that.
The behind-the-ship view presents something more of a challenge. Like in Starfox, your ship often obscures what you?re trying to do, making targeting something of a hassle. Even with the reticule that shows you where you?re firing, it?s more difficult than perhaps it needs to be. It?s not necessarily a bad idea, but perhaps it could be executed better. Hopefully the final version will be a little more tweaked than this preview version.
There are some missions that have specific goals -- in the demo, the ones you?ll find have to do with picking up a certain number of escape pods in a certain amount of time. It?s certainly a pleasant change of pace from the standard ?blow everything up? methodology, and does a good deal to keep the game interesting. There?s also a health bar now, which means that getting hit doesn?t mean instant death. Nice. And there are still the Challenging Stages. Woot!