The new generation of consoles has made way for some great indie games, and the Space Shoot-em up genre is having a bit of a Renaissance. “Galek-Z” takes full advantage of the new consoles with a really sophisticated physics, detailed Anime inspired graphics, and impressive A.I.. “Galek-Z” is still like a 16-bit shooter that you would see on Super Nintendo but modern.
Everything about “Galek-Z” feels retro inspired and it’s awesome. All the animation looks like old episodes of a Gundam show because you fly around in space mech-suits piloted by characters straight out of a ’70s Anime show like “Voltron” because they are stereotypical archetypes and are very Japanese. “Galek-Z” might look retro but the controls and physics are some of the most advanced you will see in a space shooter. The only thing that outshines the physics is the enemy A.I, “Galek-Z” has some of the smartest enemies I have encountered in a game and make the space dog fights tough but really exhilarating. I have never played a shoot ‘em up game that is part rogue-like. If you are unfamiliar with the rogue-like genre, they are characterized by extreme difficulty and having randomly generated levels for almost infinite replayablity.
“Galek-Z” is some of the most interesting I have played in the genre. It is possible to get used to the zero-g floating fairly easy but some of the moves you can pull will take some practice. If you want to complete the game you have to master some of the difficult flying and shooting tactics which can take a long time and a lot of frustration. Flying isn’t the only control you have to get used to. You can turn your ship into a robot-like mech that uses a laser sword but you have to get within range so you must be stealthy. I’ve never played a space shooter that had stealth and it is a cool edition to the gameplay. You can fly up close to an enemy and shut off your boosters when you get close to cut down on noise and change to your robot form to execute a blade kill. The blade isn’t the only way to quickly take an enemy out, there are several environmental hazards you can use to your advantage, but if you don’t pay attention these traps will kill you.
Just like the Anime shows that inspired it, “Galek-Z” is broken into several downloadable seasons. Each season contains five randomly generated missions and some story elements. As you progress you learn new abilities and get upgrades to your ship which will help for the bosses at the end of each season. The only issue, the power upgrades are random so if you have bad luck and end up with weak upgrades it will be hard to finish later levels. It can get frustrating at time because it is rogue-like, if you die you have to start the season over and you loose all your power-ups and some of the random elements can happen again so it can get repetitive. When you start a new season you loose upgrades but you retain your blue prints so you can still buy upgrades in the store to help you in the next season.
Overall I did enjoy “Galek-Z” I like the retro style graphics, especially the Anime scenes. I am a fan of the Gundam series so it was great to feel like a pilot from the show even though it’s not the same story. It might look like an old game but it plays like a new generation experience thanks to the advanced physics and A.I. Gameplay is fast and hard to master but if you get the hang of it you will find the space-shooting action to be very satisfying.
“Galek-Z” is not for everyone but if you like space shooters you will love this game.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and older: Fantasy Violence, Mild Language