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Wii Virtual Console: Galaga Review

by: Hollan ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Kick it old school with this arcade classic. Or, better yet, don't.

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    Galaga was originally released in arcades back in 1981 as a sequel to Galaxian. It has been ported to so many consoles since then that you have probably played it in one form or another if you are into retro games at all. You can even download it onto your Wii, although 500 Wii points seems a bit much for it.

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    In Galaga you control a spaceship fixed at the bottom of the screen that can only move left and right. The goal is to kill all of the alien bugs in each level in order to move onto the next level. So, your space ship (which I imagine as an X-Wing because I'm cool like that) can only move side to side and shoot at the alien hoard. Kind of like Space Invaders, you say? No, not really. These aliens move in formations and can attack your ship with bullets (you can shoot bullets in a vacuum?) or ray guns or whatever they are, and dive bomb you in order to wipe your ship out. Sometimes a boss alien will even fly down and pull your ship into its tractor beam, capturing it. This actually isn't as bad as it sounds. If your ship is captured, you can free it (as long as you have at least one life left) by killing the boss and then you'll have two ships you can control. Effectively, you'll have twice the fire power!

    There is really no end to the levels in Galaga. The only point of the game it to get the high score, which you can only cherish if you are playing with more than one person. There is no Virtual Console score board for all Wiis to compete against, unfortunately.

    The Wiimote makes for an easy controller. The d-pad controls the back and forth while the 1 (or was it the 2?) controls the ray guns.

    While nothing has been spruced up, this is a faithful emulation of the NES version of Galaga.

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    Graphics and Sound

    Yeah, neither of them shine in any way shape or form, but Galaga is from 1981! The graphics are a little bit better than Space Invaders, which is good, but only slightly. Everything is heavily pixilated. The aliens look like giant bugs while the space ship is little more than a spruced up triangle.

    Sound wise it is pretty sparse. There is the typical shooting sound and even an explosion sound when you lose a life, but there isn't even any music during the title screen. Oh well. That's what games were like back in the day.

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    I'm up in the air about this. I know Galaga is a classic game and it can be fun if you enjoy classic games, but the repetitiveness of it can get old. Also, if the point of the game relies on the high score, you really have nothing to shoot for (pun intended) if you are the only one playing your Wii. Without the competition I'm not sure what the point of this game is or how much fun you can have while playing it. Unless you just want to beat your own high score, of course. Then go for it!

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    Yes, Galaga is a classic, but for $5 you could spend your money on better games with an actual worthwhile goal and varied gameplay (The Adventures of Lolo anyone?). If you want to play something similar to Galaga, try Retro Gaming Challenge for the Nintendo DS. Both games offer entertaining gameplay with a better since of accomplishment.