Galaxy Force II
You are strapped into a spaceship to take on five dangerous settings, ranging from a pleasant garden to hostile fire and tough ice. You will have to fly freely before cutting through tunnels and canyons, and finally destroying an alien base. Your energy read out starts at 1200 and decreases as shots hit you, or you make contact with a wall or blockage. You have infinite cannons and guided missiles to help you along. You can get regular energy recharges and power upgrades, by shooting and then collecting their carrier pods.
There's Never A Gas Station Around When You Need One, Is There?CrimsonWizard | Feb. 7, 2013 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Galaxy Force II thrusts into a mission to save the newly formed Federation from the The Fourth Empire whose forces are currently conquering the Junos star system. Technically an updated version of the original 1988 arcade Galaxy Force, the second game plays as a faux-3D space shooter, somewhat like the original Star Fox.
Unlike Sega's earlier and ultra simple Super Thunder Blade, Galaxy Force II is a little more involved and you can even see how it inspired the Star Fox series. For starters, you actually get to pick from 5 planets what your starting level will be, and while you must eventually finish them all to reach the final stage, it is nice having options. The levels aren't bad either with some turns and obstacles added to help make it feel like you're not just flying through long corridors. Though there's heavy resistance in each stage, you're fairly mobile and decent reflexes will help you survive, and your shield can block a few shots for you as well. Your goal in each planet is to blow up as many of the Empire's ships as you can before dispatching the enemy's core at the end of each stage. Thankfully, it isn't too hard to attack thanks to the game's lock-on feature where holding the firing button can charge and home in energy cannons on nearby targets. What is hard is actually surviving though. You'll quickly notice an Energy counter at the bottom of the screen which serves as both a timer and health gauge. Simply put you need to finish the stage before you run out, and you need to avoid taking too many shots without a shield or the damage will reduce your energy too. You can add to this energy value by chaining lots of enemy kills for an energy bonus provided between stage transitions, but even so it's unlikely you'll reach the last stage because of this fuel gauge because once you die once it's Game Over. Sadly, this is one of those arcade ports that failed to include a credit system after a death, a flaw in an otherwise decent space shooter.
Galaxy Force II is a mixed bag for me. On one hand, there are a lot of ideas I like about this game that were used in other games such as selecting a planet to fly through, mixing health and time limits together, and the homing shot. However, it has several flaws as well such as the lack of an actual continue system and dated graphics. Thus, I can't really recommend this one, but I can at least appreciate it for the ideas it helped pass on for later games in the 3D Space Shooter genre.
Classic ShooterHarjyot | May 21, 2011 | See all Harjyot's reviews »
An old school classic that remains enjoyable and very difficult to this day. It may seem outdated at first, but it is still worth checking out. The soundtrack really has an old school feeling to it, which a plus. Visuals have a nice pseudo-3D to it, which impressive for a Genesis game. Check it out sometime, and you'll have a blast.