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Name: Legend of Galactic Heroes V
Type: STG
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: BothTec
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Kyubi Fox

Ginga Eiyu Densetsu is a space epic written in the 70's. It has spawned an anime series and several games on different gaming platforms. Now this is the 5th game in the PC series, so we would expect better. Sadly, that is not the case.

The Gin series has been know for its excellent resource management that put you in control of the entire galaxy. But then somehow, Bothtec has decided to completely eliminate the long-term resource management in the previous games. All we are left with are a bunch of battle scenerios loosely linked together by the story in the novel. The original spirit of conquering the galaxy is lost.

So now that they focus only on the battle part, it must be very good! But sadly, no. In the previous games, you can create your own formation of what ships you use for what general. In GinV, all those are fixed. You are given a army that you are supposed to use (because these are battles in the novel). This really annoys me because you cannot create specialized attack groups (like all Destroyers for high agility).

Another bad thing is that the map is way too big (or the ships too slow). It takes more than 10 turns to move across the map, and many missions only has 30 turns. This creates a deadlock when you see your enemy. Once you engage in battle, you can't run because the closest friends will take more than 5 turns to come. And if you run you will have your tail facing the enemy (which means even higher damage). Lots of times the two groups just face-off until one dies. This totally takes away any amazing strategies as depicted in the novel.

There is an interesting thing called the "alertness" that you can set. The higher it is the more quickly you will be tired. This actually doesn't mean much because it only take 3 or 4 turns to totally drain up your morale, and the average encounter last at least 5 turns.Basically after 10 turns in each scenerio EVERYONE will have 0 morale.

Gameplay: 3/10 I have to say this game sucks. The battle system is very weak. As said before, you don't have the reasonable degree of freedom you need for a strategy game and the ships just move way too slow.

Story: 2/10 The original novel is one of the better space novels from Japan. But this game does not use that effectly. All that connects the scenerios are message boards that tells you the background of the battle. Sometimes there are generals talking to each other about strategies and stuff, which saves this game from getting a 1 in story.

Graphics: 6/10 The way they have clips of 3D ships shooting and blowing for EVERY fight is kinda nice, but if you have a slow CD...even a half second delay when loading every clip will drive you crazy, considering there are at least 5 shots being fired each turn (which means 10 clips per turn). Good thing there is an option to turn them off! But then the game is reduced to a simple board game... Overall the graphics style is pretty nice, but not exceptional.

Music/Sounds: 4/10 The music depends entirely on your soundcard because they use MIDI. All the BGM are classical music, which means they are not specificly designed for computers (the difference of CD quality classical music is too much better than MIDI). The sounds are quite repetitive and boring as well. Except in the clips the only sounds are pressing buttons.

Overall: This game is NOT a worthy successor to GinIV. Unless you are a Gin freak or you are planning to get GinV Grand (add-on for 10000yen!!! It is supposed to add a lot more option to the game) you won't want to get this. If you are looking for good space strategy game, get GinIV EX instead.
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