Any regular to big funpark-type video arcades will probably remember this old shooting game for four players where each gunner would sit side by side in front of a big wide screen and shoot at moving 3D space ships, trying to save Earth from an alien super cannon. Now Namco brings this classic arcade game to the Playstation, where up to four players (with the right hardware) can go gun down alien robots from the comforts of your own home (and free replays too). ^^;; Welcome to Galaxian 3!!
Mother Earth is being menaced by a deadly super cannon from a faraway planet. Your job is to become one of the gunners of the super starfighter Dragoon and kick some robotic ass. Sounds easy right? =) Well..
This game is similar to Gunblade NY and the classic Cyberia shooting game for the PC. Basically, you'll be sitting in the gunner's seat of a flying spaceship that will be turning and corkscrewing all over the place. Your job is to somehow target those pesky little fighters and turret emplacements, etc. that will be flying all over your screen with your trusty blaster crosshairs and pull your trigger. Sounds easy right? Oh, did I mention that many of those targets shoot back? And that you have limited shield energy to absorb those shots? And that once the shields go it's game over, no continues?
The targets all move in a predictable way though so once you've memorized where the enemies come from, it's all a matter of how much control you have over your crosshairs.
Fortunately, you can control the level of difficulty of the game and there's even an option that let's you have a computer partner to help you shoot. You can use a generic co-pilot named Frank. I don't like him though 'cos Frank likes to hog points and loves targeting targets that are worth the most points while ignoring the little guys that you tend to have trouble aiming at. He's an ambitious S.O.B who wants to be ranked number one gunner at the end of the mission. I wonder what happens if you beat him somehow? Maybe he'll call up his big brother/sister to show you a thing or two...maybe :) You can also record your own performance in the game and use that "ghost" of yourself as your co-gunner. (You'll need a memory card to record your performance once through the game.)
Also, you can modify the performance of your blaster. Your blaster has three attributes, Power (how much damage you do), Area (how big an area your shots affect) and Rapid (basically your rate of fire, the faster the better). Power lets you take out most fighters with one shot but the area of effect is smaller which means you have to aim better. Area gives you a bigger aim area but your power is lower. Rapid gives you a great refire rate but your area of effect AND power are lowered. Normal gives you a balance of all these abilities. You can also control the Speed of the blaster crosshair's movement, which adjusts the "sensitivity" of the crosshairs to your gamepad movements.
One bonus you'll get if you finish the original Dragoon mission successfully is the unlocking of another bonus mission that you never saw in the arcade version. Similar to the first mission, your job is to take out yet another alien super cannon to save Earth. Can eyes (and fingers) take the strain?
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are all 3D and fairly good, with smooth motion throughout and no jerkiness at all. The action is all accompanied by fast-paced bgms and co-pilot voices to help put you in the atmosphere. A great translation from the arcade version. However, I feel the graphics are kind of dated by today's standards, with enemy sprites that look a bit too blocky and untextured. (Sorry but I played the original Galaxian 3 YEARS ago and this game is pretty much identical..since then I've played games like Gunblade NY, Cyberia, Star Wars, etc. call me spoiled.)
A nice multiplayer space shoot-up that should appeal to all the little starfighter pilots in all of us. Great fun for all ages.