Yesterday Capcom released the trailer for its upcoming Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade 80’s arcade title compilation entitled “Capcom Arcade Cabinet”. The staggered collection will find the first ‘game pack’ made available on February 19th and further ‘packs’ through May 21st or as individual purchases and will eventually allows us fans of the company to own 15 classics from their library that were originally released in 1984-1988.
Ghosts n Goblins, Gun.Smoke, Avengers (The fighting game not the Marvel Comics team), Legendary Wings, Trojan, and Commando are just a few of the titles that will be made available in the upcoming months as a way to join in on the 30th anniversary celebration of Capcom.
Some exciting news for Dragon’s Lair fans today. It has been announced that the classic arcade game animated by Don Bluth Productions will be released to the Xbox Live Arcade later this year and even more amazing you will be able to play the game if you want with the Kinect motion sensor!
Thanks to our friends over at THQ for sending me a review copy of their newest release, Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
THQ has given fans of Voltron a twin stick shooter, in the vein of the classic arcade game, Jackal. You get to pick any of the five Lions at the beginning of the stage and with a sweet intro to the mission thanks to THQ using actual clips from the original Voltron animated series you are ready to bring a whole bunch of pain to the forces of King Zarkon.
Each of the Lions have different stats, some have better Melee abilities and Armor, swiftness and elemental attacks, etc. but each one really gives you the joy of controlling a couple hundred tons of awesomeness in Lion form.
They’ve done a great job in the feel in those controls during combat too. You’ve got your ranged attacks, your melee attack, special weapon attack, and my favorite…a pounce attack. You can use that particular attack to leap over and land in the middle of the foot soldiers of King Zarkon and do some nice area damage or better yet you can snatch an aerial enemy flying overhead and and smash them to the ground. You can stop in your destruction and aim where you will pounce too by the way. But your Lion can be knocked out of commission of course and then you will have to go on foot for 10 seconds, trying to survive long enough for your Lion to be recharged. Not as easy as it sounds, trust me.
The vehicles, like Doom Tanks and foot soldiers from the early episodes of the Voltron series are all here for you to go against and like I mentioned up top, the game has original animation in between levels, but it also has taken the original music from the series and revamped it a bit. It sounds really good and it is just my inner geek but I had a big smile on my face when Lance popped up on the side of the screen praising me when I racked up a number of chain hits on the enemy. I kind of felt like I should have saluted him or something.
When you reach the end of a ‘level’ it’s time to face one of King Zarkon’s suped up Robeasts, thanks to Witch Haggar’s evil spell. You’ll have to wear down the Robeast in Lion form, and I bet in Multiplayer this is incredibly awesome. Then when it is on the ropes you will form Voltron by way of context button presses during the original animated clip.
After forming the legendary Voltron you will get your chance to attack, picking from the four options of special weapons, you will have to press the button at the right moment to unleash devastation on the Robeast. The Robeast will get a chance to retaliate and you need to press the correct button to avoid it’s attack.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe is available right now on the PSN for $9.99 and X-Box Live Arcade for 800 points. It’s a fun title and if you want to join me in the game for some multiplayer, just send a friend request to Unicron2005 on Xbox Live. Speaking of Xbox Live, if you want to dress up your Avatar in some Voltron related goodness they are available in the marketplace!
Today’s Retro vs Remake games: Galaga vs Galaga Legions/DX
While technically not the first fixed space shooter, Galaga was probably one of the most successful ones. The sequel to space shooter Galaxian, Galaga shares many things in common with its predecessor but also features some neat new innovations.
Gameplay is pretty simple: you move along the bottom of the screen, firing your ship’s gun at the alien formations that move around at the top of the screen. No, this is not Space Invaders, the aliens will actually try to actively attack you by dive-bombing your ship and firing shots of their own. There are even “boss” enemies at the top that swoop down to try and capture your ship. (If you let them, then you have a chance to recapture it and get a dual-ship;) There are also challenge levels every four levels where enemies fly across the screen in predefined formations and you get bonus points for each enemy you hit and an even larger bonus if you destroy every enemy in each “wave” and/or stage.
After its initial success in the arcades, Galaga spawned a couple sequels and in more recent years, several remakes.
The most recent and notable remake is Galaga Legions. This XBLA/3DS game takes the core concept of Galaga (shooting aliens) and completely turns it on its head.
The first noticeable change in Legions is your ship. Not only can you move your ship anywhere on the screen, but in addition to your standard fighter, you now have two small, indestructible satellite ships attached to each side that fire smaller shots along with your main guns (which now fire a continuous barrage rather than individual shots). These satellite ships can also be positioned independently around the screen and will fire a continuously in the direction they’re facing. This adds a unique layer of strategy to the game that is otherwise lacking.
Enemy formations have also gotten a complete overhaul. It is very rare that you will see the standard five row pyramid from the original. Instead, massive swarms of enemies swoop in from all over the screen. To balance the seemingly impossible odds, nearly every enemy swarm has a “core hive” somewhere in the formation. If you destroy the core, every enemy attached to it is automatically destroyed. Another helpful feature are the “trace lines” that briefly appear before each wave showing you the path of each enemy formation.
Another new gameplay feature is the “black hole” object. This object occasionally appears and begins to suck everything on the screen into it. If you manage to destroy the hole, any enemies that were caught in its vortex will become your allies and swarm all around you, destroying any enemy in their path (destroying themselves in the process). This feature seems to replace the “boss galaga capture/dual ship” trick from the original game.
The visuals in Legions are stunning, especially when you have masses of enemies on the screen, your ship is firing at full power and you have turned enemies swarming all around you. While impressive, it can also be distracting and difficult to tell what is going on around you when the screen is full or laser blasts and explosions.
Legions is an excellent game with a definite old-school feel, but the massive shoot-fest also seems to take away any strategy found in the original and turns it into a game of pure reflexes and pattern memorization. Then again, that’s how many arcade games played as well. All in all, I’d have to say I liked the original Galaga best; its elegant simplicity beats the sensory overload of Legions.
What’s your pick? Galaga or Galaga Legions? Vote for your favorite in the comments.