REVIEW – Galak-Z: The Dimensional is a 2D space shoot em up in which we control a space fighter which can also transform into a mecha robot with a sword! (Later). The game is pretty simple regarding story: The Evil Imperials have launched an all-out assault on the Alliance, and you’re the last person with a fighter that can get out. You meet up with an Alliance carrier led by Beam, a women who likes to give around orders but does not fight at all. You’ll have to do everything to stop the Imperials and save the day!
If that sounds cliché to you, well it is, and in fact, the entire game is setup as one big giant cheese factory when it comes to the style, and dialogue of the game. The game is an homage to the old mecha / space anime genre such as Macross, Gundam, and Armored Votom. It oozes style so much that the game is divided into Seasons, and the menu looks like the pause menu of an old VHS cassette.
Missiles and shiny ships
You can have all the style and homage in the world if you do not have great gameplay and at this point tolerable graphics when it comes to indie games. Luckily Galak-Z: The Dimensional excels at both of these. The gameplay can be fine tuned for casual (save per mission), or for a more challenging session (Save per season), though I do recommend starting with the normal difficulty since this game is not that easy.
I was surprised that the game is pretty tough. Our ship starts with basic weaponry which includes a laser cannon, and homing rockets. These weapons can be later upgrade, for instance, the laser can have ricochets, and elemental effects. Meanwhile, the rockets can be upgraded to have more of them, and have better lock-on speed. Upgrades can be collected during missions, and bought to be a permanent addon to our ship before leaving for a mission.
Most of the game’s levels take place in different asteroids from where we have to gather supplies, kill certain enemies, or disable enemy equipment. The enemy is not too smart, but it is aggressive enough for us to keep us on our toes. They use missiles, the bug type enemies chase us, and even the environment can have a few traps for us. It is ripe for us to indulge in fast paced 2D space combat.
Speaking of 2D, the graphics look stunning for such a game. It actually has effort in it unlike most 2D indie games, and the effects are all reminiscent of our old anime shows (Although in HD). From the smoke; to the explosions, everything looks great. The sound design is also neat, and every laser shot and explosion is as if we were there. The issue at least for me is that while Galak Z looks great, and sounds awesome, but the environments are bland as hell.
Most of the levels as mentioned previously will take place in asteroids that are giant mazes, however as the seasons progress; we go from asteroids to bases, and to other locations. The problem is that besides a new coat of paint these places are still just mazes, and do not offer too much. It would have been great to play in a less restricted place though that might have ruined some of the gameplay ideas.
Next time on… GALAK Z: The Dimensional
Finally, the game also features some randomly generated content, such as the episode names (with writer and director name also generated), and enemy locations. It is not much, but still a great feature for a game. Every season ends with a fake outro that lists the developers, and a few other people who worked on the game with screenshots from the Season happenings. It is a fun little idea that keeps the style together from menu to gameplay in this shooter.
A worthy game to play especially since it will be free for PlayStation Plus users. Do not let the bitterness make you avoid this Scifi throwback to the 80s.
+ Beautiful graphics
+ It is like reliving your childhood
+ Fun combat
– Samey environments
– Can be difficult at times
– Paper thin story
Genre: Shoot-‘Em-Up, Action
Release date: 4th of August 2015