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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Galaxian (Arcade/MAME/Namco Museum)

Today is my dad's birthday, so in a tribute to him, I thought I'd play what is probably his favourite game ever: Galaxian.

Surely the whole of the Developed World knows Galaxian. It's one of the most established classics we have. And it hasn't just died away - Namco has kept it alive on every format known to man through their Museum collections. That said, it's taken something of a back seat to its sequel, Galaga, which many prefer.

Not me.


7000 points. That gets you an extra ship. That'll come in handy.

For me, Galaga over-complicates the formula. With its attack patterns, dual-ship capability and challenging stages, it throws a lot more into the pot. And it's a good game, there's no doubt about it. But I think it takes the swoopy-swirly aspect of the alien attacks too far, leading to much frustration at times.

Galaxian, on the other hand, is as pure as arcade gaming comes. It's just you, with your ship and its single laser, against an enormous alien force. That's it. The parameters never change, and eventually they're going to force you into a mistake and you'll die. It's inevitable.

Survival relies on you getting into The Zone. Galaxian was probably the first game I ever played where I got into The Zone, at the age of 8. It's probably the game most responsible for me loving videogames now. And for me, it's still as enjoyable as it was when I played it in the chip shop in 1980.

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