The Game: An alien war fleet is closing in on Earth, armed with a powerful weapon that can eradicate the entire planet. You (and, if you happen to have some fellow gunners, four others) man the artillery batteries of an armed-to-the-teeth ship on a mission to take the fight to the aliens before they can bring it to Earth. If you successfully complete that mission, you can also move on to a second mission to defend the planet Gourb from the Galaxian fleet. (Namco, 1995)
Memories: This is the home adaptation of Namco’s theatrical walk-in video experience which appeared in arcades and amusement centers around 1990. How theatrical is it? The game’s literally in widescreen, with scoring information and statistics appearing outside of the letterbox area.
While I’m still torn on the control scheme of this game – oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to use the dual shock analog joystick here – I can tell you without a doubt that Galaxian3 is one graphically stunning game. I’ve been pining away for, oh, say, maybe a Dreamcast port of Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, and this is as close as I’ve seen anyone come to that short of Rogue Leader for the Gamecube. The scenery whizzes past you at dizzying speed. Hearkening back to Atari’s original Star Wars arcade game, you have nothing to do with the course of your ship – you just aim and blast away at…well, anything you can. Considering its 1995 release date, Galaxian3 is a fairly early Playstation title, and its graphics surpass those of many a game I’ve seen released since then.
So, what does Galaxian3 have to do with the original Galaxian? It doesn’t have jack to do with it, as far as I can tell, and appears to be nothing more than Namco reusing the name of one of their most popular franchises to raise the visibility of what was, in 1990, a very experimental game. But there are some almost Galaga-esque formations in the alien attack waves, so it lives up to the legacy. Highly recommended!