Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade - Impressions

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360)Galaga on Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360)Well, it was Xbox Live Wednesday again yesterday and that means a fresh arcade download. This time it was Namco's classic, Galaga, now under the Namco Bandai banner.

Unlike many past arcade ports to the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade, this one is a straight up port - no frills whatsoever. Beyond the standard resolution update to 720p and a concession for screen format - the original was a vertical game and in order to compensate just like with Frogger there's a type of cabinet art on each side - this is a pure emulation. What you got with the arcade game you get here, other than achievment tracking and comparisons via Xbox Live. So, what did I think?

Well, beyond the dissapointment of what I thought would be a no-brainer visual upgrade - after all, wouldn't a pixel accurate redefinition of the sprites as an option be terribly neat? - it played reasonably well on the gamepad using the d-pad and the standard face buttons (one for single shot, one for "rapid fire", which is really just staggered rapid fire). Ship performance felt perhaps a bit sluggish as did the shots, but then it's tough to compare it to playing it on my MAME arcade cabinet with real arcade controls.

This downloads rates at 400 points for the full version, which roughly works out to about $5. Unlike both Frogger and Cloning Clyde - the latter of which I previously mentioned liking - I actually went straight ahead and spent the points on the full game. Why? The competitive aspect. Not only is this the perfect game for relatively mindless and fun play sessions when I feel like them, it's a great competitive hi-score game. That's why I spent the money. I won't be so forgiving though if future arcade releases are as vanilla as this, particularly upcoming ones like Pac-Man, especially not with having a MAME arcade machine and especially with the modern controller, which of course is not ideal for such things.

(By the way, I also downloaded and quickly tried out the "Dead or Alive 4" demo with the wife. While it's the same old "Dead or Alive" gameplay, the visuals are truly remarkable.

I ran out of space on my 360's hard drive, but cleared some room and also downloaded "Table Tennis" and the Lord of the Rings RTS game, but didn't get a chance to try them out.)


Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Nice retro GALAGA flashback

Yes, I like the art and the gameplay is very much like the original arcade. What I dislike is the fact that the gameplay screen cannot be scaled/stretched fullscreen.

I find the Dead or Alive 4 demo rather limited. I have the original Dead or Alive on Xbox which looks very good and don't feel the need to 'upgrade' ;)

Bill, you'd better play Galaga some more. Both MrCustard and I surpassed your highscore!
-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

mrCustard (not verified)

on the first try... ;)

Gamertag: Custardo

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
I wish I had time, but when

I wish I had time, but when I was attempting to play, my daughter found the need to stand in front of the TV and follow the fighter with her finger. Maybe after we come back from the new house tonight I'll give it a go when she's sleeping (though I do have to write more for the book (don't want to lose the deal!) and of course AA). At the very least I want to get some of those achievments! They seem SO attainable, but who knows...

Hopefully I can beat the European connection though at least once... ;-)

As for the screen stretching limitations, I don't mind it on Galaga. The same option was for Frogger and that actually was much harder to see in my opinion.

Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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