This game started out life as Galaga ’88 in the arcades and saw a conversion to the Japanese PC Engine under the same name. Understandably in the two years it took to get released in North America the name needed incrementing so it didn't appear too out-dated but the excellent gameplay remains intact.
Sequels to classic games such as this can often be a mixed bag. How often have we seen updates to Pac Man, Space Invaders or Frogger that fail to capture the magic the original games had? Thankfully in the seven year gap between this game and the original Galaga our friends at Namco did not forget what made the original so magical and improved on the classic shoot-em-up formula by bringing it up to date but keeping it true to its roots.
Just like the original game the levels consist of space bugs swarming around in set patterns before settling into formation. Some of the enemies create a nice satisfying explosion when killed. The system of doubling your firepower by sacrificing a ship in the hopes of rescuing it later is carried over from the original game too.
In between screens is a vertically scrolling stage where asteroids, exploding balloon-like creatures and swarms of baby aliens are destroyed before the attack wave starts. The bonus screens have some great tunes for blasting away to (listen out for the souped-up Tango) and the alien movement patterns are even more complex than before.
When your game has ended you can see statistics like shots fired, number of hits, progress and your hit-miss ratio which is a nice addition.
This is a great game even though it is simple and offers nothing new. It is packed to the gills with playability, addictiveness and is easily worth the asking price of 600 Wii points. Fans of the original Galaga will feel right at home with Galaga ’90.