Game Review #216: GALAK-Z: The Void (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Bradford “TheWaffinator87” E.
Publisher: Golem Consulting
Release Date: 3.26.19
Price (at time of review): $14.99
Buy GALAK-Z: The Void from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Hello Old School
GALAK-Z: The Void from 17-BIT studios is exactly what we need more often in games! I am so impressed with this game that I am starting off with facts and going to go more into details. I am hooked. I find myself rage quitting but then just like a fight with your spouse you find yourself crawling back for more. I mean, you know, because you love it no matter how angry you might get at times. That’s exactly what this game is; the definition of marriage.
Let’s dive a little into the story. I won’t go into too much of the story only because I don’t want any spoilers that would ruin it for anyone. But I will give a real quick rundown. You are Adam “A-Tak”, a single surviving pilot of a human space coalition. You team up with Beam - she pretty much runs the show - and Crash, a mercenary that helps you upgrade your fighter jet with salvage (currency) and mods that you come across as you play. You are fighting all kinds of space aliens or bugs and the “Imperials”, which are space bad guys.
What I really enjoy about this title a lot is the fact that it is a video game but plays like an old school anime show. Levels are called “Episodes” and after 4-5 “Episodes” you have “Seasons” (Chapters) - 4 in total. This game gives such homage to old school anime and the theme of a television show that even the OPTIONS menu and PAUSE menu seem like a paused videotape. You younger folks might not know what a videotape is, but I am sure you will learn about them in History class. Oh god am I getting old if you are reading this and really don’t know what a VHS is. I hope you do!
To be honest this is what sticks out the most about this game; the fact that it is just like an anime show that would’ve aired in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I almost feel like it pays homage to early 90’s as well (like ’93 at the latest) because this reminds me of a show I would watch on a Saturday morning while shoveling cereal down my throat. In fact, I was getting so addicted to the game and the Saturday morning nostalgia that I almost found myself wanting to eat some cereal while playing. I didn’t, though, because of the fear of getting some milk on my Switch. If there was some kind of “lifeproof” case for it I would so down some cereal while laying on my belly, kicking my feet, and playing this sweet, sweet cartoon like game.
How Do I fly this thing?
It’s very simple, actually. I was very pleased with how smoothly the controls played out in this game. The only thing that takes getting used to is the fact you are in space and you will drift/go further than what you tell the ship to do. It took some getting used to the physics of the game more than the controls. I found that for being able to fly a spaceship fighter and get into dogfights that the controls where actually rather basic and super user friendly. I mean not easy enough for a toddler, but that’s okay they can just watch you play. I played both docked with a Pro Controller and not docked (portable style) and found that both were very easy to control. The only thing that isn’t in this picture is to brake you use thrust and reverse at the same time which will allow you to brake where you are and keep you from aimlessly floating around.
Not only does the game play like an old-school anime, but it has the sounds and looks right down to how they should be. My favorite part of the game were the audio and visual respects paid to the old school retro anime and games. Like I was saying earlier this game makes me want to lay on my belly while eating some cereal while playing. The colors are very vibrant and addictive, and the music is perfectly balanced in the background; not to loud and not too soft. Everything from the old school “pew pew” laser blast noises to how they talked was anime themed.
The only thing that kind of irked me and made me a little on the iffy side is why the heck did it sound a little like Bowser from Super Mario 64 when you died? You know the “Ha Ha Ha” sounds of Bowser laughing as you died did sort of help with the retro vibe. It may confuse me, but that GAME OVER creepy Bowser-like laugh really drives home the retro aspect of the game because it reminds me of the good old N64 days.
Let’s go back to my opening statement about this game being like marriage. It is a game you will love at first sight and want to keep it, “marry it,” and cherish it. But it will have its bumps and make you so angry that you must take a breath and walk away before you say things that you might regret. I say this because even on Arcade Mode (easiest setting) it can be extremely difficult and take a few tries to beat one mission. There are 3 modes which you can play, and I really recommend starting off on Arcade Mode because it will auto save after EACH mission, where if you play Rogue Mode it only saves after every five missions! The Void Mode, yeah, we don’t talk about the Void Mode.
What I seem to find that works is using your Brakes and staying locked in one section and firing at your enemies and then as they get closer then worry about dodging and moving from their fire. Also, there are some elements of the stages that can instantly take away your shield, but the same goes for the bad guys. So, what you want to do is let the elements of the stage help and when an enemy loses their shield go in for the kill! I am enjoying this game more and more as I play and highly recommend adding it to your digital Switch collection! I’m actually enjoying it so much that I want to try out the older game for the Switch (which I didn’t know existed until now), GALAK-Z: Variant S. It makes me excited to try out the new game coming out from 17-BIT, Skulls of the Shogun, as well. The only thing that I would change is the overall difficulty of some of the levels because like I said they will make you want to rage quit, and no one likes a quitter.
So, one last question remains. Do you have what it takes to pilot as A-Tak and save us from Alien Space Bugs, and the Imperials (who reminded me a lot of Cobra from the cartoon G.I Joe show)?
Buy GALAK-Z: The Void from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
*Review Code Provided by Outrageous PR