|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Kuju Entertainment / Bizzare Creations||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 27, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1, multiplayer||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
New players will find the DS control scheme to be incredibly intuitive and easy to jump into. The d-pad is used to move your ship in any of eight directions on the top screen. At the same time you'll used the stylus on a circular grid on the lower screen to aim and fire your cannons. The guns will blaze in any direction where you press and hold the stylus. A thin red line will help your track where you're aiming so you can keep your eyes peeled on the action without affording dangerous glances at the touch screen.
Aside from occasional hand cramps during extended intense sessions, this control scheme works amazingly well, and it allows for some extremely accurate movement and shooting. If you've played the original game on either Microsoft console then you're probably used to the dual analog stick controls which will be your preferred method of play. Rest assured the DS controls are a close second.
Part of the obvious appeal of the DS version is its portability. If you're willing to sacrifice some of the larger-screen graphical touches of its Wii counterpart, then the handheld version of Galaxies is the way to go. Overall the visuals on the DS are fairly close when it comes to your ship, enemies, and the near constant spray of bullets flying in all directions. You'll miss a few special effects found in the Wii version, yet it won't make much of a difference once you start blasting away.
Galaxies' robust single-player campaign mode is the main attraction in this package, but several multi-player options will let you wage geometric combat with friends. Co-op mode is self-explanatory, and players will have the option to have combined or separate scores, lives, and bombs. Simultaneous mode offers a fun twist by letting players send waves of enemies they destroy at their human opponents to clog up their screen. Versus mode has one player piloting the ship and blasting enemies while the other player is solely in charge of launching wave after wave of foes their way. The game supports online WI-FI play and multi-card local matches, but you can also wirelessly download the original Retro Evolved to a friend's DS in addition to all of the multi-player modes if they don't have a copy. Additionally, getting your hands on a copy of both versions of the game will allow you to wireless connect the DS to the Wii and unlock a bonus galaxy for each system.
The addictive retro gameplay and many extras in Galaxies greatly extend the playability of the original design. It's a game that's truly hard to put down for any length of time once you get sucked in. With so many planets to explore, medals to earn, and drones to upgrade, there are plenty of reasons to keep on coming back for more. Galaxies my not be as flashy or elaborate of some of the shooter titles on the DS, but it sure packs a mean wallop. It also has personality, and that goes a long way.
CCC Freelance Writer