In a distant Galaxy, the villainous Forth Empire has invaded the five planets of the once-
Faced with impending doom, the rest of the Galaxy's inhabitants call upon the Space Federation to do something about it. The result is Galaxy Force, a one-man attack craft of disturbing potency, with a certain person in the driving seat.
Flying over the surface of each planet, you must penetrate the Forthian defences and destroy each of five outpost fortresses. Only once these have been wiped out can you take on the giant enemy fortress and rid the Galaxy of the evil-
The Galaxy Force ship fires lasers which hit anything directly in front of it, and seeker missiles which automatically lock on to enemy targets and home in.
Enemy ships approach from the front and sides firing missiles, and danger is also present in the shape of natural obstacles like asteroids, volcanoes, and huge streams of fireballs.
Survive the airborne's defences and you enter the planet's fortress where you fly along a twisting corridor, avoiding the walls and blasting the gun emplacements on floor and ceiling. Reach the end of the tunnel in one piece, and the fortress blows up sending you onto the next level.
The ship's energy level is shown by a countdown timer which constantly ticks away during each mission, and is accelerated by contact with enemy ships, missiles or tunnel walls, once the protecting shields have been depleted. Once the counter reaches zero, your single ship explodes and the game ends.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Unlike its coin-op parent, Galaxy Force II is a little sparse on the visual side, with some rolling rasters and small moving graphics attempting to emulate several Megabytes of expandable sprites of the coin-op. The poor frame update and general scarcity of graphics provides little impression of forward movement, and there's no real atmosphere.
The tunnel sequence is more effective: though somewhat lacking in detail, it succeeds in providing a convincing environment of twisty tunnels.
A reasonable rendition of the unusual coin-op soundtrack clanks away during play, although the explosion spot effects are weak. By contrast, a nice snippet of sampled speech warns of upcoming bends in the fortress interior but is only heard when no effects are playing. This is somewhat annoying since it's useful to have some indication of how to approach the next turning.
Once all five scenes have been played a few times, any urge to continue rapidly fades. The ability to select a starting level only serves to dampen the enthusiasm even more: there are no real surprises in store, and presuming the final sixth mission to merely be a longer and more difficult version of the first five, there really isn't much to look forward to.
This is another case of 'keep moving, last like crazy and hope you survive'. You don't need to worry about strategic positioning of the ship, since your homing missiles know what's going on better than you do, and the rather chaotic graphics means that it's difficult to follow the action anyway.
Negotiating fortress tunnels is the more entertaining of the two sections, but the ship's sluggish response means that it's too tricky to be taken at speed, and therefore too slow to get the adrenalin flowing. It's also necessary to regulate your speed so that you don't smash straight into tunnel walls, but can still reach the end of the level before your energy runs out. So it's fiddly to have the speed control located on the keyboard.
Galaxy Force is an ambitious project, but in the light of Activision's success with the equally impressive Power Drift, it really looks like a half-