The really clever thing about Galaxies mode is that each level is its own unique riff on the regular GW gameplay. Some experiment with particular waves or combinations of enemy. Others throw in moving obstacles, add annoying jagged borders to the playfield or even chuck minefields into the mix. You’re always doing something new and challenging, and as the difficulty ramps up faster than it does in straight GW – as does the score – you’re rarely playing for more than a few minutes at a time. Accomplished GW masters might find a few cakewalks along the way, but if you’re a novice or – like me – a complete no-hoper, you’ll also like the way in which Galaxies mode helps you develop confidence and skill.
On top of this, GW:G even bundles in some decent multiplayer offerings. Sadly, you can’t play online, but download play is supported with another DS. Co-operative and competitive play modes are a no-brainer, but the versus mode is entertaining, with one player playing as normal while the other deploys enemies as resources allow on-screen.
Now things get tricky. GW: G is a marvellous handheld shooter – and one that sits in a different league to any of the retro arcade efforts that have turned up on the DS thus far. However, you are paying £16.99 for an enhanced version of a game you can buy for around a fiver on the PC or 360. Is it worth it? To my mind, yes. Other DS games have more depth or stronger visuals, but I can only think of a handful of puzzle games that have proved as captivating over such long periods as this one. Like them, GW: G isn’t a game that will command your attention for days on end, but it is a game that will keep you coming back for more throughout the year.
On the plus side, this means you’ll get your money’s worth, and lots of fun. On the downside, I might not have full use of my thumbs and fingers this time next year. Oh well, if that’s the way it has to be, I’d better just get stuck back in.
The world’s favourite arcade retro shooter works its magic on the DS, with great controls and a fine attempt to replicate the graphics. Crazily addictive and decent value to boot.