Now what is a game without gameplay? A bad one. Unfortunately in the case of Galerians there is very little gameplay to speak of. Most of the game is spent running back and forth to and fro looking for items or flipping switches, or venturing to the data world and back all at a frightening slow pace. This game took me almost nine hours of complete and at least three of them were wandering around aimlessly because I had no idea what to do. There is very little direction in the game, so expect to wander off track a lot only to find yourself back on track just because you happened upon something. How am I supposed to know a door won’t open without me checking a freaking computer screen that looks like part of the background. This also leads to needless frustration. Coupled with a painfully slow run and you’ve got a limited chance at fun, in fact you can move faster just by rolling forward all the time, although the timing on this is a bit tricky.
Aside from wandering there is the actual combat of the game. There is a decent number of enemies aside from bosses, it actually takes more than one hand to count the monsters, which is more than what I can say for Zone of the Enders. Each monster’s attack consist of three key attacks. There is the beam or projectile attack, the physical attack and the leaping physical attack. All of these attacks are easily dodged thanks to Rion’s roll ability.
To counter these fearsome attacks Rion is able to employ some drugs, known as PPECs in the game which allow him to pull of some attacks of his own. My favorite being the ability to lift a number of opponents off the ground, spin them around a bit and then slam them into the ground. The combat is made even more simple thanks to the easy to use lock-on feature which makes it so that whatever enemy targeted will be hit. Only problem is that once you start charging an attack you can’t move making you wide open to attacks which can cancel your charge, chalk up another point on the frustrations chart.
With all drugs there are side effects to their use. Once Rion’s AP meter becomes full he experiences a “short” where he gets a little woozy and walks very slowly but is invincible and can pop the heads off normal enemies, however this head-popping effect does not work against bosses. As enemies die they leave behind vials which have a large number of effects. They can strengthen the abilities of each PPEC, or can be refill vials which refill a specific PPEC, or can boost your max AP, HP, or PPEC so it actually pays to sit around and kill some enemies. There was a room that spawned in 600 weak enemies, and after a half hour of fighting I was up in the 4000 range for AP, and high 3000’s for HP so I was set to go for the rest of the game.
For all the problems Galerians Ash has there is definite promise here. The concept behind the game is sound and interesting. Now if only the graphics, music, gameplay and story could get some extra love and care there might be a good game in the works. But as it is Galerians Ash is a sub-par effort and should be rented if anything.
Galerians Ash had the potential to be a great sequel but is hampered down by many technical shortcomings.
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