Super Galaxy Squadron EX review




Once a dominant presence in the arcades and in home consoles of the 80’s and 90’s, shoot em ups haven’t been faring too well in the modern age of video games. Long gone are the games like R-Type, Raiden, Gradius, Galaga and several other well known shmups of yesteryear. Sure there are there Japanese bullet hell games that out, but those releases are too few in between, plus most mainstream American gamers wouldn’t be able understand what was going on in the screen. For the most part they have been regulated to being one of the most common games that indie studios can develop for mobile to make a quick buck. However, lately there has been a resurgence of new shmups that harken back back to the glory days of the genre. One of those game is Super Galaxy Squadron EX.


Super old school goodness


Two games for price of one- It’s kind of hard to put a price on shmups for many reasons, One of the main reasons for this that a majority of shmup are pretty short. The average gamer can probably blast through a shmup with in about an hour or two for their first runthrough. But for an experience player it might take them at least thirty minutes or less. On average most games are priced at the standard $59.99 price tag, however many gamers will complain that a game that short shouldn’t have such a high price tag and that since its a indie game as well, it should have a price that reflects its. For Super Galaxy Squadron EX, the game comes packed with two full version: Super Galaxy Squadron EX and the original version of Super Galaxy Squadron. When the first version of SGS was release, it retailed for $9.99, which is a pretty decent price for a shmup on Steam. Now with the release of Super Galaxy Squadron EX, not only do you get an upgraded version of the game with added mechanics and content, you also get the original version of the game, all for the same price as the original release, $9.99.


Great chiptunes soundtrack- Some of the most memorable video game music has come from shmups. The music pumps you up and readies you for a barrage of neon color bullets and an seemly never ending wave of enemies. Both versions of Super Galaxy Squadron have great soundtracks that give players two different styles. For those who want a more retro feel to the music can jam out to Super Galaxy Squadron, while those who like the modernized sounds of chiptunes can listen to Super Galaxy Squadron EX’s remixes. Either way boyth provide great music to listen to while trying to down a huge boss while dodging a hail of rainbow bullets.


Solid story for a shmup- Most shmups have little to no story in them. I mean what else do you need to know about the game other than dodge enemy bullets, fire back and dodge again. Some games might give a short blurb about how the planet is in danger and that one pilot is called upon to save the world. Super Galaxy Squadron EX however gives a bit more than a short bit. The game’s story is as follows:

“In the year 2335 the Federation made first contact with an alien race from the star Tau Ceti. At first relations between the Federation and the Ceti were peaceful until anti ceti sentiment started to spread within the Federation. Twenty five years later a human supremacist group called Terra Nova rebelled against the security force in the the Centauri system killed many civilians of both species. After twelve years of fighting, Terra Nova was put down and a uneasy truce was written up. Years later tensions have been rising between human and Ceti citizens as  both governments bolster their forces and neutral systems are deserted as civilians see refuge to safer territory. Fourteen fighters have been selected to fight in the upcoming war and win once and for all.”

Sounds pretty epic for just a shmup right? Some might think that this is just extra fluff, but for me personally I can really appreciate the fact that the developers took time to write up a background story to the game.

Multiple jet fighters play differently- In Super Galaxy Squadron EX you are given multiple jets, fourteen to be exact, to choose from to fight in the up coming war. Now one might think that these fourteen jets are just color swaps of the same one, but they’re not. Each fighter has different stats, primary and secondary fires, background stories and bombs that are unique to each fighter. This gives the game a bit of a strategy element to gameplay and can get players to think: “Do I want to blow everything up as quickly as I can and fill my bomb energy as fast as I can or should I be fast and nimble, only shooting when nessacry so I won’t be double blinded by the enemy’s bullets and mine”. The devs also added a health meter, which can make things easier by having pilots take more damage. Some may see this as a cheating, but as soon as the first wall of enemies start raining down neon bullets, they’ll be glad that it’s there.



Multiple modes- In addition to arcade mode and its three difficulties, Super Galaxy Squadron EX has two other modes that will give players a good challenge. These two modes are known as zen and gauntlet. Zen mode is where players can shoot an endless wave of enemies without having to worry about getting a hi score or advancing levels, Just shoot to your heart’s content. There is one other mode that has yet to be unlocked by the devs called gauntlet. I’m guessing that this will be some sort of boss rush type of mode where you play through each level with a set amount of health and does not refill after each new level. Once that mode is unlocked, this section will be updated with what I think about the mode.


Mayday, going down


No coop multiplayer- The best part of playing shmups, besides finally getting that top spot on the leader boards, is trying to make it to the final boss with someone by your side as player 2. And the funny thing is that it doesn’t matter if that person is a friend or a stranger, all that matter is that its just the two of you versus the game. Coop games always brings out the commodity out of total strangers and eventually strangers become friends. Which is why the only single fault that I can find with Super Galaxy Squadron EX is that there is a lack of multiplayer of any sorts. No LAN, online or same screen.


Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a great example that shmups can still be great fun and still matter in this generation of video games. For those who have the original version of the game will be getting great update. both visually and gameplay wise. For those who are buying the game for the very first time, you are getting a great deal as Super Galaxy Squadron EX comes packaged with last year’s version of the game and the updated version, Super Galaxy Squadron EX.  Backed with a great chiptunes soundtrack, a solid story for a shmup, multiple jets to choose from and multiple modes to choose from, really sells the game. Also keep in mind that there are two games package in. So that’s twice the fun. However the only really downside to the game is that there is no coop multiplayer. Hopefully this can be added in at a later date. If you are a fan of shmups and bullet hell type of games, then Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a must have in your collection.




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