3D Galaxy Force II (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Charlie Shepherd 30.04.2015

Review for 3D Galaxy Force II on Nintendo 3DS

Harkening back to the arcade atmosphere of the 90s, SEGA's 3D Galaxy Force II brings the classic rail shooter back to life in a small, portable, 3D package. This iteration of Galaxy Force II takes the gameplay of the arcade to the small screen, ready to play whenever and wherever. SEGA's classic titles elicit many a fond memory from the gamers of old, but does the title withstand the test of time and prove to appeal to more than nostalgic bliss?

Powering up 3D Galaxy Force II almost feels like walking into an arcade, quarters to be burned. Fortunately, this iteration can only hope to gobble a one-time payment, to the relief of quarter peddling mothers everywhere. Though naturally the 3DS is not capable of fully replicating the feeling of stepping into a genuine Galaxy Force cabinet, the epic feeling of rushing through space is far from lost in this iteration's more convenient size.

Five unique worlds await liberation from an evil empire at the hands of the Galaxy Force fighter. To accomplish this, each world is traversed at high speeds with obstacles to be overrun, enemy fighters to be defeated, fortresses to be penetrated, and energy cores to be destroyed. Fighters can be challenged by use of a simple laser shot or a homing missile, and they had best be destroyed efficiently, as the Galaxy Force fighter only has so much fuel. Skilfully traversing each world while destroying many enemy fighters can replenish lost fuel, but time and efficiency is very much of the essence and not a drop of precious fuel can be wasted. Penetrating enemy fortresses requires navigating tight corners in narrow spaces without colliding with the walls, but it had best be done quickly as well if the ship is to survive all five worlds.

Screenshot for 3D Galaxy Force II on Nintendo 3DS

The various worlds of the game feature a unique soundtrack and visual style that effectively communicates the theme of each planet. The fire world Ashutar feels hot with excitement, while the plant world Malkland feels alive with danger. The unique obstacles in each world fit with the theme and support the feeling of immersion in each planet, as the plant world pits star ships against wildly flung spores, while the desert world features towering dust storms. The soundtrack contributes to this atmosphere while communicating the message of epic urgency as well as the feeling of each particular world's theme; it gets the blood running without being distracting or inappropriate. The 3D visuals offered by this 3DS version present very naturally. The feeling of rushing through each level with enemies getting closer and closer with the 3D effect seems so well integrated that it is almost as if the game was designed with such an effect in mind. Some of the visuals, particularly in the narrow tunnel fortress sections, can get a bit choppy and strange looking with the 3D effect, but for the most part the visuals are not too detracting.

Haste is of the essence in this title, and on its default settings actually progressing through all of the levels is a serious challenge. The game features an adjustable difficulty that can alter the rate of fuel depletion, shield strength, starting energy, and general difficulty to make a full play-through more accessible. Nevertheless, perhaps as a legacy of its quarter-guzzling goal, the adventure is very unforgiving and mastery almost requires memorization of the optimal way to progress through each world. This is really only accomplished by a good many attempts, probably much to the joy of the recipients of all of those shiny quarters back in the day. On easier difficulties or as a more serious time sink the levels are very ready to be challenged and enjoyed, but at least on the default settings the experience may start out as somewhat frustrating if approached without much experience. The controls tend to run quite smoothly, with responsive entries for speeding up or slowing down and steering. A complete run can be accomplished in one short sitting with easy enough settings, but mastery takes far more practice.

Screenshot for 3D Galaxy Force II on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


3D Galaxy Force II captures the feeling of a classic arcade thrill ride, but the ride may prove to be a tad short-lived. The game sports appealing classical visuals and sound that are appropriate for a pick-up-and-play rail shooter, but not without minor flaws. The source of the game's difficulty can prove a bit frustrating, and mastery may seem not entirely worth it nowadays. While it is an enjoyable classic to sit down with as a boredom killer and try to beat the old high score, it may not prove to be a must-have title.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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