Galerians PS1 Review

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DOS Wolf
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Galerians PS1 Review

Post by DOS Wolf »

As you lay restrained to a hospital bed unconscious, a girl's voice reverberates in your mind pleading for help. You awake finding two needles, which are meant to kill you or at the very least fry your brain for reprogramming, plunging into your neck. You shake screaming in terror, as the pain is intense, like red hot irons being shoved into your brain. As you lay there helpless indeed losing your memory, you discover you have new powers... Using your thoughts you undo the restraints and slide off the bed, clutching your forehead. You find that all doors are locked, but one you have a feeling you can open. You force your mind to unlock it and you race out into the unknown...

This is the premises of the game, a young man trying to find himself, his lost memories and trying to escape his captors. Your mind is the weapon and in no time you'll be popping more heads than on a sweaty adolescent's back... From the start you have two powers; the power to push and the power of fire. Nalcon sends out a force either pushing people back or completely knocking them on their rear ends. Red on the other hand distracts them with unbearable heat and smoke or sets them completely ablaze. You have a power gauge that has several settings. You also can find pills that will raise your power level to three, but get hit when your health is halved and you lose them, a bit of a waste in my opinion. Plus the gained levels can not be carried over to the next mission.

You can also use your mind to scan which is a unique feature to games and costs nothing to use. Although it does no damage per say, it is a must for solving puzzles, while giving you hints of your past and also moving the story along.

Unlike other games it tries to emulate, mostly Resident Evil... it doesn't waste space on logical solving equipment like keys or puzzle items, they go into a different slot entirely that never becomes full. However, you also have to select the item to use opposed to just unlocking a door automatically once you come upon it. It also does not use a chest or banking system where your stuff can be held and picked up in other parts of the game. And finally it does not tell you how many items you can hold, just after so many it just tells you you're full, but I counted twelve max and they never stack... Also saving is as simple as finding a save room.

However very few games hinder your progress as much as this one. As you walk or run, your Anger Points rise. Once completely full and you try to use one of your newly acquired powers the screen shakes and those around you, even some of the most toughest enemies, will fall to the ground dead just by a simple look from you. However, in this state you are slowed to a walking crawl and your health continually deteriorates until you either die or you take a Delmetor to reduce your anger. These pills are hard to come by and if you had not planed ahead, can spell disaster for you. I found myself with quite a few health pills, but only one or two at most of the anger reducing ones at any given time. If you had not thought before hand, you might not only have to restart from your last save, but your last Act as well. However with that said, they place the items in strategic places, so it is not quite as bad as it may sound. Just try and think before you start grabbing every pill you find, since you can not drop what you already have to pick up later. They also conveniently give you a map you can actually use from the onset which is a nice touch, but still a bit confusing since they don't show where you are in position to the map only the room or section you are in by it being highlighted.

Another annoying problem is the loading. This game has tons of it. And as most games do of it's type, the loading screen is simple with only the words “Galerians” scrolling across it. Boring! At least in Resident Evil when they loaded new areas, they showed you walking to and opening the door or going up the steps in first person view which kept you in the game world and in suspense. At the very least they could have put random wall papers in between loading to have something pretty to look at. Granted in Galerians it only takes a few seconds to load, but you can also quite literally load another area every few seconds. There is one “L” shaped short hall way in particular that takes less than ten steps to traverse and yet you have to load to get to it and again to leave it. While most areas are not that bad, it is a glaring issue and you will constantly see your own disheveled reflection from the TV when the screen goes black to load...

On the plus side, one of the games greatest features is it's story and it's cast of colourful characters. They are wonderfully done, masterfully woven with 70 minutes (I did not actually count them, but I can promise you there sure is a lot of them and I assuming why it was dispersed on three discs...) of CGIs, covering a whole range of genres- cyber punk, sci-fi, horror, mystery, etc. The voice acting is also rather good most of the time as you get a real sense of dread and sadness at different points of the game. It made me think deeper on what evil actually was, what religion is and what makes us human and how our memories can become blurred and distorted...

You can also immediately fast forward through any cinema instantly with a press of a button, but you can not do that with in game cut scenes and it has a video gallery that you can view at your leisure for all past CGIs you have watched. Also there is no way to go back to the title screen once the game has started, not from the pause menu and not from a soft reset. (Holding all R and L shoulder buttons with Select and Start simultaneously.) Not too big of a deal, but not everyone has their PlayStation in easy reach from where they are sitting. I found my self trying to die on purpose just to restart so I wouldn't have to get up or disturb my cat... Lazy I know. ^^;

The music is also rather good, but the sound effects; those such as foot steps and doors opening, seem to be ripped straight from Resident Evil. Don't get me wrong, there are only so many different sounds a foot hitting the floor or a door opening and closing can make, but still...

The game has a few different enemies to fight, but you wont find more than three or so at any given time. They also can be fought more efficiently if you use the right power on them. If you are finding an area too hard, as previously mentioned, if you Short you can kill any creature instantly. However this does not work on boss creatures... That means if you have already reached the max AP and it is blinking or will very shortly, you had best have on hand a Delmetor to bring your self back to normal, because you wont affect the boss and you can not cast your regular powers in your crazed mind state. But the boss battles are the best part of the game, making you learn their patterns and tricks in order to survive.

Another thing that irked me was on the back of the jewel case, it flat out tells you it has “Over 50 hours” of game play. Now I am not sure where they got that number from... maybe some game tester paused their game and went on a short vacation, came back and finished it with the game saying he completed it in 50+ hours..., but it only took me a little over six to beat it the first time and three the next. And the first six hours or so I was generous because even when the game is paused the clock does not stop. Plus I am one of those players who has to check every room, every corner, every nook and cranny more than once just to be sure I did not miss some thing. (Probably another reason why I took offense to the AP rising so quickly all the time...)

However you can play a second time where you start off crazed and your health points ticking off quickly, but this time you can actually run a little faster than your normal running so it is a benefit most times to be in that state of mind. This makes things a little more interesting because now you can go where you have to and kill enemies instantly just running through the area. There are not more Delmetors than before that I am aware of nor other items, but since you can defeat and solve puzzles faster by finding keys and what not, you can in fact pop the health pills quicker to survive. But sadly, I did not see a special ending and I did some research and found that there is really not much of an incentive except to say you beat it a second time. There is nothing special playing a third.

Although there were some issues with the game and it felt like a clone to another great game, (Even right down to the floor planning...) all in all it was pretty decent. So many great CGIs, masterfully written story, creepy atmosphere and unique way of fighting enemies, I recommend this game to others for sure, especially those into horror and cyber punk. If you can find it for $10 or less definitely go for it, you shouldn't be disappointed. I give it 4 out of 5.

-Great story
-Great atmosphere
-Unique powers
-Great CGIs

-Quirky game mechanics designed to push you along
-Game is pretty short
-Could have used more power types

Intro, first major cut scene w/minor cut scenes & game play. (And the dreaded loading screen...) Pretty much shows you what to expect, although I promise it does get better later on.

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