Shoot’em up fans may have heard of Gleylancer back in the early ’90s. Gleylancer was a scrolling shooter that came out in 1992 on the Sega Mega Drive, though didn’t appear here in the U.S. officially until 2008 on the Wii Virtual Console. It’s 2021 now and Gleylancer has been ported and released for a new generation of players with improved accessibility features, translations for cutscenes, and overall enhancements. This version of the port is by Ratalaika Games and features everything fans loved about the original game and more.
Gleylancer follows Lucia, a 16-year-old starfighter pilot in the Earth Federation. A war breaks out between humans and an unknown alien race in the year 2025. Lucia’s father, Ken, a high-ranking admiral in the Federation Navy, is captured after his ship is warped out of the combat zone with 4 alien modules which have the ability of teleportation. Lucia, heart-broken after hearing her father’s disappearance, decides to hijack the prototype fighter CSH-01-XA “GleyLancer” with the help of her friend Teim and go after her father.
Gleylancer is a fairly straightforward game. If you’re a shoot’em up fan, then gameplay here is going to be quite familiar. It’s a horizontally scrolling shooter where the landscape is constantly moving. All you can do is move around the space and shoot any enemies that come at you from in front and from behind. Your main weapons can only fire forward but you can acquire powerups called gunners that can fire in multiple directions, including behind you. Powerups appear within silver and blue pods and can be picked up when shot.
There are seven different powerups which include such items as the twin shot, saber, spread bombs, and laser. Each has its own unique characteristics so you’ll want to choose what works best for you. What makes Gleylancer different though is in how you can control the movement of your gunners. There are seven different movement options:
- Normal – the gunners aim in the direction you’re moving
- Reverse – the gunners aim in the opposite direction you are moving
- Search – the gunners will aim at enemies on their own
- Multi – three way wide attack
- Multi-R – Same as the Multi, but gunners aim in the opposite direction
- Shadow – Gunners follow your movement, but can only shoot forward
- Roll – Gunners are constantly rotating around you and shoot in all directions
Although you need to change the movement mode before you start, you can change this in-game by pressing X to cycle through the different modes. You can also override the movement mode by using the right stick and manually pointing in the direction you want to shoot. Otherwise, you would just use Y to fire.
One aspect of Greylancer that is different from the original game is the ability to use save states. Basically with the use of save states, you can save the game anywhere you want. I would recommend saving right before a boss battle because if you die during one of these, you have to start back at an earlier point. With the save state, if you die, you can just load it up and start at the boss again.
Aside from the gameplay, the graphics and audio are 100% from the ’90s. The art is the original 16-bit art ripped from the Sega Master Drive edition as is the soundtrack. It’s all very nostalgic and still looks pretty good today.
So should you pick up Gleylancer in 2021? For about $7, why not? Gleylancer is still a pretty good shoot’em up. Though there aren’t any real extra features like multiplayer or online play, the game makes for a good single-player experience that will surely test your skills as a gamer.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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