Release date: October 15, 2021
Players: 1 player
Genre: Arcade, Action
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
"Review Copy Provided By Publisher"
Gleylancer has for the most part been one of the most coveted yet incredibly inaccessible SHMUPS ever made. It was never officially released or translated into English back when it originally released and outside of a Wii virtual console release it’s not been accessible to those of us in the west unless we payed an insane amount for an import copy from Japan; that is until now. Gleylancer has been officially translated and released in the west for the first time ever to all current generation platforms. Does this game live up to it’s legendary status? Let’s find out!
At first glance, you’d assume the game is nothing more than a clone of the Thunder Force or Gradius games, however, there is where you would be wrong as the game has it’s own mechanics that make it stand out on its own and quite brilliantly. As with most SHMUPS, you’ll have access to the ability to utilize satellites that are capable of firing in the same direction as you are. The difference here is that the satellites (or movers as they are called here) can be fired in any direction which leads to far more versatility than your usual SHMUP. You can even hold down a button to lock the movers in place which allow for shooting independently of your movement.
You have a large variety of options when it comes to your movers as such as the Rolling Mover hat have your movers spin around your ship
The game puts these to good usage given how enemies will pop up from every corner of the screen. Your weapon powerups are equally awesome as you’ll go from the standard twin shot to lasers, multi-directional shots, laser sabers, and flamethrowers. The level designs take advantage of these abilities at times and at other points can feel like more of a miss than a hit. The levels are either completely open with little to no obstacles or are littered heavily environmental obstacles on top of enemies.
The game is strangely not at all difficult and can be easily steamrolled through especially with how ridiculously easy the level bosses are and how easily you can take them down before they can even attack you.
The graphics are all pretty solid looking and match the era of when the game originally released as it includes a lot of parallax scrolling and tons of multiplanes with various things going on. Each level is starkly different from one another and incredibly atmospheric. The games soundtrack is superb with an excellent synth FM rock aesthetic to it. There is even voice over for every time that you pick up a power up which wasn’t at all common when this game came out although they are incredibly scratchy and often hard to understand.
All in all, Gleylancer is a must own SHMUP even if it is not that difficult of a game for the genre. The game provides a decent challenge with fun powerups and a stellar soundtrack. Sitting next to some of the holy grails of the genre such as the Gradius and Darius series and solo games like MUSHA make Gleylancer one of the best SHMUPS for veterans and a good