Galaxy Champions TV is an action arcade game where the focus is to aim and shoot. Or, in my case, shoot aimlessly and hope you hit something. However, with this boss-rush like setup you’re bound to hit your target. Or most of them, anyway.
This game throws you to the wolves with just a little backstory given when you first turn it on. It’s almost like a prologue, and when they finish explaining the story the main menu appears. Long story short, you’re on a TV show called Galaxy Champions where you fight to the death. They really mean that—once you die, you have to start all over.
There are two modes to the game: story and champions. The champions mode is an endless mode, though I didn’t play that one too much. I much preferred to play the main mode where I was working toward something other than just a high score.
There’s no tutorial at all. Once you hit start, the game begins. The controls are under the options menu, which I recommend looking at. In most shooting games I’ve played I’ve had to spam the A button or at least spam a few different buttons depending on which weapon I was using. In Galaxy Champions TV, there’s only one button to aim and shoot all your weapons: the right joystick.
Yes, it feels just as weird and out of place as it sounds. You move your character with the left joystick, aim and shoot with the right, and that’s about all there is to it. You can dash momentarily using the L button and talk to the shop man after a fight with the R button. This alone turned me off from the game because I figured it’d be hard, and it was. However, the more you play (and you will play a lot because it sucks you in), the more you get used to the controls, and they really do work the way they’re set up. It helps that the controls are smooth and responsive, as well.
That’s pretty much all there is to the game. You move the right and left joysticks around, shooting enemies and avoiding getting hit yourself. The game does everything else for you. For example, there’s no need to switch weapons. You have a gun to start off with that seems to have infinite ammo. When a white robot comes out and you defeat it, it’ll most likely drop another weapon for you. This can be a laser gun, machine gun, flamethrower, and a couple of others. Once the ammo runs out, then you switch back to your original gun. Or, out of ammo or not, you can pick up another weapon and it’ll automatically switch to that one.
I personally don’t mind this mechanic. Some of these levels can get pretty stressful with hordes of enemies entering the room from all angles and charging at you. Not having to think about which weapon to use or pressing an extra button to switch weapons was great for me as I was able to focus on aiming and shooting.
Enemies will also drop hearts and blue dots, which are shop points. Your character has three hearts total—get hit three times and you’re dead. Of course, you can pick up hearts to replenish your health but you’ll never go over three. The farther you get into the levels though, the less likely it is enemies will drop hearts. At least, that’s what it seemed like. When I didn’t need hearts, they seemed to drop constantly. When I did need one or two, they were few and far between.
There is a shop, hence the blue dots that you pick up. In between each fight, a purple robot will come out and allow you to buy something for 1, 2, or 3 points. I’m not sure how any dots made a point, but it keeps track of it in the top left corner for you. Those white robots that drop weapons? I figured out later on that they were coming out to eat the shop points. So, sometimes, it feels like it takes forever to get enough points for the shop.
There’s a lot you can get with the upgrades. You can get a fourth heart, upgrade your dash, add the change of enemies dropping a shield, upgrade each weapon to have more ammo, and more. The best part? These upgrades carry over the many deaths you will endure.
There are four planets, each one having a string of levels to get through. I died many times on planet one, level eight, and had to start back over on 1-1 again. Even though the rooms reset, your shop points and upgrades are saved. This is great since it can be hard to save up those points, and the upgrades are super useful. If you die, you know you’ll have a better chance next time because you already have the tools you need to survive.
This game is fairly short, but it’s just hard enough that it’ll keep you busy for a while. Once you get used to the controls, you’ll soon feel like a pro with how smooth they are. You’ll want to keep playing, hoping to get farther than the last time.