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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 06/10/06

Galaxy on Fire Review

Developer: Fishlabs

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Stunning graphics
Over 50 hours of gameplay
Loads of ships to buy and planets to explore

Cons

Missions can be a little repetitive
No sound effects

Sound
Vibration
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

95

Graphics

98

Sound

80

Controls

99

Playability

97

Lastability

99

Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K600

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 06/10/06

Could this be the best mobile game of 2006?


Every once in a while something amazing happens. Maybe Tony Blair will step down sooner than we think, maybe Robert Downey Jr will do a great job as Iron Man and maybe the PS3 will be launched on time. Well, something amazing happened a little while ago, we were sent a review copy of Galaxy on Fire.

Moblile gaming has come on leaps and bounds since we started our site a little over two years ago. We're constantly surprised about the quality of games coming out and the basic standard has become quite high recently. But sometimes, a game comes out which raises the bar just that little bit more, and Galaxy on Fire is definitely that game.

First off, I have to point out that this game is a 3D game and as such will work best with 3D handsets. Especially the Sony Ericsson ones as a joystick is invaluable in this game. So, if you have one of these phones, you would miss out on an incredible game if you didn't go out and get Galaxy on Fire right away. It's a space combat sim which really reminds me of the old classics like Wing Commander and Colony Wars. You play the part of Maxwell, a rogueish ex pilot who's looking to make some cash. Of course, things aren't always simple and the terrans are in the midst of a war with the Vossyk so while there are plenty of missions for you to undertake, a lot of them will be of the suicide variety.

The graphics are absolutely stunning. Some of the best graphics I have ever seen on a phone and the 3D rendering is gorgeous. There are little cut scenes of your fighter flying in and other ships milling about space stations and planets. The space effects in the background are really well done and you get a great sense of detail when you fly close to explosions or coloured cosmic dust and you see the screen brighten quite a bit. The care taken on animating the ships is stunning and the animation is some of the fastest I've seen on a phone yet. The enemy ships really do turn on a sixpence and fly all over the place, but it's a shame there's no cockpit view. There's no limitation on direction either and you find yourself flying up, down and just about every which way as you cruise around the galaxy. The ships do look a little like some of the classic space fighters (Battlestar Galactica especially springs to mind) but this adds to the enjoyment. Even the still pictures of the main characters look great and there's humour as well! It's the little things which look great too, like when you're in the hangar and can see other ships in the background as well sparks when people are working on them. In fact, every time I load the game up and see the ships flying in, I'm blown away!

Sound is really excellent too. Unfortunately there are no sound effects but there are several tunes in the game. A really decent tune giving the feeling of a grand old space opera as you load the game, a quieter tune when you're flying about and nothing much is happening and also an action tune which sounds great and lets you know that there'll be trouble ahead real soon. The music complements the game very well and definitely makes it more fun to play.

The controls are a debatable subject. I'm going to rate the controls based on the handset I played on, which was the K600. As this has a joystick, the controls were superb with extreme responsiveness. The stick moved the ship really really well and I found myself reminiscing back to the days when I played Star Wars in the arcades. The fighters move at great speed with extreme direction changes so you need a very responsive control system to keep up. Thankfully this was the case with the joystick, but I feel if you were using a D or key pad then you just wouldn't get the same experience. The stick controls the ship and the 7 key will turn your autofire on. 1 will switch weapons and 3 activates your hyperthrust. I found the controls incredibly simple and responsive which was one of the reasons the game is so addictive to play.

The playability is amazing. The game is a really really really really enjoyable space action sim. You start off following the plot as Keith Maxwell aids the terrans in their war against the Vossk. The missions are varied with some where you have to get to a specific place, others where you have to take people down and more where you have to escort ships. The ship flies really well and you can upgrade the ship after earning money through missions. In addition to this you get loot from missions which you can sell and later on, when the galaxy becomes pretty big, there's a definite trading element involved. You meet a really large array of characters all with their individual personality traits. I particularly like one of the aliens who's a crook and interrupts your mission sometimes as he thinks he's calling women instead of you!! There is also humour in the game as Maxwell is a very Han Solo type character and does have a few wisecracks. The game excels on the action front as the space battles can be very fast and frenetic. There will be times you're flying through asteroid fields and trying to get a decent shot on and others where it's full Return of the Jedi action with loads of ships and cruisers flying around. You can't fly into these either as you take damage on hits (although you can buy a shield item). The autofire is a godsend as you can concentrate on flying and you really do feel like a jedi pilot or Maverick in Top Gun when you're zipping about in space. The enemy ships aren't easy to hit either as they don't hang about or have thata many set patterns. They have better manoeuverability than you and the best way to get a bead on them is to hit them from a little distance. But once you get that first kill, you'll be hooked!! I couldn't get enough of it.

The lasability is HUGE and I mean HUGE!! When you first start playing the game you get drawn into the plot so you're keen to find out what's going on. The shop where you upgrade has new ships which cost a whole lot more than you could ever make so you wonder how you can afford them. Then, after two hours and 11 missions later you get given a map and additional missions and you realise you've only covered 5% of one of the four quadrants in the game. So the game really is absolutely huge. I think the description boasts over 50 hours gameplay and this doesn't surprise me. And apparently there are quite a few interesting occurrences in some of the other quadrants that I'm dying to find out about. But first I'm saving to buy a new ship called a Wraith which looks like it packs quite a wallop with great manoeuverability. The game saves after each mission and you have three additional save slots if you need them. The one gripe I might have is there isn't a whole lot of variety in the missions once you've played about 30 of them, but I enjoy them so much that it doesn't bother me!

You couldn't really ask for more in terms of either lastability of playability from a mobile game.

When we do the awards at the end of the year, this game will definitely be in there and I'd be very surprised if it didn't take the ultimate prize!!

Check out the website for more info and a trailer at http://www.galaxy-on-fire.com