Radiant Review: Galaga Anyone?

Back in the day, I’m sure most of you remember button-mashing on the big ol’ arcade machine, shooting out the spaceships via Namco’s Galaga.  These arcade machines are still available today, and every once in a while I find myself spending quarter after quarter to defeat the next wave.  Galaga Remix on the iPhone though has been somewhat of a bust, and while it’s a solid port, many issues keep it from being the premier Galaga experience on a mobile phone.

Hexage seems to take their chance at Galaga with their new release Radiant, an intergalactic space-shooting game that takes place in an irrational world.  While the graphics and design seem to be in place, the pacing of the game may keep you from continuing, and the gameplay variations are little to none.  While I’m a fan of Hexage games like Buka and Totemo, Radiant is something quite different.

Likes

Graphics: These pixelated graphics along with oozing particle effects are what makes Hexage games Hexage games, and there’s nothing new that we haven’t seen before.  I’m a big fan of well-done retro graphics, and Radiant just seems to be another one of those games.  While the graphics are pixelated, there is some sort of retro feeling to it that both young and old gamers won’t be able to shake off.

Dislikes

Gameplay Variations: Little to no gameplay variations may keep you bored out of your mind.  It’s basically one wave after another, beat the wave then move on.  There are some levels in which you shoot down the incoming asteroids, but the invincibility of the asteroids seem to make this variation fall short.  There are also boss levels every once in a while, but each boss looks more or less the same except in a stronger form.  Other than that, the bosses use the same firing sequence each time and moves pretty much the same each time, causing the player to eventually become bored with the game.

Pacing: The pacing gradually becomes faster… a little too gradually.  For me, the game started out way too slowly, and by the time I reached 30,000 in score, I was bored out of my mind.  The game was too slow to deal with, and I found myself almost dozing off the sleep.  It got to the point where I intentionally killed myself just to escape from the torture.

Difficulty: Radiant is a game that is just too easy.  The people on the highscore board, around 100,000, have more patience than skill as I’ve survived for an hour or so with a score of only 30-40,000.  You receive a life whenever you pass a level, and I’m sure most people will find themselves with a huge surplus of extra lives; around 7 or 8.  The slow ramping of difficulty became a little too much for me, and this is one game that really tests your patience.

Radiant looks good, sounds good, but utterly fails in terms of gameplay.  The slow, uninspiring gameplay will put most to sleep, and some may even find the game experience torturous.  I would find myself not even looking at the iPhone screen and still survive after 15 minutes of leaving my iPhone alone.  It’s a game that has potential, but for now, the gameplay will put you to sleep rather than keep you upbeat.

avoid

Radiant was developed by Hexage, and I played through version 1.6 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $0.99.

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About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

One thought on “Radiant Review: Galaga Anyone?

  1. I was thinking about writing this review sometime later if no one else beat me to it, and I have to say that I wholly agree with your take on the game. Being a fan of Hexage’s other releases, Buka and Totemo, I had been awaiting the release of Radiant with great anticipation. Like you, however, I found myself let down by this one.

    While the aesthetics of the game are much in line with other Hexage releases, the gameplay really is slow, dull and tedious. The game’s system of upgrades doesn’t do nearly enough to make the game interesting, as speed increases seem incremental at best, and weapon upgrades are mostly less efficient than your default blaster, offering more power but significantly reduced rates of fire.

    While I did appreciate the game’s sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle references to genre pieces of the past — Space Invaders, Galaga and Star Wars to name a few — the game does a better job nodding to its classic predecessors than imitating them.

    This is one of the dullest space shooters on the App Store, and really is best avoided.

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