Reviewed by Keio Keisonic

Gley Lancer, released by NCS/Masaya, is a nice little Megadrive game that never made it to the states, and while it may not match the "polish" that one sees in games such as Thunderforce 4, it's quite addictive.

Your ship is equipped with an auto-firing normal blast which you keep throughout the game, but the special weapon system is somewhat innovative, and makes the game interesting. At the beginning, you get to choose which type of Option you'd like your ship to have. In Gley Lancer, the Options are what fire the special weapons, as your ship only has its default blast. The special weapons are standard shooter fare, but that isn't to say it's a bad thing. Weapons that fire quickly and can reach across the entire screen, such as the Twin Shot, Laser, and Bound Shot are the best to have in this game, though.

The graphics aren't nearly up to par with the Thunderforce games, and the voices that speak at various points in the game are somewhat corny ("Stick to it, and believe in your power!" "A large enemy stands in your way!"), but it doesn't detract from the gameplay much, except for level one, where the asteroid belt in the background can sometimes hinder you from getting through the ship fragments (accompanied by that voice again, "FRAGMENTS!!! Are approaching.").

The music, however, I happened to love immensely. While it may not be an orchestral masterpiece, each song fits the mood of the level perfectly, with my personal favorite being level one's theme. All of the songs are well done, and I find myself listening to them through the sound test option often.

I'm not very good at shooters, but I love them anyway, and this one I haven't beaten yet, I died in stage 5 fighting the obligatory must-be-in-a-shooter battleship. This is the type of game I like, the control is simplistic enough to pick up anytime, and the developers weren't so concerned about graphics that they left gameplay behind...Gley Lancer is one of the more playable vertical scrolling shooters I've ever played.

In conclusion, while Gley Lancer may not seem to be as of high a quality of a Thunderforce 4/Lightening Force, it is a great game which definitely belongs in the upper echelon on Megadrive side-scroll shooters.

Rating : 17/20

Thanks Keio!! Malky here. For those of you that appreciate nonsensical intros, here's the one for Gleylancer. Someone please tell me what it's all about, and why this game needs an intro! :)

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Choose your weapon type before you begin. It's awfully tempting to go for the SEARCH shot, as this seems to be the easiest to use. Try them all out though and you'll find how they affect the gameplay.

The levels are pretty short, this is the first one, where you can die quite easily by hitting the dark space garbage. Nice shot of a planet in the background too.

End of level one boss, with swirly arms and shamefully easy to kill. Better stop and go back to up the difficulty a bit methinks!

Super parallax on the water, I love bits where you splash beneath the waves.

End of level two boss is a weird looking man-squid thing.

Level three and things are hotting up. Getting slightly bio in here, the lasers weapons can be rather handy for closeup, but bollocks when things are far away.

This huge distended testicle (!?!) hangs from the ceiling and falls squidgily to the floor after a couple of shots. Then wiggly aliens burst out and attack...extremely dodgy boss this!

Inexplicable halfway intermission at this point.

This is my favourite level so far...they've thrown lots of great ideas into one level! There's a fast zoomy dodgy bit, then some clever use of your weapons is required to navigate a dangerous maze, and finally the boss is actually just a pile of blocks closing in around your ship, in a worryingly claustrophobic fashion.

Here's the maze bit, and this part is definitely the hardest in the whole level. I just run through with my eyes shut:)

More levels to follow someday, the next one is a huge battleship if you're interested!


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