Reviewed by Inkhands
Sagaia might be a somewhat unknown game, I'm not really
sure. Either way it is a pretty good shooter and it should
probably be a little more well known than it is. It's not a
great game and not worthy of being a classic, but it's
certainly an above average game.
Most shooters do not have a very deep storyline. Sagaia is
not an exception. Basically, a far off galaxy was under
attack from ruthless space aliens under the rule of Belser.
The planet Darius was destroyed in the process. A few people
escaped the assualt and settled on the planet Orga. They
built a new civilization on this planet and centuries later
their descendents hear strange radio waves from the Milky
Way. It seems that Belser's descendents are now attacking
our galaxy, so they rush off in their spaceships to save us.
The most interesting feature of this game is the level
design. The opening level takes place near the Sun. The
remaining six levels each take place near the five planets
following the Sun, from Mercury to Jupiter, plus the Earth's
Moon. However, the setup is, once you complete the Sun and
move on to Mercury you will see you have two possible paths.
You can play Mercury Stage B, which will take you to a base
near the planet. Also, available is Mercury Stage C, which
is a Mercury cave. You do not have to complete both of these
stages to progress to the next level, which is Venus. You
choose one and that's it. The rest of the planets follow the
same setup. Venus has three options, the Moon has four, the
Earth has five, and so on. This allows you to take whichever
course through the game you prefer and is in a nice feature,
in my opinion.
This game allows you to use missiles, lasers, and bombs. You
can upgrade these weapons by picking up the shields that are
left over after you defeat a few enemies. Red shields
increase your missile power. Green shields increase your
bomb power, blue increases your defense, and yellow
increases your laser. Basically, your missiles will become
double beams, your lasers will shoot out of the top and
bottom of the ship. Also, your laser will sometimes shoot
diagonally. Bombs double out of the bottom of your ship when
the power is increased. If you increase your defense, you
will gain a shield around your ship that few things will
hurt. Sometimes you will lose the shield after one hit,
sometimes it will take more damage before disappearing. You
can pick up an extra ship by finding the 1up items that are
occasionally scattered through the stages. Also, their are
rainbow items that will increase all of your power
immediately. Sitting in some of the stages is an item you
may shoot at and destroy. Once you destroy it, it will
explode, and eliminate any enemies on the screen at that time.
On the options screen you can choose to play as one of two
players. The default player uses a weak ship, because at the
beginning of the game all you have is one very weak missile
beam. The other player's ship is much better. This ship
begins with missile and laser power that it takes the other
one at least two upgrades to achieve. The names of the
players are Proco Jr and Tiat Young. Their ships are named
Silver Hawk Red and Silver Hawk Blue. The second ship is the
one with the extra upgrade and is intended for a beginner.
When you lose a ship you begin where you were killed. If you
lose a continue, you begin back at the start of the level
you lost your last life. You can adjust the amount of ships
you have per continue. Three ships is the default, but you
can select either one, two, four, or five.
There are four difficulty settings, ranging from easy to
very hard. The main difference is the speed of the enemy
ships. The game is much more intense. Personally, I'm not
good at shooters, but I did about as well on one setting as
I did the other. You can select your number of ships and you
do begin pretty much were you left off. You have about six
continues in this game on the easy level and less depending
on the setting. Challenge is medium in this game.
The control in this game is good. This ship doesn't move
very fast or well, but shooting isn't a problem. Buttons A
and C both allow you to shoot your missiles and lasers. B
button takes care of the bombs. This is a left to right side
scrolling game. Most of the enemies come from the right, but
if they pass without you killing them, they will turn back
and pass you again. There are a few enemies that will appear
on the left side of the screen and you can turn your ship
around to shoot at them. The ability to turn your ship
around helps on quite a few occasions.
The sound effects are rather weak sounding in this game.
Explosions do not get much of a blast. Your missile sounds
very weak any time you shoot it. However, the music is quite
good in this game. Very haunting for the most part, but
occasionally intense. I think this game has some of the
better music I've heard in a shooter, and it doesn't loop
very off either. So the music never seems too repetitive.
However, I do not like the opening theme when you push the
Start button. It sounds staticy and like something out of a
bad episode of the Twilight Zone.
The graphics in this game are average. Your ship is a little
small and not very detailed, but the backgrounds look
decent. In the caves you see stone backgrounds. Around the
sun is boiling lava. In outer space, just a black background
sprinkled with stars. Sometimes when you fight a boss at the
end of the stage, the background will begin to whirl into a
spiral shape of about a dozen lines. This isn't distracting
at all and adds a little to the tense nature of the game.
The enemy designs are not very good either. Mostly just
really small ships, but occasionally there is a enemy that
looks like an oversized sea horse floating around the screen
in more than one of the stages. This happens to be a very
difficult enemy too. Other enemies include a large fish and
some large robots floating around. The game still looks a
little dull, with the only thing standing out about the
graphics are the above average looking backgrounds.
This game has pretty good replay value, considering it has a
total of 28 stages within the seven levels. To beat the game
you don't have to beat all 28 stages, so you could always go
through it again to play any of the stages you missed the
first, or even the second time through. Basically, the game
has graphics that lack detail, weak sound effects, but
really good level themes. The level design is the best
feature of the game and it adds to the overall appeal and
replay value of the game. The challenge is medium and that
that keeps the game more interesting and less frustrating. I
liked this game, but I am a really big fan of shooters, so
if you don't happen to love them, then you could probably
pass on this one. If you do love shooters, then consider
giving this one a chance.
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Control - 7/10
Challenge - 7/10
Appeal - 8/10
Game Play - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
Overall - 8/10