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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

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