Review by Rashidi

Reviewed: 10/30/03

The NES gameplay predecessor of Rock and Roll Racing

I remember playing Galaxy 5000 in my childhood, and while I don't like typical racing games, I do like games where you get to drive vehicles around and blow crap up. Galaxy 5000 should be considered to be the NES gameplay predecessor of the SNES classic Rock and Roll Racing. The graphics are quite good for an NES game, and the sound effects are nice too.

Galaxy 5000 takes place in the year 5000 (duh). You enter races on each planet in your groovy spacecraft, earning money for accomplishing various feats. Feats like blowing your opponents up, and winning the race. There are nine racetracks, one for each planet, and you race each track four times. Normally this would be boring, but the obstacles and bonuses change during each race, meaning the game really has 36 racetracks, not bad for an NES game. The levels are nicely designed and the 3D landscape is not seen in many NES games, especially racers. It adds an extra dimension to the racing, since you can only kill opponents who are on the same 3D level as you are.

There is a big strategy element to this game. Damage sustained by your spacecraft carries over to the NEXT RACE. So if you take a lot of damage, you may want to consider spending some of your hard earned cash to recover your ship. However, the more money you spend repairing your ship, the less money you'll have to buy the next ship. However, if your ship were to be destroyed, you would have to buy it again. There are 5 different ships, each with different weapons, and each progressively faster. If you get ship #3, but it's destroyed, you continue the race in ship #2. If Ship#2 is destroyed, you're back down to your initial ship. Obviously you can get screwed in a hurry if you're not careful.

One thing I liked about this game was it's two player mode. Unlike most racing games, Galaxy 5000 doesn't have a split screen. Both racers are on the screen at the same time, which is good, because you need to see the whole level. In order to play properly. What happens if one player falls behind? They are automatically pushed forward so they can catch up. In fact, there is a bit of competition that comes from this, because if a player can force a player to move up, he'll earn some pocket change, which will add up over time.

One problem this game has is the lack of a password feature. You have to play through the game all the way each time you try to play it. I was never able to beat it, the furthest I got was Jupiter (which by my count would be… the fifth planet, and I usually had the fourth spacecraft (of five). Although playing through the game over and over is fun, it is disappointing that you don’t get a chance to play the latter stages as often. Multiple failures in a stage will force you to start the game over again. While this makes the game more challenging, it also will make you want to put the game down for awhile. Despite this flaw, the game is solid, and it was certainly a memorable experience. In the rare occurrence that you find it, pick it up.

Rating: 8

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