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Gley Lancer Review

Gley Lancer Review

As you can tell by my user name, retrogamergirl, I am a huge fan of retro games. So when I saw that Advanced Busterhawk Gley Lancer (referred to Gley Lancer from here on out), a side-scrolling space-shooter that was developed by Masaya Games for the Sega Mega Drive, was remastered and is being re-released for modern consoles, I instantly knew this was a title that I was going to want to check out! I never had a chance to try it out in 1992 since my family only had Nintendo consoles, so I completely missed out on the games released on the Sega systems.

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The year is 2025 of the space era and invaders are attacking the Earth Federation space unit. What’s different about the space era from regular time? I'm not too sure, but for the moment it is still in the future so it doesn’t matter. The aliens successfully take out 15% of the fleet before they warp the ship of a high-ranking admiral in the federation to another sector of space. This admiral is Ken, and he is the father of 16-year-old Lucia that you will be playing as. Lucia herself is a space fighter pilot and she is very upset that the federation is doing nothing to locate and save her father. Lucia’s friend Teim suggests that she take matters into her own hands and steal the prototype fighter that is on board known as the “Gley Lancer” to search for him.

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Gley Lancer is similar to most of the shoot’em up style games from the 16-bit era, but it has some selections that you can make to change up how things work on your playthrough. In the options menu, you can select the difficulty settings, the base speed of your ship, and if you want to play the story mode or just play through the arcade-style shooting levels. I enjoyed the manga-panel style of how the story was told, so I chose to find out what happens to the members of the Earth Federation.

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The “Gley Lancer'' prototype ship has a few unique options. First is if your ship is destroyed, you can rewind time with the hit of a button and retry to avoid what killed you. The Gley Lancer, is also equipped with Gunners that help you attack enemy ships. As soon as you start you will have a choice on how these guns will move around the main ship. These include choices between; Normal, Reverse, Search, Multi, Shadow and Roll. I found some options worked better than others for my preferred style of play. For me, it was beneficial to have the Gunners automatically targeting the enemy that was closest to the ship with the Search mode. It’s definitely worth experimenting with all the different modes to see which you find more effective.

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Like a lot of other space shooter games, there are capsules you fire at that will give you a variety of different weapons to use, including Twin Shot that fires a rapid stream of shots, Laser, 5-Way that shoots energy blasts in multiple directions with great range but is quite slow, Burner that shoots a line of fire, Spread Bomb which is pretty self-explanatory but has a low fire rate but has the benefit of secondary explosions, and Saber, which is essentially a purple light-sabre that is continuously on, but you will have to be closer to the enemy to hit them. The final weapon is known as Bound Shot. This one ended up being my favourite weapon because the green energy blast could bounce off of any wall or barrier they encounter and hit enemies around it. 

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Gley Lancer has 11 different stages to play through, each with a unique look and sound with exciting music. These levels look great with bright colours and multiple layers of objects in the background. It really makes you feel like you are flying through a field of meteors, or clouds right over water. The direction you are going changes from horizontal to vertical in some areas, then to keep you on your toes it even has you flying backwards. For this stage, it is definitely beneficial to take control of your Gunners and lock where they are shooting at - if they aren’t already shooting behind you. Some stages have you shooting through obstacles in your path and others you need to dodge panels that are zipping towards you and blocking your path. The variety is great and definitely helps keep the game exciting and interesting. If you manage to get through the stage, you will be met with a boss battle, each with alien creatures that are trying to destroy you. 

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I really enjoyed playing through Gley Lancer. I’ve actually played through it a few times trying to beat my high score. The game has a lot of replayability with the different difficulties and the leaderboard. I would also challenge myself to try a variety of weapons or try to use only one weapon for my playthrough. The other would be not using the rewind option when you die. It’s a lot harder if you get hit and have to start over, especially if you are in a boss battle. This game is a lot of fun, especially if you are a fan of retro shoot ‘em up games.

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8.50/10 8½

Gleylancer (Reviewed on Xbox Series X)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

A great retro style shoot ‘em up with beautiful visuals and a large selection of weapons and a bunch of replayability. I just wish the game was longer as it felt like it was over in no time!

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

I'm too stubborn to quit! I run on caffeine and kitty snuggles <3

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