Crave Entertainment is not really the primitive force in the video gaming industry. When it comes down to that, we all know that Namco, Square, Sony and Capcom are the dominators. Now it's obvious to me that Crave wants in on the action, and in order to fit in, they would have to take a popular genre and turn it into something else. Crave made a very smart move, they actually picked up two of the most popular genres (RPG and Horror) combined them into one and the result is uncanny. Galerians is published by Crave but developed by ASCII, the game was announced around December to January of '99 and nobody expected it to arrive this fast. Trying to achieve a Resident Evil look, see if Galerians makes the spot.
Pre-rendered backgrounds now a days are nothing special to me, I've see it done before hundreds of times on games like Final Fantasy 7 & 8, as well as Resident Evil 2 & 3. Galerians has clean looking backgrounds, they definitely match the environment of the whole game and also add a creepy feel to the title. When you go to the character attention that the game received, you can't help but notice the smoothness that makes up all of them. This is definitely a quality job done by ASCII, they have sacrificed real-time environments in-order to achieve a smoother look for the characters in Galerians. To get closer to developers such as Square and Namco, Crave/ASCII have also inserted some beautiful looking CGs. The graphical job that the developer did really makes Crave as a publisher get one step closer to the big boys.
If you have played any RE title and you are looking at this game and saying to yourself, "been there done that", think again. In Galerians instead of shooting enemies or blowing their bodies in halves, you actually kill you enemies telekinetically. You equip yourself with a certain ability, you charge that ability up and release it by pressing X. To equip yourself with an ability, you have to administer it into your body. You have a gun-like device called the Beeject, this is where the drug is stored and by pressing the trigger of the gun the drug flows into your body therefore you are given powers. The plot is very twisted, (BE CAREFUL- SPOILERS AHEAD) you are a 14 year old boy (Rion), you find yourself in Michelangelo hospital. When you wake up you are strapped to a structure, you discover that you have Psychic powers and you free yourself from the trap. Rion makes his way out of the room and he is greeted by a scientist, your objective is to blow the guys mind using your telekinesis. The game progresses throughout, along your journey you will encounter a girl named Lilia, she is in need of help and is trying to telekinetically contact Rion. While we are on the subject of telekinetics, Rion has a power that helps him locate a certain object or help him solve a certain puzzle. By pressing Triangle, Rion will summon an image in his head to see the corresponding object to the key-element in the game.
Rion has many types of drugs that he can inject into himself, one will make him send out shock-waves (Nalcon), another will send a burst of flames (Red), and another is where a barrier is formed around your opponent so he becomes isolated (D-Felon). But with glory comes price, when making use of your drug, not only does your amount decrease, but your AP increases, and if you have an overdose of AP, you will start losing energy. This result is called a Short, it is easily cured by Delmetor. Galerians sports 3 CDs, a Resident Evil-esque gameplay and an extremely twisted story. My only complaint about the gameplay is that they should have changed the control style, instead of making a RE type of layout they should have made it more free moving.
The sound is incredibly spooky, it fits in so well with the futuristic environment that I think that this game should receive some kind of an award. There is dialogue within the game but it is heard and not read. So for those who are too lazy to read, you're in luck Galerians features very little text to read. The voice acting quality is quite good and the game is always precise with dialogue so there is no worry on late timing.
The game makes full use of the Dual Shock but only partial use of the analog. In order to run you have to hold down the Square button and push the left analog stick. I don't like the RE scheme of control, I find it to be too complicated and clumsy, I prefer something more free-moving but with the same camera views. Take a game like Metal Gear Solid, when you push down on the stick, Snake quickly turns around and runs toward that direction. But in Galerains you have to make a 180 degree turn and run, that gives your enemy the time to take some damage off of you.
Galerians is a very worthy title to pick up. If you enjoy the RE series and you liked Parasite Eve or any horror title, then you should pick up Galerians. If you have never played a survival horror title in your life then you should start now. Galerians shows much positive effort in the gameplay, graphics and especially sound department, making it already one the spookiest titles of 2000.