GleyLancer is a modern port done right. It’s a top-down shooter with an art style reminiscent of the 16-bit era, and it’s been in development for over two years now.
GleyLancer is a famous side-shooter game that was developed specifically for the SEGA Mega Drive by Masaya and was well appreciated when it was launched. Despite a 2008 Wii debut, Ratalaika Games has recently published this classic shmup on contemporary platforms such as the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. GleyLancer may now be played on your preferred contemporary console, thanks to a slew of new features. This is our review of the PS4 version of GleyLancer, in which we leap into the prototype fighter CSH-01-XA ‘GleyLancer’ and shoot down everything that moves.
GleyLancer follows the side-scrolling shooter format of the period, staying faithful to the space shooters of the 1990s. Despite the abundance of shmups produced at the period, it manages to stand out. Ratalaika Games has, of course, included many contemporary features in the new version to make it more appealing to new and modern gamers. You’ll be sent to an emulator settings page shortly after starting the game, where you may fine-tune your experience. You may select between three different game modes right here on this screen: Modern, Vintage, or Cheater.
Depending on your preferences, you may choose Contemporary, which allows you to play GleyLancer with modern controls and settings. If you want a more hardcore experience, try the Vintage option, or if you simply want to have some fun, try the Cheater mode, which gives you access to a variety of tricks to make the game more interesting. Other options include changing the CRT screen resolution, selecting English or Japanese as the cutscene language, and loading a previously saved state or saving your current state. This menu may be accessed at any moment while playing the game via the Middle TouchPad.
Proceeding from this option will lead you to the main narrative sequence, where you will be introduced to all of the title’s key characters as well as the game’s location. In the year 2025, you play GleyLancer as Lucia, whose father is abducted by an extraterrestrial species. Rather than murdering her father, the extraterrestrial species that has power to time travel transfers him to an unknown place, leaving his fate unknown to everyone. When the government fails to act, Lucia decides to take control of the prototype fighter CSH-01-XA ‘GleyLacer’ and track down her father.
This is where you begin the game, where you must navigate 11 levels packed with different opponents and monsters. Following the sequence, you will be sent to the game’s main menu, where you may change game options such as auto or manual firing, narrative mode on or off, and so on. When you first start the game, you have the choice of selecting your Mover Systems. You may select from seven different Mover Systems. Each one offers you a greater level of control over the numerous weapons attachments you may use throughout the missions. You may change them at any time in the Modern game mode, but in the original Vintage version, the mode you choose lasts the whole game.
GleyLancer’s playability is where the game truly shines. The movement is crisp and accurate, and you may modify your mobility throughout the game using a number of factors. Changing the engine speed allows you to modify your movement pace while on the go. If you want to travel around the screen quickly, increase the engine speed. If you want to move around the screen slowly, decrease the speed. Your ship will move around the screen slowly, allowing you more control over your movement. However, you may be too sluggish to even avoid the oncoming bullets. To complete the tasks, you will need to change your pace on the fly. Throughout addition to your primary cannon, you may equip two gun attachments that shoot at your opponents in the missions.
Depending on your selected Mover System, they may only shoot in the direction you are looking while traveling in that direction, or they may only fire in the opposite direction when moving in that direction. One of them also lets your attachments automatically search out and fire at opponents in close proximity to your spacecraft, so it all depends on your preferences. Having manual control over the gun attachments was the greatest for me since being able to control their firing with the right joystick provides you a huge edge in the game because you can easily shoot in various directions.
You may choose from a variety of weapons attachments like as shotguns, lasers, machine guns, and more, and stay with whatever best fits your playstyle. While the game has a life system and the game will end if you run out of lives, if you are playing the Modern game option, you can rewind the game and rectify your errors. All of these gimmicks are removed in the Vintage game mode, which recreates the original tough experience. The game consists of 11 levels that may be completed in a single sitting. A single playing took me just over 1.5 hours to complete all 11 levels. Each level follows the same format of eliminating opponents and then fighting a monster, however each level has its own set of obstacles that you must avoid.
The PS4 version has trophies, and I believe I was able to earn all of them on my first playing, making it one of the simplest Platinums I’ve ever completed. While the game seems to be brief, it invites you to return to it with various Mover Systems to explore the game in new ways, such as trying out greater difficulty levels and attempting to beat highscores. The game is single-player only and does not support internet play. The game’s enemies are well-designed, and the bosses provide a decent amount of difficulty at higher levels. I liked how each level looked different from the others, and the music complemented the game well.
Despite the fact that I completed my review on my first playtime of GleyLancer, I went through the whole game at least four times with various settings and tinkered with the CRT filter each time to make the game as vintage as possible. GleyLancer gives contemporary consoles a vintage vibe, and if you enjoyed the original GleyLancer, you’ll like playing it again on a modern platform. With its various shooting styles and high-score hunting action, the game will appeal to both contemporary and traditional players. GleyLancer is probably the easiest Platinum, so there is a reason to try it out for those who like going the additional mile and hunting all of the trophies.
The Bottom Line:
GleyLancer demonstrates that old, vintage games do not have to be tough in order to be fun. With all of the contemporary amenities, it certainly seems like a classic brought back to life. Hard settings with all the CRT filters that you want to put on the title to make it appear as original as possible are available for the truly nostalgic person within you, but the new version is also great for new players who want to check out the classic period of side-shooters. Back in the 1990s, there were numerous side-shooters, and GleyLancer was undoubtedly the best. However, the current PS4 version delivers that same title to modern platforms, as well as various accessibility choices to cater to modern players. Vintage collectors, traditional side-shooter fans, and contemporary players that like retro games will enjoy this game. Even if you aren’t a big fan of vintage side shooters, GleyLancer is worth checking out.