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Gleylancer - Launch Trailer
Critic Reviews for Gleylancer
Released in Japan in the same month as Thunder Force IV, when magazines felt fatigued with an overabundance of Mega Drive shmups, Gleylancer became hidden behind the likes of Gaiares, Gynoug, Hellfire, and Zero Wing as competition. Yet, it could attract attention today, since using the Rewind feature to complete 11 stages in less than an hour snags easy Platinum Trophies on both PS4 and PS5. Once precious trinkets have been grabbed it's most fun to practice each stage using save states to improve your skills, and see how far you can legitimately progress. Gleylancer deserves better than to become lost again, as just another Ratalaika Games easy Platinum release.
Whatever the mode, there’s no doubt Gleylancer’s a brilliant 16-bit shmup. The game’s fantastic use of parallax scrolling adds not only speed but excitement to its varied eleven stages; taking you down through icy depths, weaving between small gaps in tight tunnels, slowly looping around a gigantic battleship, or hurtling through an asteroid field. The ways your Movers — the floating gun turrets that follow your ship — can behave are so different from one another they have a direct impact on how you tackle everything from “popcorn” enemies to end of level bosses, and the newfound flexibility of Modern Mode feels like the perfect twist on an already brilliant idea. Gleylancer is as fresh and thrilling as it’s ever been, only now it’s as authentic — or accessible — as you want it to be too.
Gleylancer is a deep shooter that grew from a good shmup to a great one the longer I played it. To those in the know, this clever shooter's a tour de force, and I can now see why. It's smooth, addictive, highly replayable, and enjoyable, with rarely a dull moment. If you're a genre enthusiast, consider this an essential addition to your gaming library. Kudos to Ratalaika Games for publishing this, and for only $6.99. If this game had co-op, it might've been a 10.
There may not be much to keep you going back to Gleylancer once you’ve completed it, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue considering its budget price. And while the action it provides is rather basic compared to some other shoot ’em ups, it doesn’t stop it from being entertaining from beginning to end. In fact, it can feel quite refreshing. This is just simple, classic, retro fun.
Despite its short length, I had a lot of fun with Gley Lancer. The amount of variety on hand from the start is impressive and it encourages you to experiment with different formations and weapons. I’m a sucker for 16-bit games and this one hits you right in the nostalgia feels. The graphics are great for what they are but the music just makes it for me. Gley Lancer is definitely one for my import Mega Drive collection if I can find a copy. Despite playing this on PlayStation, I can see it being a great addition to the Switch. I award Gley Lancer the Thumb Culture Gold Award!