Super Galaxy Squadron EX

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Super Galaxy Squadron EX Game Poster Image
Classic arcade action brings repetitive play, thin story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

A story about alien invaders, good vs. evil, but actual gameplay doesn't dwell on premise. It's an action-arcade game at its core. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters trying to protect humans from invasion, but there's no interaction. Regardless of each character's backstory, game plays out the same. 

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Lots of explosions; player must dodge incoming attacks to ship, but all violence shown in pixelated, two-dimensional visuals. When destroyed, ships only disintegrate, without debris, blood. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a downloadable old-school arcade-action game like Galaga or Space Invaders where players try to destroy an incoming alien-ship invasion that descends from the top of the two-dimensional battle screen. Using a gamepad, players will need to dodge ranged attacks (such as missiles) from the enemy ships, use various attacks to destroy the invaders, and upgrade their craft to unleash powerful strikes. Violence is against enemy ships, without debris or blood, and the game is an exercise in quick reflexive shooting.

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What's it about?

SUPER GALAXY SQUADRON EX takes places in 2335, 11 years after the war between the Ceti alien race and humans. Fourteen of the world's best pilots have been recruited to repel an enemy force that seems intent on starting a second war. The game features 14 ships, and two modes of play (Arcade and Endless, though one of the settings in the Endless mode is "Coming Soon"), as well as a wide range of difficulty options. While there's a story with some voice-overs, much of the game is a matter of launching a ship and then dodging attacks while destroying enemy ships with a barrage of firepower to rack up points.

Is it any good?

Old-school arcade shooters have some appeal and challenge, and this game lets players visit the past to appreciate the present. Super Galaxy Squadron EX is the sequel to the year-old game of the same name (minus the "EX)", but for those who have never played the original yet have played games such as Space Invaders or Galaga, the overall mechanics and formula will have a familiar feel. There's a storyline, but it's merely a thinly veiled reason for the fast and frenetic action. The range of difficulty options on this shmup (also known as a shoot-'em-up where a lone challenger takes on a vast enemy force) creates a pathway for younger players to sample this game genre, while the harder settings will give even the die-hard veteran fits.

The graphics are bright and colorful, even if pixelated, and the sound is serviceable but hardly worth turning the sound up to enjoy. A gamepad is also mandatory to play this title at all. Though this game doesn't offer anything new to the genre and certainly can grow a bit thin with prolonged play, it's worth the look to taste what old-school arcade gaming used to be. Those looking for depth of storytelling or gameplay should look elsewhere, but those looking for fast action and arcade-like diversions might be sated by what this game offers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Is the violence in this game fine because there's no blood or gore? Is it OK because the visuals are more in a classic arcade style that emphasizes gameplay over graphic violence?

  • Talk about handling pressure. Do you know how to best handle what seems to be overwhelming odds with calm? How can controlling emotions help in other activities?

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