Ginga Denshou: Galaxy Odyssey

Galaxy Odyssey attempts to combine a multitude of different ideas and styles, and as a result ends up doing none of them particularly well. Flashy packaging and bright anime-inspired character design do little to salvage this intriguing, but ultimately disappointing title.

Ginga Denshou: Galaxy Odyssey

Japanese Title: 銀河伝承 ギャラクシーオデッセイ
English Release: none

Release Date: November 6, 1986
Publisher: Imagineer Co. Ltd.
Developer: Imagineer Co. Ltd.
Genre: Action Adventure/Shoot ’em up
Product Code: IMA-GIN
Disk Format: Double-sided
Notable Credits: Characters Designed by Okazaki Tsuguo

Developed by Imagineer Co. Ltd. as the first part in their WaveJack series, Galaxy Odyssey attempts to combine a multitude of different ideas and game styles, and ends up doing none of them particularly well.

Galaxy Odyssey is part vertical scrolling spaceship shooter, part Zelda-like adventure game, with a dose of educational game crammed in on top of it all. The game has five stages, each starting with a schmup style shooting sequence. During these portions of the level you destroy enemies and collection oxygen tanks. At the conclusion of the shooting stage, you dock with a space station and move to Zelda-like dungeon exploration. The caveat being that you have a finite amount of oxygen with which to complete these areas.

The shooter sections feel clunky and lack the refinement of a number of other 8-bit vertical shooters, and the exploration sequences are made overly difficult by a short oxygen supply and serval game-killing bugs and glitches.

Games in the WaveJack series were packaged with additional materials (audio cassettes, supplemental reading material) designed to enhance the over all game experience. Galaxy Odyssey came with a combination novella / Instruction booklet detailing the game story and an audio cassette featuring not only selections from the in-game soundtrack, but also an original theme song entitled “Romantic Odyssey” performed by teen idol Oginome Yoko. Also included was a 10 page pamphlet from the Japanese Psychoeducational Institute rallying the virtues of educational video games in child development.

The “educational” proponent of Galaxy Odyssey is questionable, however. Supposedly hidden in the lyrics to the theme song and the accompanying novella there are clues for deciphering in-game runes left behind by an ancient civilization. This is completely optional and not worth putting any time into considering the game is a chore to play in the first place.

All in all, Galaxy Odyssey is a mashup of interesting ideas rendered completely joyless by sloppy execution.