Friday, July 24, 2015

Wait, Galak-Z is the name of the ship?

For the past year, I've been wondering what the heck Jake Kazdal and the team at 17-bit have been sitting on.  At E3, they said they'd do a "final press push" just before release, and...  This took a ton of patience, on their parts - bringing the game to trade shows and being very careful not to reveal that the sweet experimental fighter you pilot in Galak-Z can - after defeating the game's first "season" - transform into a fucking light-sword-and-shield-wielding space mech.

The above animation occurs the first time the ship transforms, at the beginning of season 2.  Galak-Z, you see, is styled as five seasons of your favorite 80s sci-fi anime.  Each season has five "episodes" - levels - and while the plot, it seems, remains the same as you move from level to level, the actual content and design of those levels will procedurally generate each time to ensure things never feel boring.  

They released a nice and smexy little trailer to announce the long-kept secret... 

...along with an explanatory post over at the PlayStation Blog (which is thick with gorgeous .GIFs). 

A-Tak, ace pilot of the Galak-Z, uses the Juke to dance over the enemy ship before transforming into mech form.
He jams on his thrusters to head up, snatches the enemy ship with his grappling hook,
turns around as inertia continues to carry him forward, beating on the ship once, then twice with his energy sword,
flings his foe into the spike trap and
holds up his energy shield to the exploding spine. 
(Bites lip.)
Ummmn yeah.

The mech is laced into every aspect of gameplay - it's basically half your toolkit - and you can effortlessly switch between ship and mech forms with the push of a button (and a cool Transformersesque sound effect). 

As it was in 2014, so it is today - the best place to really get a sense of what Galak-Z is about is over at Giant Bomb, whose Quick Look once again features project lead Jake Kazdal throwing down on some of the harder difficulties with nothing but beautiful full-screen HD gameplay for over a half-hour. 

Jake shows off some upgrade systems, and demonstrates how - in mech form - you can grab a piece of space junk and drift past some baddies, using the junk as visual cover, to keep yourself from being detected and stealth on by. 

A lot of interesting stuff is revealed, here - and if you want to avoid plot spoilers, you'll want to stay away (indeed, you'll want to stop reading this post right now) - but to me, this is the coolest thing I've seen since the trailer for Horizon: Zero Dawn

It's bittersweet, admittedly, what with the game no longer coming to Vita - and there's an additional little numb surprise at the end, when Jake admits that only seasons 1-4 of the game will be available at launch, and the fifth season will only appear in tandem with the game's Steam release sometime in "September or October."


Those question marks taunt me.  Like the Cove in Darkest Dungeon.
Another cool thing (you may have noticed from the .GIF at the top of this post) is that there are a lot of references to 17-bit's last game, Skulls of the Shogun.   The Galak-Z itself sports 2 samurai skulls on its jet pods, a keychain with the heroic dead general's face and helmet dangles in the cockpit, and yes - the fellow named in season 3 up there does indeed share his moniker and likeness with General Akamoto of Skulls.  

That's neat!  Still terribly hyped.  Day one, preordered and all that.  Wewwwt.

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