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Gleylancer Review (PS5) | Press square

Since its release in July 1992, Masaya’s Gleylancer didn’t initially shine as a single-player shooter. It received mixed feedback, with Edition 2 of Mean Machines SEGA magazine rating it as unoriginal and boring with a 48/100 rating. For years, Gleylancer was known for its reputation as an expensive collecting game, with even the most recent boom in price. It was thanks to a release of the virtual console that Shmup fans came to appreciate the solid gameplay more.

In 2025, you’ll control Ensign Lucia Cabrock, who controls the Advanced Busterhawk Gleylancer to save her father from intruders who attack the peaceful Earth Federation. What some see as generic, others will see as an homage to the classic horizontal shooter design, because the blasting away of pink landscapes is reminiscent of salamanders. There is also a Warship phase as in R type, and narrow passages are reminiscent of Scramble – while the Yamaha YM2612 of the Mega Drive broadcasts catchy Stage 4 music to accompany your tunnel evasion.

With an overall optimistic soundtrack, the acceleration of the movement speed of Lucia’s CSH-01-XA prototype ship together with the hectic music make for a frenzied gameplay. It’s especially gratifying that developer Shinyuden has incorporated a modern gameplay mode in which you use the right stick to aim power-ups – via the Gunner system invented by Doctor Gley – much like we praised twin stick controls to add Forgotten worlds at the Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Gleylancer was released in Japan the same month as Thunder Force IV, when the magazines grew tired of an overabundance of mega drive shmups Gaiares, Gynoug, Hellfire, and Zero wing as competition. Still, it could grab attention today, as using the rewind feature to complete 11 stages in under an hour loots simple platinum trophies on both PS4 and PS5. Once valuable trinkets have been looted, the most fun thing to do is practice each level of memory states to hone your skills and see how far you can legitimately go. Gleylancer deserves better than being lost again than just another simple Platinum version from Ratalaika Games.

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