Overall Rating: 1.5/5 stars
Data East is a now-defunct development company that, among other claims to fame, produced many titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, including the Robocop license cartridge.
One of their games of more questionable quality was Dash Galaxy and the Alien Asylum, a strange hybrid of overhead box-pushing puzzler and side-view platform jumper. It starred the titular Dash Galaxy, apparently on a mission to reach the ultimate level of an enormous, multi-tiered spacecraft.Gameplay
The controls are simple, yet clunky. Although, once mastered, Dash’s jumping is arguably smooth and precise, it takes a steep learning curve to get used to, in its unique method of combining uncontrollable momentum with finely tuned takeoffs. In the overhead portions of the game, you just shove around some boxes to open passages to the side-view jumping levels.
This idea of combining two genres, puzzler and platform, would be great if it did not rely on overly repetitive play. The only difference between the box-shoving areas is the positioning of the boxes; even in the jumping areas, the background hardly changes and the same obstacles, enemies, and accessories are found, creating an abysmal lack of replay value.
The opening title screen and story animation are colorful and interesting, reminiscent of American’s more innocent age toward space travel and its interest showing up in the pop culture of sci-fi movies, comic books, and television series like Flash Gordon. Dash Galaxy is more like a watered-down version of Gordon, though, as he never even has a face and even his biggest enemies are crude, pixelated, basic graphic parts. This game is not a stunner in the looks department.
Some of the tracks are passable, but overall, the quality of the effects is average at best. There are no noteworthy instances of uniqueness, no interesting loops, nothing outstanding to speak of whatsoever, unfortunately. The verdict: Bland, boring, and underdeveloped.
Creativity and Innovation
One aspect of this video game that actually was admirable was its attempt to blend to types of gaming into one cartridge. However, considering that to achieve this effect they had to make each mode a stripped-down half-game of a series, the attempt is a failure. Dash Galaxy had potential, but falls under its own weight in the end.
Although it can be fun to try it once and see how far you progress, the game never grows, remaining stale and repeating with every level. It deserves no more than one and a half stars out of five.