Gleylancer (Nintendo Switch) Review

Lucia’s on a quest to save her father with the “Gleylancer” at her disposal. Does this classic shoot ’em up still hold up now in 2021?
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Gleylancer originally released in 1992 as a Japanese exclusive Sega Mega Drive game. It took another 16 years before it saw the light of day in the West as a 2008 re-release onto Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Now thankfully in 2021 it’s back and available on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Booting up the Nintendo Switch version, players will be in for a treat. This is a gorgeous modernisation of a classic shoot ‘em up from days long gone by and it is extremely worth playing. First and foremost, if you dive into the settings, you’ll see that this isn’t just a plain and straight out port. Ratalaika Games and Shinyuden have put a lot of effort into this title with so many options being made available. 

Players will be able to enable a CRT shader and will surprisingly also be able to adjust numerous settings such as screen curvature, scanline intensity, display area, and more. This is extremely welcome and we wish that more modernised re-releases of older games had these settings too. 

If you opt to play the “Modern” version of the game, you will have access to a new rewind feature which you can use to rewind time in-game. Say you end up dying to a rogue projectile fired by an enemy. You can simply rewind time to before that happened and dodge it. It’s great in action and allows players to experiment with more aggressive play styles in Gleylancer. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the ability to save and load whenever you want in game which, in addition to the Nintendo Switch’s ability to pause the action, makes Gleylancer the perfect fit for the handheld console. 

Gleylancer’s core gameplay is incredibly simplistic and rather standard for a shoot ‘em up from the early 90s era. Players will move the prototype CSH-01-XA “Gleylancer” fighter across the screen both vertically and horizontally while firing lasers and other projectiles at enemies. Players will also have access to one or two support Gunners which will fire various weapons at enemies. Weapons can be changed by attacking pods in-game and then collecting the upgrades they drop. 

Enemies in Gleylancer range from smaller ships to much, much larger ones and you will need some skill to get through the game if you don’t plan on using the rewind feature. Players who want a pure, unchanged experience from the original game can opt to play the “Classic” mode instead. As mentioned above, gameplay is rather simplistic but that’s not a bad thing at all. Gleylancer’s shoot ’em up gameplay is still rock solid and is incredibly enjoyable.

Gleylancer’s story involves players taking on the role of Lucia, a Earth Federation starfighter pilot who hijacks the prototype “Gleylancer” starship in order to rescue her father from alien clutches. As you play through the levels in Gleylancer, you will face off against tougher foes and more environmental hazards. Players can also increase or decrease the speed of the “Gleylancer” fighter and can change the orientation and firing style of the Gunner units. There’s a lot of replayability on offer here since you can chase higher scores or try out different Gunner settings for fun.

The soundtrack of Gleylancer is filled with some incredibly catchy music from yesteryear. If you’re a fan of retro game soundtracks, you’ll love this game’s OST. Graphically, if you opt to use the modernised visuals, Gleylancer looks crisp and gorgeous on the Nintendo Switch in both handheld and docked modes. Enabling the CRT shader and playing around with the additional settings is great too and you can really recreate a truly retro look to the game should you want to play it that way.

Overall, Gleylancer on Nintendo Switch is a great game and we’re glad that an iconic, niche title is now easily accessible to a larger audience via Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. This is a solid re-release and modernisation and is highly recommended by us if you’re a fan of classic shoot ‘em up games.

A review code for Gleylancer was provided to Gameblur by the Publisher

Total Score
  • Gameplay
    9/10 Amazing
    Rock solid classic shoot 'em up gameplay that holds up even now, years later
  • Visuals
    9/10 Amazing
    The retro visuals look so crisp here and the additional settings that you can tweak are extremely welcome
  • Audio
    9/10 Amazing
    Gleylancer's OST is filled with some incredibly catchy tunes

The Good

  • Gorgeous Retro Visuals
  • Rock Solid Gameplay
  • Excellent OST
  • Great Modernisation Features

The Bad

  • No additional bonus content
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