We have a steady diet of Starblazers, Macross and other iconic anime series to thank for 17-Bit's Galak-Z: The Dimensional, the recently announced space shooter adventure coming to PlayStation 4 and PC. 17-Bit founder Jake Kazdal gorged on Japan's colorful cartoons as a kid, he told Polygon, and their characters, action and imagery are some of the major influences on his company's new game.
Galak-Z: The Dimensional plays a bit like classic arcade game Asteroids as it eases you into its gameplay. Players control a tiny fighter ship, maneuvering it in 360 degrees by firing fore and aft thrusters, and shoot at enemy threats, mainly a fleet of purple alien spaceships (and monsters and giant space mechs).
As A-Tak, the pilot of the fighter ship battling an alien assault, players have a few weapons at their disposal, like rapid fire blasters and lock-on missiles. Those missile volleys fire off with an aesthetically pleasing punch, unleashing bursts of Macross-style missile swarms.
A-Tak's ship is also capable of a few helpful maneuvers. He can dash, strafe and juke, a move that pulls his ship momentarily off the 2D plane in which battles take place, not unlike the loop move from another 2D shooter, Capcom's 1942.
Galak-Z is more than just a space shooter. It's a larger, Metroid-style space adventure. In one of the levels we played at PAX Prime's Indie Megabooth, we got a glimpse at the massive world map of Galak-Z, which is stuffed with hidden ship parts, weapon upgrades and items that will unlock new parts of the galaxy.
For a more in-depth look at Galak-Z: The Dimensional, watch our video interview with 17-Bit's Jake Kazdal from PAX Prime, in which he explains how the game also draws influence from Halo, Far Cry 3 and other modern games.
Galak-Z: The Dimensional is targeting a 2014 release on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC through Steam. Kazdal says he's considering a PlayStation Vita version as well.