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In the beginning Namco produced Galaxian, a more advanced take on the world of Space Invaders by Taito. Then they brought out their follow up known as Galaga. All was great for Namco. So much so that they made even more follow ups such as Gaplus (Galaga 3) and Galaga ’88. These games were great but all followed in the serious space ships VS alien craft. Then in 1991, Namco wanted to make something a little more jolly. Something that would appeal to those not in to hardcore games. This is where the Cosmo Gang came on to the scene. Actually, the Cosmo Gang first appeared on a coin gambling machine a year earlier but it seems Namco had bigger plans for these guys. The next thing you know they are staring in their very own arcade game, Cosmo Gang the Video. A cute take on the Galaxian / Galaga franchise. One year later, in 1992 this cute and addictive 1 screen shooter made its way on to the Super Famicom.
The game starts out just like any of the other games in the Galaga series but instead of Galaga enemies we now have Cosmo Gangers flying on to the screen. The attack formations are just like those used in games such as Galaga ’88. As the Cosmo Gangers swoop down on your ship they’ll also drop projectiles as well as moving in erratic patterns to confuse you. Blasting them before they reach the bottom of the screen is your best bet because if you don’t they’ll come at you harder and faster than before.
Every now and then you’ll notice one of the Cosmo Gangers carrying some sort of item. These are the guys you want to take out first as these carry the power ups. The power ups range from twin shots (very handy) to a jack in the box that freezes the Cosmo Gangers with fear giving you time to blow many of them away. As you progress through the game, the attack patterns of the Cosmo Gangers becomes more and more outrageous with them breathing fire at you or shooting off massive laser beams!
As you’d expect, the game is split up in to 5 worlds with each world consisting of 5 or so stages and an end boss. Yep, an end boss who goes under the name of Don Cosmo. This guy basically stands at the top of the screen yelling out in Japanese as his Cosmo Ganger subordinates try to steal your “boxes” by dragging them to the top of the screen. All you need to do is shoot one of these little subordinates every time they come near one of your boxes. Sounds easy, right? Well, yeah, it is for the first and second area bosses it’s easy but later in to the game the subordinates start to jump around all over the place making a hit on them much more difficult.
Cosmo Gang the Video is a true classic that everyone should at least try out if not own. Also, you may be interested in knowing that the Cosmo Gang also appeared in another game called Cosmo Gang the Puzzle. Although the production levels on that game are nowhere near as good as they are on Cosmo Gang the Video.