I asked at the famicomworld forum about this game and was told that it is quite playable.
|Ginga Densou: Galaxy Odyssey|
So I tried it out and recorded a video.
Here's how it works.
In the shooter stage you collect some kind of power, I will call it Air, that you use when you are walking on the ground (top-down stage).
You collect air either by taking K letter in the shooting stage. You can also collect the glass bottles from enemies in the top-down stage and activate them in the shooter stage as I did the video around 00:10, to fill up the Air meter.
There are some other glass bottles too that I don't know what they do, and I have a talisman that I think increases the gold you collect, but I'm not sure.
In each top-down stage it seems that if you go as far north as possible, you collect that letter for that stage. It will then be shown in white in the select screen. From the manual, I suspect that if one collect all letters A-D, it is then possible to press the WARP option and change around the lit letters, and maybe reach new levels. That's my speculation.
The game has a varied shooter/top-down perspective, and in that sense it is somewhat similar to Guardian Legend that is also a shooter/top-down hybrid with some RPG elements.
Galaxy Odyssey was released with a cassette tape you could listen to. I don't have it though. The manual is half art/text book, with a 100 page story in traditional Japanese writing top to bottom. It has a diagram that explains what cryptic alien writing is in the Japanese hiragana alphabet. I feel sorry that I can't understand any of this. Possibly it is necessary to understand.
I feel that the game is a story driven adventure game more than anything. You are uncovering a story. I haven't played enough to say more.
The shooting stage is quite easy if you have a turbo controller, as I did.
|Hudson extension port controller, Famicom|
Without a turbo controller you need to have enduring fingers because there is a lot of shooting. Apart from that, the enemies are not hard and you don't need fast reflexes.
The top-down stages are not particularly hard either. With trial and error, and pen and paper, you can get through most of them in 3-4 tries and find everything in them. At least in the earlier A-D stages that I played. But be prepared that they are long ...
If the stages go on through all the letters in the alphabet it might get harder and longer. The game could be quite long. If you enjoy playing longer adventure games where you always seem to be making progress, then this could be worth a try. Personally, I might not be the biggest fan but someone at Famicom World Forum said he loved it!
In the manual there is a screenshot of someone at level 8. It took me an hour to reach level 2 with ONE weapon (20:50 in the video)... The stages feel like a very, very long cave in the Legend of Zelda maybe.
Because of the save function, you will always make progress. So, again, it is like a action/RPG hybrid, but I still feel that due to how simple the action stages are, it is more like a adventure game.
I haven't found out exactly how the Select screen works but I don't think it is too hard to figure out. The game isn't deep enough to be overly complicated. It shouldn't be much problem to play for a non-Japanese speaker, unless it has some hidden secrets somewhere. It is a pity that a non-Japanese won't understand the story then.
Because the game is quite unknown to most, it can often be found at a cheap price. Loose disk 5$. With manual and box 15-20$. Complete with cassette tape is more expensive, around 50$.