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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Download Games Roundup

Galaga! Dimensions! Fury! Mass! Vertex!

Now that we're wedged firmly in summer's grip, that usually means only one thing: an appalling absence of decent boxed releases to see us through till September.

That's fine if you're off on holiday to soak up the sun, but for those of us too disorganised to arrange a summer break, the prospect of high-quality download treats takes on a greater significance than usual.

Microsoft seems to be aware of this, and over the past few years has made a big deal of its Summer Of Arcade line-up, with the likes of Limbo, Trials, Braid, Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light and Geometry Wars 2 gracing the past few years.

But what of this year? Well, the legendary Another World creator Eric Chahi is makes a long-awaited return with the impressive From Dust, then there's the crazed Fruit Ninja Kinect, and of course Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet to name but three.

But those are weeks away. Just as well this week has some good stuff in the shape of personal favourite Puzzle Dimension (now out on PSN), alongside the predictably great Galaga Legions DX and PC puzzler Critical Mass. Gaaaaames.

Galaga Legions DX

After Pac-Man CE was given a shot of pure adrenaline, it was probably expecting too much for Namco Bandai to transform Galaga Legions into a similar work of genius for its DX reincarnation.

As much of an assault on the senses as the 2008 original was, it never quite had people bellowing from the rooftops in the same way as the furiously addictive Pac-Man remake. Maybe we just prefer eating things to shooting them.

The answer this time appears to be broadly in line with Pac-Man CE's DX approach: make it easier, faster, and give you more of it. Early impressions suggest that it's a direction worth going in.

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

At the core, Galaga Legions DX remains a relentless fireworks display where the focus is firmly on clearing up each wave as quickly as possible. Vast swathes of enemies swarm onto the screen threateningly, but dispatching them is often about being brave and focusing on getting rid of the bigger troublemakers. Smash those up and the others blow away like litter.

The more efficient you are, the more points there'll be and the more you can revel in leaderboard-related glory. You know how this works.

To keep you plugging away, the DX edition now features nine areas to plough through, each with five waves to clear, along with the headline Championship mode and a Time Attack mode that allows you to focus on each and every wave, should you wish to prove your worth definitively.

It all adds up to an exceptionally accessible package that fools you into thinking you're doing well - until you observe your pitiful online ranking. But like Pac Man CE DX, hours of saucer-eyed commitment lie in wait, whether you like it or not.


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