Basic Play Mechanics
You control a main ship (free to move both vertically and horizontally), along with two satellite ships that provide increased firepower. The unconventional shooting mechanics of the Galaga Legions are almost completely replaced by a much more standardized twin-stick shooter approach. Your main ship can now fire in all directions, and your satellite ships now stay firmly tethered to their master. And rather than independently setting the shooting direction of each satellite ship, your options are now restricted to "main ship and satellites all fire in one direction" and "main ship fires up, satellite ships fire in two other directions".
Enemies appear from predictable points in predictable directions in each wave of attacks (in fact, many of these waves are unchanged from Galaga Legions). However, the multiplier-based scoring system of the previous game is dropped, and each level is set to a timer. This means that rather than trying to methodically chip away at the smaller ships to build your multiplier before taking on the larger ones, you will generally want to attack the larger ships as soon as possible, to end each wave quickly.
In a huge change from Galaga Legions (but a familiar one to Pac-Man Championship Edition DX players), the action will slow down to a crawl when your ship is about to be hit, giving you a brief chance to move away or fire back. This does come at a cost, however, since the timer keeps running.
As in Galaga Legions, you will sometimes have the opportunity to trap dozens of enemy ships to act as your legion, providing increased firepower. The legion ships are fragile, dying as soon as they come in contact with an enemy. However, activating the legion also gives you two additional satellite ships to provide still more power, and your satellite ships have much sturdier construction.
You are allowed only a certain number of main ships; running out will end the game. However, you can earn extra ships for scoring enough points; and thanks to the slowdown, running out of ships is usually not an issue. As with Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, the challenge is not to survive, but to do as well as possible in the time available.
Three game modes are available.
In standard play, you choose from one of nine areas (not-so-creatively named "Area 1" through "Area 9"). You choose a difficulty (which affects the starting speed), pick one of six graphics styles, and play a series of five levels.
Each of the first four levels has a timer, typically 60 seconds for the first three levels and 90 seconds for the fourth. If you complete a level ahead of schedule, the excess time is banked for the fifth level. If you take too long on a level, the level simply ends (meaning that you lose your chance to shoot the remaining enemies in the level, and you bank no time). Legion play is not available during the first four levels.
The fifth level has a very short timer (typically 30 seconds), but all the banked excess time from the previous four levels is added to the timer here. You almost immediately enter legion play, and are granted a fresh legion every time you die. There is no fixed end to the fifth level (in fact it simply repeats select attack waves from the previous four levels twice before giving you a second legion and an endless series of "boss waves" back to back, beginning with with the NEXT area's boss); you are simply using your massive firepower to score as many points as possible. When the fifth level's timer reaches zero, the game is over.
There is only one "Championship" area. Like standard play, it is divided into five levels, but the timer for each level is considerably longer (from 90 to 150 seconds). The key difference between championship and standard play is that here you are given a legion immediately, and keep it throughout the game, regenerating it when you die. So the challenge here is to use your firepower to cut through the enemies (which are more difficult and numerous than in standard play) as quickly as possible. As with standard play, any time you don't use in the first four levels is added onto the fifth, and the game ends when the fifth level's timer hits zero. The fifth level's wave setup is still infinitely long, but it cycles through all of the boss waves as opposed to using waves from earlier levels.
In time attack, you choose any one of the five levels from any of the nine standard-play areas or from the championship area. It plays out exactly as it would in a regular game with the difficulty set to HARD, and you simply try to finish the level as quickly as you can. If you choose one of the first four levels from an area, you are given the same amount of time that you would be given for that level in a standard game, and you lose if the timer hits zero. If you choose the fifth level from an area, it is not infinite as it would be in a standard game; you now have one "loop" of attack waves (ending with the boss wave of level 4, except for the Championship area) to plow through and a fixed amount of time to do it.