Body Blows Galactic is a fighting game developed by Team17 and released in November 1993 for Amiga ECS and AGA machines and MS-DOS.
More than a sequel to the original Body Blows game, Galactic should be considered an improved version of the original, considering the main change is the new graphics, especially on the AGA 256 color version.
In Body Blows Galactic, you choose from diverse fighters and engage in intense battles across various galactic arenas. Each character has unique moves, combos, and special abilities, as you might expect from a fighting game. The controls are responsive, allowing for the precise execution of attacks and maneuvers. But remember that this is a game designed for a one-button controller, so combos are activated with combinations of joystick directions and a single button.
The game offers both single-player and multiplayer modes, allowing you to challenge computer-controlled opponents or go head-to-head against a friend. The multiplayer mode, in particular, provides enjoyable competitive experiences, as you can test your skills and strategies against a human opponent.
The most significant improvement of Body Blows Galactic is its graphics and presentation. The game features colorful and detailed sprites, much better than the original, with vibrant backgrounds that capture the futuristic setting effectively. Even though the number of colors of the sprites between the ECS and AGA versions is the same, the backgrounds of the AGA version use all the 256 colors available and add parallax scrolling and other effects. The sound effects and music, composed by Allister Brimble, complement the gameplay, further enhancing the sci-fi atmosphere.
Unfortunately, it's not all good. Despite its positive aspects, Body Blows Galactic falls short in some areas. The problems of the original version, particularly the slow animations, haven't been solved. The gameplay mechanics lack depth compared to other fighting games. Moves and combos can feel repetitive, and the strategy can be relatively straightforward. Somehow, the same problems we found in Elfmania.
Additionally, while the expanded roster of characters is welcome, some fighters may feel unbalanced, with certain characters having more powerful moves or easier combos. In short, you should not expect Street Fighter II, even though comparing any Amiga fighting game with the Capcom masterpiece is unfair. The only comparable game, in my opinion, is Fightin' Spirit.
In terms of reception, Body Blows Galactic garnered mixed reviews upon release. Critics praised the enjoyable fighting mechanics, colorful visuals, and multiplayer mode but pointed out the lack of innovation and depth compared to other fighting games of the era. But it still got 88% from Amiga Format and some 90% or more from other magazines.
Body Blows Galactic is an excellent example of what the AGA chipset could do regarding graphics, but it's not the best example of game design from Team17. Play it to see the beautiful sprites and backgrounds and for the fantastic soundtrack.