Like Ben, I was eager to get my hands on a mindless 2D shooter like Giga Wing. It was supposed to be a welcome break from the huge involving RPGs I've been playing of late. I never intended to scrutinize Giga Wing too severely as I usually lower my expectations for arcade ports and this type of game in particular. That's what makes the game such a sad case—it only needed to be at least average to garner a positive review from me, and it couldn't even do that.
Ben is not kidding when he says, "the action has been pumped up to utter insanity." From the very beginning, the shear amount of enemies and firepower thrown at my fighter plane was overwhelming. No matter how adept you think you are with 2D shooters, you will find yourself dying just as many times as I did while playing. If you don't die from any of the hundreds of projectiles that can come flying at you at every possible moment, you will after losing sight of your plane in all the confusion, and you'll only realize you bought the farm after the continue menu pops up. During two player modes—where these games can really shine—Giga Wing becomes downright unplayable. It is twice as exhausting to keep track of each plane's position on-screen, let alone collect power-ups and multiplier icons.
About the only positive thing I could find in the game—aside from the fact that it didn't melt my Dreamcast—was that there is a nice selection of planes. They aren't anything spectacular, but they are unique enough to offer some replay value to the most diehard of gamers. The only other positive I noticed while playing was the game's length. To keep this torture as short as possible was the least the developer could do for suckering someone into shelling out $50 for this game. In the end, neither of these points can take away from the fact that Giga Wing is one of the most unimaginative and unexciting games I have ever encountered.