Layer Section & Galactic Attack S-Tribute (Switch)

Layer Section & Galactic Attack S-Tribute  is a re-release published by City Connection of a title originally developed on the Sega Saturn by Taito under the name RayForce.

While the name gives off the impression this title is a 2 in 1 kind of affair it just provides you with the Japanese and American versions of the game which both confusingly had different names to the original release, hence the name Layer Section & Galactic Attack. 

Layer Section/Galactic Attack was a console port of the arcade release RayForce that saw life originally on the Sega Saturn which may be why the title isn’t quite as well known as previous S-Tribute titles City Connection has put out like Cotton 2. 

Much like the other releases, this title is a re-released, emulated version of the Sega Saturn release with no sign of the arcade version in sight, a shame but considering how famous the Sega Saturn was for arcade quality ports this isn’t a bad thing. 

Layer Section is a traditional vertical shoot ’em up where you pilot a single spacecraft and take down a legion of enemies in a rather grandiose war that spans several planets and the vast dark known as space.

This title has a rather unique quirk in that a lot of enemies and destructible are in the background and they can be targeted and destroyed by a homing laser, a little like the background aspect in Twin-Bee only more explosive, this went on to be a feature in the PS1/Sega Saturn prequel RayStorm a title I am familiar with. 

Visually Layer Section/Galactic Attack is a beautiful mix of sprite work mastery and cheeky 3D Polygonal graphics in a way only possible on the Sega Saturn, initially it doesn’t look the greatest but the first time you see an enemy scale from the background to the playerfield you’ll sink right into the perfect nostalgic zone and stay there throughout.

The arcade run is riddled with set pieces which keep the run engaging and tell a story, this is wonderfully coupled by sub bosses making re-appearances throughout stages and the fact each stage seamlessly bleeds into the next much like Escatos would do years later. 

The music is absolutely fantastic as expected by Taito who famously put out brilliant soundtracks with their Darius series and the sound effects are brilliantly punchy to boot, really leaning into that golden era of arcade brilliance. 

While there is a learning curve in regards to amount of stuff on the screen, be it bullets, suicidal ships, background dangerous and the set pieces such as lava exploding everywhere you can’t help but want to play more as it’s so fast and viceral despite being initially quite punishing. 

There are a few tweaks you can make to change how the game play, several difficulty modes within the actual game, a quick save and load feature, the ability to turn the U.I on and off, several screen adjustments and filter options and the ability to change how many continues, which player ship out of 1p or 2p, turn off powering down and even a Slow motion mode, plenty of ways to alter the game experience.

While not quite the bargain it initially seems cheekily bundling the same game with a different name twice, Layer Section & Galactic Attack S-Tribute is a top tier Shmup and seemingly free of egregious input lag which plagued previous releases.

There is also an online leaderboard which I believe was patched in post release giving you even more incentive to explore the Shmup tour de force that is this title. If you’re a fan of the genre you’d be fool hardy to skip this one and hopefully this is a notice of things to come for City Connection and their S-Tribute line. 



An essential Shmup classic with enough tweaks to make it accessible to all.

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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