Portable systems are rarely known for their shoot-em-ups, but that didn’t stop Compile from trying. The “GG” in “GG Aleste” technically stands for “Galvanic Gear” but it’s also obviously meant to mean “Game Gear”, Sega’s portable platform, with it being an original title that adapts Aleste for the miniature screen.
The heroine is Ellinor once again, taking place in another alternate continuity. There’s no real story, and what little is seen of the heroine seems to have been adapted directly from MUSHA. The game plays a little bit closer to the 8-bit Aleste titles than the 16-bit ones, of course, though it doesn’t use the AI enemy generation of Zanac. There are eight weapons, and while technically there are no bombs, your ship detonates upon being destroyed, damaging everything on the screen before flying back in the fray.
There’s nothing too particularly unique about GG Aleste, but it does have some cool effects. The first stage takes place in an outer space colony, with the landscape separated into terrestrial neighborhoods and outer space with some cool parallax scrolling effects. The third level has an area similar to MUSHA, with a deep canyon where enemies will fly in and out of it, as impressive on an 8-bit console as it is on a 16-bit one. The bosses are the usual multi-turret enemies and large ships, though the final one, a robotic bald female human head mounted on a cybernetic platform, is suitably creepy.
Naturally the main problem with GG Aleste – and the main reason why shooters are so rare on these systems – is that it’s hard to play on a blurry portable screen. The scrolling isn’t as fast as a typical Aleste game, but it’s still difficult to make everything out, especially the small sprites.
Game Gear titles are not particularly known for their collectability, but as with many Compile titles, GG Aleste is exceedingly rare and expensive, and was only released in Japan.