Galerians is a horror-themed action game. It doesn't contain "Boo!" moments like Resident Evil or dark hallways like Silent Hill. But it is a horror game whether people admit it or not.
Story. You are a young teenage boy named Rion. The story begins with you waking up on a strange operating table and trying to figure out why you were there. The voice of a mysterious girl pops into your head from time to time. Your challenge in the first level is to escape the hospital. Afterwards, you team up with the girl and continue unraveling the mystery of the Galerians and their special psychic powers.
Controls & Action. You have no control over the camera in Galerians. This is sometimes frustrating when enemies lurk just around the corner, but for the most part it lends a cinematic feel to the game. It also highlights the details of the environments, which are meant to be creepy. To perform actions, you must use your psychic powers, either sense or one of the drugs you can inject yourself with. Sense gives you hints about all kinds of objects in the game; it's almost like a built in guide. The drugs determine the type of attack you'll execute (force push, fire or gravity). There are also non-attacking drugs. You must also maintain your AP (anger points) which steadily rise regardless of what you do. When the gauge fills up, Rion cannot use any psychic power without "shorting." Shorting is both awesome and a pain in the ass. When Rion shorts, everyone around him dies a gruesome death in the style of Akira (remember the scene in the hospital with guts sliding down the wall?) Unfortunately, when he "shorts" he also loses life until he dies. Finding the pills that counteract this inevitable cycle is a pain in the ass. Rion can only use his powers when drugs are in him, which means you have to spend the whole game looking for drugs and gettin' haaaa-igh.
Mood. There are other characters and NPCs in the game, but they are basically lifeless and used as props. The Hotel level, in particular, is the most horror-inspired. The music for the game fits the levels nicely.
Puzzles. Galerians has several puzzles. Many are challenging but can be solved with a bit of deliberation. Galerians is definitely not a game you can just blast through. Some strategizing and economizing are required.
More. It's 3 discs long, has its frustrating points but has more good than bad. The map system is particularly useful for a PSone game. The menu system, however, is hard to navigate and since it doesn't pause the onscreen action, it makes the game unnecessarily hard at points. Overall, Galerians is a good game. It didn't break the "survival-horror" mold but it added a little twist to it in the same style as Hell Night and Juggernaut. The game is not rare or hard to find. So if you wish to add it to your collection, you should have no trouble tracking down a copy.