Space Sheriff Gavan is a tokusatsu TV series that ran in the 80’s to 90’s. Clips of the show were used in VR Troopers for some of the scenes. A metroid like adventure RPG was produced for the NES and it seems to be a port of an Arcade game (which was much more in the vein of a side scrolling action game.) When it was translated, the name became Cosmo Police Galivan. It’s a 1988 game, from Nichibutsu.
Cosmo Police Galivan has one glaring error. While the graphics range from impressively alien to weirdly buggy, the jumping is a bit awkward at times, and the hero has weird slide to his momentum, the worse part of the game is the grinding. To get the best sword, all weapons need to be level A. They start at level C. Since most monsters give between 1 – 3 experience points to your weapon, you need about 30 difficult monsters to get to level B, and about 200 or so of the same to get to level A. If you know where you are going, you will not be level B before you meet the boss, and you usually need to be level B to defeat one.
So, it’s a 1988 Action RPG. The grinding mechanics are nothing new. How’s the actual game? It has very little RPG elements. You collect items to pass obstacles and chat with people to get clues and information. You can swap out weapons, but really, the best weapon to use is the newest one in the area. There’s some very nice set pieces. The top of the ocean on area 4, for example, has cone like yellow mountains against a very dark blue sea. There’s also a sort of 3D effect to the platforms that is sometimes emphasized by shadowy sprites in a very effective way. The “dark world” sections of the game swap out the usual elevator sprites in favor of a spooky ribcage for the vertical sections.
Gameplay wise, the game is basically exploring a new area, talking to people, and then starting to gather the items needed to complete the area. Death is fairly lenient except for one problem. Your experience points for a new level (for the hero) are not preserved. This is an issue when you need, say, 200 experience points for a new level, and you keep dying when you have 100 experience points to go. Select lets you pick your weapon (blade, projectiles that use CP, and crystals that use CP.) By collecting P orbs, you can transform into the Galivan armor and get greater defense and offense. The GP gauge then slowly ticks down unless if you keep collecting P orbs. Since enemies drop a “set” of items, you can pick areas to grind up, say CP or P orbs, and so on. This can be a bit tedious. Later in the game, you can get instant Galivan armor (for CP) and an instant full heal (for CP.)