Saturday, June 21, 2008

Space Invaders Extreme Review (DS)

As a 'younger' or '16-bit Generation' gamer, I never originally played any of the old classic games in their original form. For me, the closest I ever got to playing Space Invaders was an electronic version that had used lights under a stencil of the aliens. It was fun, but extremely simplistic in nature.

To celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the game, Taito has released Space Invaders Extreme on the DS and PSP giving those who played the original a way to 'relive' their young days, and those of us who missed out the original to play a popular arcade game.

The objective of Space Invaders is simple, you control a Space-Fighter who is trying to prevent the on-coming onslaught of Alien Invaders. If they reach the bottom then you die. In Extreme, they take this concept but throw some variations. In the original, the enemies simply moved from left to right and slowly downwards with varying speeds. Some levels gave you shield to hide behind but as you progressed the enemies move much more quickly. In this edition, the enemies have varying speeds, paths and attacks giving you plenty of variety in gameplay. Also, with Extreme, now you can get power-ups and bonuses to help you along the way.
These vary from standard pick-ups (Shields, Bombs, etc...) or if you manage to hit a flashing enemy ship, you enter Extreme Mode.

In Extreme Mode, you are given a time-limit to complete an objective. If you fail, you don't get a bonus, but if you succeed, you enter Fever mode and your attacks last a long time with maximium damage.

This is all part of the game's main mode, called Arcade Mode. Where you go through 5 stages to finish the game. There are varying paths; the first being easy, then branching out until you have the possibility of 5 final stages. The next mode is Ranking, where you play the same stages again, but trying to get the best possible score/ranking. Stage Mode allows you to re-play any of the stages you've already completed.

The game also offers a pretty good multiplayer option with wireless play or online via Nintendo's Wi-Fi option. There is also the ability to upload your high-scores for others to see.

Overall the game is Fun and for twenty dollars, it's a great deal. The sound for the game is decent for a DS title, but nothing really spectacular. The explosions and shooting work well, but you won't be expecting anything to surprise you. The graphics though are a bit of a let-down on the DS version. If you happen to see a comparison between it and the PSP version, you'll notice that the colors of the enemies and the backgrounds are much more vibrant. It doesn't ruin the game, but it would have been nicer to get something more on the DS. Thankfully, the better Multiplayer options for the DS do make it the better choice between the two, and the fact that it is also 5 dollars cheaper than the PSP edition. Also, with the DS version, while played on two screens, you generally are only using the bottom screen. Not a big deal, but instead of using the top screen generally for your score, they could have done a lot more with it.
While trying to build on the 30th aniversary of the game, they also could have thrown in an emulated version of the original as a bonus. (edit: This might actually be included, but unlocked later on.)

Other than the minor gripe on the graphics, this is still a Good game to play. It's yet another reasonable priced game for the DS that will give you your money's worth. Regardless if you grew up or experienced the original version, there is a lot to offer here, and you'll want to play and challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score.

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