Can a thirty year old game that uses old gameplay be updated for the sound bite generation?
The fine folks at Taito (now a Square Enix company) have taken a classic formula—and made it extreme—with a few surprises.
DO: Uh, it’s Space Invaders. Invaders have come from space in tight formations and your ship moves left and right and pew! pews! the enemy.
TYPE: Classic arcade (from the late 1970s). In this day it’s called casual.
PLATFORM: PSP (reviewed here) and DS
MEAT: Quite possibly, Space Invaders was the first videogame I ever played. I could not pass up nostalgia. Taito has taken the old formula and improved it quite a bit—while keeping that same, familiar 30-year-old play. What’s new? Shooting different colored invaders in chains can net you bonus weapons. (The laser is a nice touch.) The catch is that the bonus weapons have a time limit. However, you can “lock” them in place by holding down a shoulder button. Your ship then fires its normal bullets. Let go of the lock and it’s back to the bonus weapon. The game has various levels and some challenging bosses. Yes, bosses.
PERKS: refreshing update to old gameplay; trippy, Lumines-like visuals and music; strategic bosses; bonus weapons; bonus levels; ability to shoot the invaders missiles; DS version has wi-fi play and rankings
SCREAMS: to be on Xbox Live like Pacman C.E.; to have online leaderboards; Uh…PSP online play? WTH? It’s not that complex.
VERDICT: Buy. Own it on PSP for shiny visuals or the DS for bragging rights. Young gamers should give it a try.