Saturday, March 15, 2008

Space Invaders Extreme (Japanese Import) - A Review

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"Toto, I've got a feeling that we are not in 1978 anymore, and this ain't our daddy's Space Invaders we're playing here". That is exactly what sums up the experience of playing Space Invaders Extreme on the Nintendo DS.

Space Invaders Extreme presents a 21st century update to one of modern video gaming's pioneer titles and is released by Taito to mark the 30th anniversary of the classic title.

Don't mind the rather staid/retro cover box as the game really is colourful and the gameplay is much faster compared to that of its 30 year-old predecessor. Taito has put in place a rather nice techno soundtrack to complement the psychedelic interface/gameplay and I feel it's like someone converted Planet Puzzle League into Space Invaders!

There's quite a bit of strategy involved when playing Space Invaders Extreme. You'll need to shoot down enemies of the same type or colour in order to get temporary power-ups and also create chains to help boost your score.

Gameplay is divided into 3 types, whereby there's the ubiquitous arcade mode, the ranking mode and as well as a stage mode. The game also supports single cart and multi cart local multiplayer for up to 2 players. Tired of playing face to face and losing? Try the Nintendo WFC multiplayer option which is also available in Space Invaders Extreme.

I'm currently playing the Japanese version of the game, and language is really not a barrier here as in-game instructions and menu items are entirely in English. There's an incentive to purchase the Japanese version as the game double-ups as a collectible item (in my opinion), with the nice looking sticker on the shrink-wrap.

Anyways, Space Invaders is a pretty good time-killer and the variety of stages should keep you entertained for short periods. I wouldn't recommend playing too long because the animated backgrounds (yup, you read that right), even though they are a nice touch, can give you a headache after extended periods of playing.

Space Invaders Extreme is available at Play-Asia, for both the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. The soundtrack will be on sale from March 19th for anyone who is interested. Click on the links for further details!