Square Enix Space Invaders Extreme

A masterful remake

Square Enix Space Invaders Extreme
  • Square Enix Space Invaders Extreme
  • Square Enix Space Invaders Extreme
  • Square Enix Space Invaders Extreme
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Addictive gameplay, varied combat elements, stunning visuals

Cons

  • A classic mode for the original 1978 edition of Space Invaders would have been a nice touch

Bottom Line

Space Invaders Extreme is an addictive trance-like experience, and no PSP or DS owner should be without it. Even if you've never heard of Space Invaders, missing this game would be a tragedy.

Would you buy this?

With just a few subtle but incredibly well chosen tweaks in gameplay, developer Taito has not only created a masterful remake of Space Invaders, but also one of the best handheld games in the last few years.

It's been 30 years since Space Invaders broke into gaming history. The basic concept was very simple — you take control of a lone ship, firing your single cannon at a screen filled with, well, space invaders. Shields would help to defend your position, but the space aliens would increase speed as you got to the last ship, making it that much harder to end a level.

Even more bang for your buck

Space Invaders Extreme packs a lot of surprises by improving on basic shooter gameplay, in addition to using entirely new visuals. You now have the ability to temporarily increase your firepower, allowing you to shoot down enemies with style. This can be done in several ways — for example, certain upgrades are gained by shooting down invaders of the same colour. Red invaders drop "bomb" ammo for your ship, blue invaders drop "laser" ammo, greens will yield a handy "spread-shot" upgrade, and black invaders will drop a shield upgrade.

Different shapes, colours and sizes

These power-ups especially come in handy with the new types of invaders, or rather, the new patterns they use. There are still the standard single-ship invaders from the original game, as well as the hard-to-get UFOs, but they all come in different shapes and sizes. These can range from gigantic invaders that take multiple shots to kill, armoured units that protect other ships in their column, and annoying little mini-units that can split off from a regular-size invader. Regardless of the difficulty, all the new moves and tricks in your own arsenal eliminate a lot of potential frustration, especially when trying to beat your best scores.

Bigger, bolder, and just plain better

Space Invaders Extreme also comes with boss battles, minigames, and extra modes for score buffing. All the new visual elements are very much like Every Extend Extra and Rez: vibrant levels, pulsing dance music, and more colours than a Death Star-sized disco ball on crack. (On the off chance that the graphics are overloading your eye sockets, you can always turn off the background animation.) All of these little additions keep the game interesting for hours on end, and you'll always want to play just one more round. Multiple modes and a multi-branching arcade mode can also be unlocked for gamers who want to test the game's unforgiving high-difficulty levels.

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