Space Invaders Extreme Review
The Space Invader High Command has been busy revising their attack strategies. "Reverse course, descend, and accelerate may have worked thirty years ago, but modern times demand modern tactics. Varied attack patterns and new invaders that are four times the standard size, carry shields into battle, or split into multiple invaders when hit are just some of the new things that planetary defenders will will have to cope with in Space Invaders Extreme.
It's not just the single-minded plodding attack of the invaders and the familiar "brump-bum-bum-bum" sound that's changed - the whole Space Invaders experience has been overhauled. In fact, you won't even find the classic game included on the cart. Flashy colors, dynamic animated backgrounds, and a pulsing techno soundtrack give the game more of a rave vibe than a retro feel. One attack wave flows right into another and are interweaved with bonus and jackpot rounds and boss battles. And while the familiar bunkers protecting your cannon are nowhere to be seen, some invaders will drop power-ups that give you powerful weapons like a spread-bullet attack cannon or a devastating beam laser.
The game has a playful side to it that serves it well. The invaders all have the same familiar blocky classic look and occasionally some will turn to the side, making their flat 2D bodies appear as thin straight lines. The game also integrates the sound effects such as your cannon fire and exploding invaders into the background music. It's so well done that at first you won't even notice that it is happening, and when you do you'll be wowed by how really cool a feature it is.
Space Invaders Extreme includes something the original game never had: multiplayer. This isn't the "step aside, now it's my turn" type of multiplayer either. You can play simultaneously against friends in the same room (they won't even need their own copy of the game) or against opponents over Nintendo Wi-Fi. You can monitor your opponent's progress on the top screen and to make things more interesting you can even send some invaders at each other.
The game has a few minor faults in that the background animation is incredibly obtrusive and that there is an end to the game. Luckily the background animation can be turned off if you find it to distracting, but there's not much you can do about the game's ending which feels like it comes too soon. However, this isn't the kind of game that you can play through once and then never return again. It's a very cool experience that makes for a perfect portable game. You'll find that it will make its way into your collection of games that you always take on the road with you and that you'll pull it out for some techno-laced invader blasting fun time and again.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 90%. The space invaders go techno and planetary defenders will love them for it.