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Joseph Rositano
08 Jul, 2008

Space Invaders Extreme Review

DS Review | Extreme invaders call for extreme gamers.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the original Space Invaders was released in arcades. The game became such a huge success that it was responsible for a coin shortage in Japan, and is now one of the most iconic videogames in history. Taking this into account, it’s unsurprising that Taito have decided to release a remake of the classic shooter, but with so many other revamps already available does Space Invaders Extreme stand out?

At its core, Space Invaders Extreme hasn’t changed too much from the original. Players control a small cannon at the bottom of their screen and shoot at pixelated aliens who are hovering towards them. From here however, all similarities end. The first major change you’ll notice is that there are now different types of invaders to destroy. There are your normal invaders who simply move in a formation, invaders that have a barrier protecting them, some that will explode when damaged and destroy anything nearby, and even invaders that can reflect your cannon fire back at you. Enemy formations also act on this; for instance, invaders holding barriers are commonly put in front to protect the others while they shoot at you. It certainly adds a lot of variety to the game, and it keeps things fresh and engaging.

  
The power-ups are a lot of fun.

The power-ups are a lot of fun.
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Another new feature in Extreme is that players can collect power-ups for their cannon. There’s a bit of strategy involved though, you need to shoot down four invaders of the same colour, and once you obtain the power-up you’ll only be able to use it for a brief period. Some of the abilities you’ll gain include a broad shot, a bomb that can destroy a small group of invaders, a powerful laser and a shield. Additionally, if you complete the power-up feature twice in a row, you’ll get the opportunity to play a short mini-game. What will happen is a flashing UFO will fly across the screen, and if you hit it the game will pause and take you to a new screen. You’ll be given an objective which usually involves destroying a specific number of enemies. If you succeed, you’ll enter a special Fever Mode state, where your cannon is extremely powerful and you can rank up a lot of points.

At the end of each stage, you’ll also be treated to a boss battle. Unlike the rest of the game, battles take place on both screens which presents a number of different challenges for players. For example, one boss actually floats below your cannon, and to damage it you’ll need to reflect your cannon fire off of regular invaders. While the battles are generally easy to overcome once you know what to do, they at least offer something new and change the game’s pace a little.

  
As intimidating as they seem, they're no match against your cannon.

As intimidating as they seem, they're no match against your cannon.
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Unfortunately, although the game is fun and offers a variety of new features over the original, the single-player experience is a little limited. Firstly, there are only five stages to play through and they can be completed within a few short hours. To extend the game’s lifespan the developers have incorporated a Ranking Mode, which lets players connect to the internet and submit their high scores to a global ranking system. Unless you’re into that sort of thing though, there isn’t a lot that will keep you coming back.

Apart from the single-player game, Space Invaders Extreme also offers local multi-player support for two players via single-card download play, as well as online play via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The mode has players compete to see who can be the last man standing against an armada of invaders, but to add a twist you can shoot UFOs and cause havoc for your opponent. For example, some UFOs will change the invaders on their side to ones that reflect cannon fire, while others will give them barriers. In addition, the top screen displays your opponent’s field, so you can carefully time when your opponent is at their most vulnerable state.

  
Even some of the regular invaders can fire lasers.

Even some of the regular invaders can fire lasers.
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Perhaps one of the most lovable features in the game is that all enemies look as if they were taken from the 1978 original. To add some flair to the presentation, the background features dazzling pulsing visualisations. Admittedly, it can get a little distracting at times, but you do have the option of adjusting its brightness or turning it off completely. The game also features a techno soundtrack, and when you shoot and destroy enemies, the sound effects really compliment it.

Overall, Space Invaders Extreme is a worthy remake of the arcade classic. It stays true to the original by keeping the blocky enemies, and adds new elements such as online play and the power-up items. Just keep in mind that if you’re not into ranking up high scores or playing competitive multiplayer, you can get the most out of the game in a few short hours.
The Score
An addictive and worthy remake of the arcade classic. While the single-player experience is a little limited, if you're into high scores and competitive multi-player, then you should look no further.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Space Invaders Extreme Content

Taito Legends Power-Up Review
30 Nov, 2006 Hardly legends.
Taito Legends 2 Review
01 May, 2006 The best retro compilation ever?
6 Comments
5 years ago
Great review, but what happend to the old scoring system? I liked that one.
5 years ago
I agree, always liked each aspect of the game "reviewed", and then the overall score to judge the game as a whole.

Is the game a budget title?

I don't like change...
5 years ago
PALGN wrote
there are only five stages to play through
Not true, there's a branching level system ending with four variants of the 'fifth' stage. I'll tell you now that stage 5D is HARD!
5 years ago
i agree as well. The old scoring system worked very well. I was always interested to see what each part of the game scored. Now the reviews don't seem as complete and i have to read every single part of the review instead of skimming to the end and reading the brief comments on each aspect of the game.
5 years ago
3mt wrote
Now the reviews don't seem as complete and i have to read every single part of the review instead of skimming to the end and reading the brief comments on each aspect of the game.
That's the point =P
5 years ago
It doesn't really bother me. Sure, I like the sections with graphics and sound etc, but if I wanted to read a review for a game, I will normally read Palgn, IGN and maybe Gamespot if I really want the game. IGN has that in depth bit, so it doesn't matter if Palgn doesn't. As long as it still has that comment thing down the bottom, it's good.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  3/07/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
Publisher:
  UBI Soft
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2008

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