When it comes to retro arcade games, few have stood the test of time as well as Taito's classic static shooter Space Invaders and it's back in a brand new compilation of 3 very interesting and unique games. So, grab a roll of quarters and get shooting!
Space Invaders Extreme
I remember when Space Invaders Extreme debuted on PSP and it completely blew me away. As an existing Space Invaders fan, the rewarding scoring mechanics of Extreme posed a satisfying formula that had me aiming for perfection on each of its many stages that are filled with a variety of cleverly-designed waves and bosses. The basic gameplay is similar to the original as you merely move your cannon left and right and shoot. However, there's a variety of weapon power-ups that are great fun to use which you can acquire by defeating 4 similarly-coloured invaders in a row. Plus, there are bonus rounds that give you the opportunity to unleash Fever Time which makes you even more powerful. Once you master the gameplay, you can take on Extreme mode for an even greater challenge.
Anyway, I'm fairly certain that the version of Space Invaders Extreme which is included here is the PC release. This is mildly disappointing seeing as the Xbox 360 version featured multiplayer support that allowed you to compete or cooperate with friends. Playing solo is a blast but the lack of these modes is definitely a substantial missed opportunity, especially if you enjoy retro gaming with chums.
Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE
Next, we have a Japanese arcade game that has finally made its western debut thanks to Space Invaders Forever. This iteration of the arcade classic is primarily focused on 4 player cooperative gameplay. In fact, you basically have to play it with a few friends because if you don't, you'll probably run out of time to defeat the bosses which is a huge bummer. Thankfully, its soundtrack is excellent and the variety of boss fights and clever situations are enjoyable to master, especially when you combine forces to shoot even more powerful projectiles. Overall, this is a simple co-op arcade offering and can be pretty fun but it's really nothing special at the end of the day.
Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders
Finally, Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders is a port of a mobile game where you bounce projectiles back at the invaders. This might sound simple but it's an impressively fun game that works fantastically on PS4. Essentially, you drag your finger across the touchpad which moves the Vaus around in a small area at the bottom of the screen. Yes, it's a little disappointing that this is a vertical phone game and there's a lot of empty space on the sides of the screen yet it remains a supremely enjoyable game that rewards quick reflexes within its many distinct stage designs. I mean, the fact that there's a lengthy campaign to master is awesome and it's easy to pick-up-and-play, too.
One thing about Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders that I find particularly appealing is that it allows you to choose from a wide selection of unlockable iconic Taito characters from games such as Bubble Bobble, New Zealand Story, Darius, Lufia, and even Groove Coaster. How cool is that?! As a long-time fan of all things Taito, these characters help elevate an already great game to new heights.
Space Invaders Forever contains 3 very different alien-shooting experiences in one enjoyable collection. Whether you prefer fending off invaders solo or with a few friends, you're bound to have a great time with these fantastic games.
- + Space Invaders Extreme features rewarding stages and scoring mechanics
- + Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders is quite fun
- + Each game is enjoyable in unique ways
- - Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is a rather middle-of-the-road offering
- - Virtually no extra content
- - Extreme lacks multiplayer