Have you ever had the opportunity to sink a few quarters into one of the most influential arcade machines of all time? Well I have, and let me tell you, as a kid that grew up in the age of the Nintendo Entertainment System, I thought the original Space Invaders was garbage. Only after going back to examine it with older, more mature eyes, do I see the merits of what made this the breakout hit for an entire generation of gamers.
Space Invaders Extreme is what buzzword marketers would refer to as a "re-imaging of the classic coin-op." This just means that the core concepts of the game remain the same, but the mechanics are updated to meet the expectations of a new generation of gamers. What remains unchanged is that you control a small ship at the bottom of the screen, that is trying to prevent the aliens, or Space Invaders from reaching the bottom of the screen or shooting you. After this point, the similarities end.
Set against a constantly modulating techno beat, the first thing that jumps out is the way that the game seems to have preserved the feel of the classic arcade cabinet. All of the classic sprites and enemies are back from the original, with the same carbon copied, sprite-like appearance. The PSP version of the game is set set against a backdrop of flashy and colorful full motion video, which along with the music, provides a very futuristic feel.
As you start eliminating enemies, they begin dropping items that act as power-ups for your spaceship's weaponry. The weapons that I encountered through limited gameplay include bombs that can blow up multiple enemies at one time, a spread laser that shoots multiple beams at once, and a gigantic laser beam that turns your ship into a baby Death Star. The speed and action is turned up to eleven, as special bonus rounds, assorted modifiers, and never before seen bosses battles, seem to be the icing on the cake.
I can't say enough good things about this game. In fact, I need to get back to it as soon as I can, so I can show that Boss who's... well... who's the boss. Keep an eye peeled for our comprehensive review, coming soon.
Below is a trailer of Space Invaders Extreme for PlayStation Portable: