Three power ups, laser, bomb and wide shot, give a reason to match colored enemies aside from the usual point accumulation. Instead of occasionally seeing the flying saucer scoot across the screen, it now makes regular appearances. Destroying the flickering rainbow saucer sends the ship into a bonus round where more points can be had and the opportunity to temporarily infuse your ship with overwhelming alien annihilating power. Ok, it’s not that epic, but it’s pretty damn effective at clearing screens of invaders. Want even more points? There are incentives to destroy columns/rows by order, incentive to extend the chain of aliens destroyed or how about accurately destroying those pesky aliens without wasting a single shot? There are a lot of more layers and chances to score big points than ever in this Extreme edition.
As for the differences between the handheld versions? There’s a handful, starting with the multiplayer offerings. The PSP version’s multiplayer options are limited offering only adhoc play – it doesn’t even support online leaderboards. If you insist on competing via online rankings, the Nintendo DS version is a no brainer. Don’t worry about screen sizes between the two versions either because both use fixed areas for all the essential play. The NDS version will use the top screen for bonus rounds, but the core gameplay remains nearly identical between the two versions. Both the PSP and NDS versions also look and sound great, but understandably the PSP version edges out on the technical front by a tiny bit. Lastly, the NDS version supports the awesome paddle controller.
And there you have it folks. What a way to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of Space Invaders. By taking the classic formula, giving it a modern sheen and injecting a healthy dose of “unexpected twists” to the gameplay, Taito and Square Enix made Space Invaders worthy of people’s attention once again. At the suggested price of $19.99 CAD, both games are well worth the price of admission. If you’re looking for something that is easy to pick up and sink countless hours into, Space Invaders Extreme is highly recommended. It’s easily amongst the best classic gaming revivals.
For more information, visit the official website. Screenshots courteousy of Taito.
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