| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=NA] |
|On a vertical-shooting rampage touched off by Gunbird 2, I quickly reached such a state that I would snap up a vertical shooter as soon as I saw it. Well, I managed to resist a few but this one struck me as different than the others, which were mostly Japanese and scrolling, and it had good player reviews on the Internet--so I was doomed. Fortunately, it turned out to be a nice little surprise.|
Like the original, arrays of alien ships sachey down toward your ship at the bottom of the screen. Throw in varying enemy attacks, powerups and boss battles, however, and you've got a new game that reminds you just enough of the original to score some nostalgia points. Perhaps the coolest part is how you get rewarded with a super weapon if you kill four enemies of the same type in a row; some of the super weapons will take out a whole row of aliens if used correctly, sp if you're careful and lucky you can string together multiple super weapon shots and clear the board fast. Later levels get tough, of course, with enemies who do nasty things like block shots on adjacent columns, or require two hits to kill.
I'm not too fond of the bases--I liked tunnelling through the middle of a base in the original to form a little gunport but you can't do that here: shooting them from below just knocks them up into the air where enemies may smash into them and destroy them (the enemy gets destroyed too). Fortunately the bases don't play as large a role here as they did before, so it isn't that big a deal. The boss fights vary from cakewalks to death traps but most offer some interesting attack patterns.
Surprising production values and thoughtful options (I love the autosave between stages) round out this rare successful update to a classic game.
|Download added: original.gif (14311 bytes)|
"Unlock the original Space Invaders!"
In co-op, at any rate, the game offers very little challenge--a friend and I single-credited it on our first try, with plenty of extra lives to spare. You'll also hit sub-par framerates a good deal of the time, and most of the bosses are a waste of polygons. Speaking of polygons, the enemy ships would have been so much nicer as sprites rather than crudish polygon things, and the background images are all gray and bland.
Completing the regular mode unlocks the original black and white Space Invaders. Apparently there's also a button combination type of thing that can shortcut to it, but I haven't tried that.