My eyes burns from all the cool things that's happening on my 46" 1080p TV. Everything flashes, colors is moving around everywhere and heavy techno beats slowly moves me into some sort of trance, just playing without thinking. Wow, this really isn't the old dull Space Invaders I remember being released to all formats every now and then for the past 30 years.
Space Invaders Extreme was originally released as a 30 year anniversary last year for both Nintendo DS and PSP. And it totally rocked back then and felt like a combination of Rez HD and the old Space Invaders combined with typical Japanese top down shooters. But as good as it were back then, it's even better on a big screen with a proper sound system.
It's just just brilliant how Taito and Backbone Entertainment have managed to make a completely new game that fells so incredibly original and fresh while still maintaining the basics of the original. You still move your little left and right and you still shoot those tine and slow shots on aliens without a brain that moves closer and closer to you.
But the similarities ends right there, because in Space Invaders Extreme, the enemies comes in all kinds of colours and sizes. Here we also have a pretty advanced combo system that sort of reminds me of Ikaruga. Shoot enemies of the same colour and you get power ups and that pesky little gun of yours transforms into a beast that turns everything on screen to alien dust in a matter of second.
New wave, new enemies. So far so good, but there is one more factor in Space Invaders Extreme that really makes all the difference, and that's the fact that you're creating your own music. Every shot you fire, every enemy you hit makes it's own sounds. Sounds that perfectly melts in to the heavy techno beats that keeps pumping out from my speakers.
I probably look like a dove walking, sitting in my couch bobbing my head to the rhythm and shooting all the enemies in sync with the beats making fantastic music while the high scores keep piling up. Unlike many other hardcore games stemming from Japan, Space Invaders Extreme even feels fair when it comes to achievements. Nothing is unnecessarily hard and they really make the game more fun.
And then, of course, we also have the Xbox Live support. Backbone has added some great multiplayer features and it's good fun both competing against and co-operating with your friends. Up to four players can join the alien hunt both online and offline. Some multiplayer events use split screen though, and the layout really makes everything tiny on smaller screens.
Space Invaders Extreme is great value for your Microsoft points. 800 space bucks is dirt cheap considering how much fun I've had with it. It doesn't matter if you're an old Space Invaders fan or a youngling that never really tried it. It's both great nostalgia and the most fun history lesson you've ever had. Just download it already and crank up the volume to the max while getting into a lovely state of trance, listen to your mad neighbours knocking at your door wondering what the heck you are doing. Life is good when space invades.
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