Review: Space Invaders Extreme 2 (DS)November 23rd, 2009 | Written by Danreb Victorio | Topic: Nintendo DS, Reviews
One of the more surprising titles released last year was an update to a timeless classic. Space Invaders Extreme gave the old game some new life with symphonic techno beats to go along with an abstract look in order to freshen the game up for a lively and hectic experience. With the success it had, it’s no wonder Taito has come out with a sequel so quickly, but unless you’ve never played last year’s entry—this game falls short of really amazing anybody.
For those somehow unfamiliar with Space Invaders, the premise of the game is simple. You take control of a tiny ship and shoot at aliens that are trying to come down on you. Unlike similar games like Galaga and Geometry Wars, you’re limited to only moving left and right, and at that, it really isn’t that fast.
On top of that, your standard cannon isn’t so strong either. As you progress through the game, aliens get bigger and bigger, and with your default cannon as slow as it is weak, you won’t have much success protecting yourself. Different strategies will come into play, and not only are they essential for obtaining ridiculously high scores, but they will increase the power of your cannon in the process.
For example, killing nothing but enemies of the same color will result in some massive chains, which can then lead to some bonus rounds in which you have to destroy rows of enemies within a certain time limit. Of course, as easy as it may seem, it’s easier said than done when shields and bigger enemies get in the way of achieving goals you’ll set for yourself. Just about everything you do leads to some sort of bonus level you can partake in, and that’s where the addiction comes in.
But those who have played the game already know this stuff. So what’s new about it? Not much. A few tweaks were made here and there. You don’t have to worry about the shape of the enemies you kill to get to certain bonus rounds. The main new feature is the bingo system, which sets a 3×3 plain on the top screen. When you kill a certain amount of enemies in a row, one of the boxes will begin to fill, and when you fill them up horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, you’ll enter an even more insane fever mode.
Online the game is about as solid as you’d want from a shoot-em-up game like this. If you’re under a solid broadband wi-fi connection, the game should feature little to no lag. The only slowdown you’ll get will happen when things on the screen get so hectic to the point where the DS is overflowing with paranormal information. Space Invaders Extreme 2, like the one before it, is one of the few games that on the DS that features Online Leaderboards, and that’s one of the reasons why the game remains a mainstay on the handheld.
The game’s graphics are pretty much up to par with what they were last year. With a whole bunch of flashing neon colors, you can get the feeling that you’re really in some other zone, what with the game’s rave-style music and random sound effects going with every beat as you shoot down different kinds of aliens. It’s enough to give sensitive kids seizures, and that’s quite an understatement. If anything, the way the game looks can be quite deceiving because since you’ll spend so much time dodging lasers, the placid use of color might fool you into dodging special power-ups, which are even more essential to obtaining the high score.
Space Invaders Extreme 2 is an extremely solid game that will leave players wanting more. But with only eleven short levels and almost nothing making it different from the first entry, you might want to hold off on picking this one up, even at its bargain $20 price tag.