Space Invaders Forever – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade
Developer: Taito Corporation
Publisher: ININ Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Space Invaders Forever – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Reforms nostalgia to something new, while still including and updating original gameplay as well
Bad: Space Invaders forever, but how long is forever when it repeats itself?
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Who hasn’t heard of Space Invaders? That’s like saying you haven’t heard of Pac-Man or Street Fighter. Know your classics! Not to mention that those old games, but especially Space Invaders, also turned into classic icons. This happened mainly by French artist “Invader”, who spread the iconic pixelated aliens on the streets. It isn’t weird that a remix such as Space Invaders Forever is expected to be popular with a broad audience. 

Story

What do you mean, story? Space Invaders has no story! Well, to be fair, Space Invaders Forever is split up into three games. You got the classic Space Invaders that’s dubbed Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, which essentially is classic for up to four players. There’s no story in this game, just like in Space Invaders Extreme, a hyped-up remastered arcade Space Invaders. These games could essentially be seen as the classic arcade titles when looking at the story. The graphics are telling the story, along with the title of how a bunch of aliens is invading space, and you and your little spaceship/moveable turret are supposed to hold them back.

The third game included in Space Invaders Forever is Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. This game was first released on mobile phones as a paid game, and now you can play it in this collection. Arkanoid vs Space Invaders introduces more of a story, explaining quickly which special defensive weapon you will be using and such. These bits of the story are done like most mobile games are done though; quick, fast, and without much meaning behind it.

Graphics

Where Gigamax 4 SE has the same old graphics you are used to, Space Invaders Extreme is like the opposite. A lot of flashing colors and reworked graphics, including graphics that might influence the gameplay such as invaders that flip their 2D graphics 90 degrees towards you, turning them into nothing but a small bar of pixels that is harder to hit, are not uncommon in Extreme. Space Invaders Extreme has nice visuals but it also barely ever stops screaming in your face. It’s all about that go-go-go hyper rush sensation, and this is what the graphics show. Arkanoid vs Space Invaders has all the polish and graphical appeal of a finished, professional mobile game, but without all the flashing. It’s neatly finished with some still images of backgrounds and characters, and it’s enjoyable in its calmer approach.

Sound

Where Gigamax 4 SE and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders have the sound you expect them to have (retro bleeps, modern impact sounds), Space Invaders Extreme is a bit more special. The game guides you with a rhythm to keep you hyped, and every time you fire your weapon it also adds i.e. percussion to the beat. This way, the game kind of guides you through getting in a certain flow of rhythmically shooting aliens, which works great. It’s even kind of difficult to dissect how the flow works exactly while playing, but it works nonetheless, which is quite the accomplishment.

Gameplay

For those of you who never played Space Invaders; it’s an arcade game where traditionally rows of aliens are dropping down the screen a row every few seconds. A couple of them will even fire a shot at random, creating objects for you to dodge or blast away. You, at the bottom of the screen, can move left and right and fire at the invaders. The goal is to clear the rows of aliens in time before they either reach you or hit you with their shots. When you get hit, you lose a life. Lose all lives and it’s game over.

Gigamax 4 SE is still the exact same gameplay, but it’s weaved together for four players to play simultaneously. It’s like putting four TVs next to each other where you do the same game, but without edges and on the same screen. You’ll have to work together to repel the alien invaders. Space Invaders Extreme allows you to go through multiple stages of a variety of waves that you need to destroy as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some aliens drop weapons such as a laser or quad-shot, but it’s rather limited how much will drop. The real variation comes from the waves, bonus levels, boss fights, and more, to provide you with enough variation.

Arkanoid vs Space Invaders feels like a breath of fresh air. Instead of shooting, you actually deflect the enemy shots to use them as your own. It’s the gameplay of Arkanoid (brick-breaker ball arcade game) and Space Invaders combined, and it plays smoothly thanks to it originally being targeted at a broad mobile audience. It’s more original but nothing brand-new that hasn’t been used in other titles before. It’s a nice variation from the base formula, and that’s all that counts.

While there are three games packed in one in Space Invaders Forever and they are all different, it’s still essentially the same game. It all boils down to blasting your way through hordes and hordes of invaders. It’s a game with one of the most simplified game mechanics, and that’s why it also still feels a bit outdated, no matter how many flashy new graphics you add. Space Invaders Forever feels like a nice homage and is pretty fun to play for short periods of time, but perhaps this should be the last “copy” of an old game with outdated mechanics.

Conclusion

Fun, pretty, but also a bit outdated despite its overhaul. Space Invaders Forever reinvented itself with these three games, but at the same time stayed completely the same. While it’s a collection that is basically the same game over and over, it’s up to you to decide how much you are in the mood for some remixed retro gameplay for you to spend your money and time on. That being said, you cannot fix what is not broken, and this ‘trilogy’ is still entertaining.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Space Invaders Forever - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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