Space Invaders is a name synonymous with gaming. Although it first came out in 1978, its notoriety has survived despite subsequent sequels largely falling off the radar.
That’s not to say that Taito hasn’t tried. The Japanese developer has released a total of ten arcade games and several more games for PC, console, and handheld devices. Most recently, it was included as part of the AtGames Legends Gamer Pro. A recent firmware update added 47 Taito classics to the home arcade system.
Now Taito is hoping to revive the franchise with Space Invaders Forever, a compilation for PS4 and Nintendo Switch. It includes three separate games: Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders.
Space Invaders Extreme
Space Invaders Extreme first came out on Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable back in 2008. It was later ported to Xbox 360. It has the feel of Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 with more stylized graphics and faster gameplay.
The game has an Arcade Mode and Free Play Mode. Arcade Mode has you play a set of levels sequentially. You have to beat the first level to unlock the second and so on. However, you can’t go back and play old levels. The Free Play Mode lets you replay levels that you’ve already beaten.
This game is quite similar to the original Space Invaders in its goal. You try to clear the screen of the invaders. However, Extreme has a twist with power-ups like a laser beam, a bomb, and the shotgun-like broad shot.
The invaders vary in color, size, and ability. For instance, some of them have shields. Each level is capped off with a boss fight with their own unique fighting style and weakness.
On top of the boss fights, there are also bonus levels that you can unlock if you shoot specially-colored UFOs. Overall, I think it’s a pretty good attempt at a fast-paced, arcade-style, modern take on Space Invaders.
Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE
Gigamax is more like the classic Space Invaders. However, it is the first game in the franchise to support simultaneous multiplayer. In fact, up to three of your friends can join you as you take on the invaders and bosses. Of course, you can also play solo if you want.
This was my least favorite of the three games that are included with Space Invaders Forever. Then again, I didn’t have a chance to try the multiplayer here, and that’s probably at least half of the fun with this game. By the way, the multiplayer is local only.
Arkanoid vs Space Invaders
The third and final game included with Forever is Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. This was probably my favorite of the three with Extreme coming in a close second. Instead of shooting, you’re bouncing shots back at the invaders. It doesn’t honestly feel all that much like Space Invaders, but that’s fine with me since it’s still fun.
You control your ship using the PS4 controller’s touchpad. My biggest gripe here is that the touchpad is too small for my finger. I end up running out of space. When you re-center your finger on the touchpad, the ship re-centers on the screen, so it can throw you off quite a bit.
The game has a simple text-based narrative that tries to explain what you’re doing. You use the Arkanoid Vaus paddle ship to defeat waves of invaders. There are 150 stages and 40 different Taito characters that you can unlock from throughout the company’s history. Each character has unique abilities, which can come in handy during boss fights.
Overall, Space Invaders Forever is a pretty decent compilation. Each of the games included in this is different enough that you should stay entertained for a while. However, for the $30 price tag, Taito could have included more classic titles. Fans of the series should still enjoy their time here.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review copy.