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Space Invaders is up there with Pac Man and Pong as one of the most instantly-recognisable early video games, an like all successful games there were hundreds, likely thousands of clones made to capitalise on its' success. Originally a jostick and button-controlled arcade machine, Space Invaders is siilar in some respects to chilling Cold War simulator Missile Command in that you operate as a defence battery, defending against waves of incoming threats, in this case lines and lines of little blocky aliens that advance from left to right in lines across the screen, gradually moving down the screen and speeding up as they do, making gameplay more and more frenetic the longer it goes on.
The player controls a little mobile gun battery or tank that can move left or right but not up and down, firing single rounds that kill the aliens in one shot. there are also 3 little barriers between you and the invaders, which can be used as cover by you and which absorb shots fired by both you and your foes, although the barriers disintegrates a little more each time they take a hit. It's a nice feature, and adds an extra layer of strategy to the game.
This updated PC version doesn;t relly add anyting new.. just nicer, shinier, crisp visuals nstead of the ultra-blocky. monochrome visuals of its predecessor, along with some nicely implemented sound effects and a thumping soundtrack that helps keep things tense and exciting.
To be hoenst though, i much prefer the visuals blocky original, and sound-wise I prefer its simple bleeps and splashes for gunfire and explosions, whilst the gradually-speeding-up bleep/rumble that reminded corresplonded with the aliens' incraesing speed is perfectly tense and exciting in its' own right.
Whilst fun, it's an unnneccesary remake really, and you'd be better off just finding a free version of the original game to play online.
I was about 12 years old. Sitting on the stairs at my grannies on my birthday. Too many years ago to even think about.... 1980 something. Playing Space Invaders on a hand held console that would look positively archaic today. I remember feeling the raw excitement of seeing those little alien space ships come careering down the screen towards my missile launcher, coming slowly at first then speeding up until you are frantically pressing your buttons in an attempt to annihilate the enemy before you get destroyed. Those irritating sound effects.... da da de da da, da da de da da, dit dit ditdit dit splatcrashthrup! I remember the little joystick and the little black images on the screen, how different it all is today as I watch my daughter sitting on the stairs playing with her high tech, state of the art, super duper, all guns blazing Game Boy Advance. She cannot believe that I used to be entertained by a machine the size of a shoe box that had no colour and no sound track! And how boring to only have one game on the machine! But to me that game was an amazing and magical contraption. It cost my parents a fortune in batteries. So when I chanced to come upon a copy of Space Invaders in WHSmith recently for just £9.99 I had to look twice, why would such a game that should be collecting its pension be on sale now? Could the original format still hold me entranced? I referred to the back of the box to find out more, and I was quite impressed. Gone were the plain black and white spaceships, gone were the boring levels of the same spaceships going faster and faster, gone were the awful sound effects. It actually looked as though the game had undergone a real modernisation, there was colour, there was dramatic special effects, superb backdrop scenes, promises of 3D graphics and the promise that the game would ‘keep the pace pumping’. Could this old arcade game really have been brought bang up to date and still retain its original addictive
ness? Only one way to find out. I paid my money and took the chance. I checked the specs first but no problems there, plays on anything from a Pentium 166 upwards. Good grief - Pentium 166! With so many high tech and engaging games on the market today, a retro game is in real danger of struggling, yet this game really impressed me. It retains its original simplicity, the aims are much the same, shoot the bad guys, avoid getting squished and aim for the mother ship wherever possible. However the level of excitement is so much higher in this new version, I think the sound effects help heighten the tension, as does the amount of debris that is flung into the air when you get hit! The opening sequence when you first load the game is well worth sitting through, it gives you a movie style plot to explain why you are about to fight the faceless enemies in the sky, it is up to you to rid the planet of the alien threat. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to business. This short film really gives you a taste of some of the craft you will have to defeat as the game progresses. At the start of each level you are presented with a scenario - for example, the first level consists of an onslaught of 12 foot standard spaceships, with a nice shiny red paint job, these are the most common of the aliens, whilst they are relatively harmless on their own they can mount strong attacks through sheer numbers. And speed. You are sent on your way with all good wishes and good luck - apparently - “pilot, you are going to need it”. Now it is time to enter the atmosphere of Pluto....... gripping stuff eh?! The critters appear in formation across the screen and gradually work their way from side to side and downwards, when you have obliterated a large number of them they gain speed just to make the job a little bit harder. Watch out for their retaliation though, three hits and you are out. It’s good to aim for the mother s
hips which make their way across the top of the screen at intervals, blast one of them and grab your reward as it floats down to you, it may be a shield to protect you, could be a ‘time stop’ bonus which freezes the ships where they are momentarily so that you can cheat , or it could be a double shot - double the ammo. Before you know it the level is over, pretty easy, not too much of a challenge, barely got the adrenaline pumping. Time to move on to the next level.... bigger ships, purple this time, still easy peasy. Next level..... same size ships, different shape, resprayed to a revolting green. Blast them out of the sky and move to the next level..... yellow ones. This is getting a little predictable now. Level 5 provides a surprise - a mixture of all of the above in a different formation, all firing shots at you, starting to get a little more interesting now. And at least you have something to hide behind in this level (if you are a coward!) Complete five levels in each section and you will be rewarded with a bonus level, loads of mother ships, loads of bonuses, extra lives (you will need them later on, I promise!) Five more levels of the same, shooting, dodging, hiding, shields and power ups. Then just as you are being led into a false sense of security you get to meet the first of many Bosses. A giant slug with a real attitude problem appears and is determined to squish you, it is a case of getting your shots in when you can and keeping well out of the way at the edge of the screen when you see him heading your direction. Not so easy and can be a little frustrating until you get the hang of it. So that is 10 levels completed, only another 90 to go..... So, that is how the game goes, working from Pluto towards Earth, sampling the alien delights of each planet as you go. Obviously the level of skill needed to complete each stage increases as the game progresses, strange craft appear that do not behave as expected, on
es that dive bomb when you hit them, aiming to take you out with them, ones that explode ferociously with the same intent. Each set of levels present some new foe to keep you interested, 143 species in all. Another aim of the game is to destroy four craft of the same type in a row to get more freebies, such as a missile that will clear a whole row out at once, or a boomerang bomb, getting four in a row in the latter stages of the game is quite an achievement so these bonuses can be very satisfying. And those Bosses at the end of each stage can get really tricky too. So how does this game compare to the original? Really there is no contest in terms of the graphics, the gameplay and the atmosphere. Also you have the option of multiplayering - something you could never do on the old handheld antique. It certainly retains its addictiveness, once you start you really want to get to the end to see what happens, once you get the hang of it this will occur in just a day or two. So what does happen at the end? You are rewarded with the ultimate retro prize - a bonus version of the classic Space Invaders game, great for bringing back those memories but after playing the new, all singing, all dancing version, it stinks! Thank goodness for progress!!
I am fortunate enough to have a copy of this game which i know sounds sad but it isnt.The title kinda puts you off but once you get to play the game it is really addictive.It is based on the classic version of Space Invaders where you shoot the invading horde from the ground.The idea of the game is to destroy the aliens before they reach the bottom of the screen.Youre placed in a little Tank kind of vehicle which fires rockets.You can collect many special weapons during the game by killing so many aliens or retrieving falling power ups,of course the power ups include health and shield upgrades and the odd point bonus.You come up against a variety of Alien craft from really simple blow em up and kill ones to ones that self detonate on you or replicate themselves when destroyed.You have to battle on planets in our solar system all the way to earth.You fight a boss at the end of each level wich of course requires more attention each time you advance through the game. The graphics are suprisingly good and impressive as you watch your enemies explode into little pieces and your own vehicle aswell on some occasions.The gamplay is very addictive,its just fun all the way to earth.Of course there are a few levels of difficulties which can be played which of course range from easy to hard.There is also a Two player option in the game which can be fun if you configure the keys so your not playing Twister on your keyboard!All in all its a generally good game which can take up hours of your time. The system specs are so low any PC could run this title so dont worry about your RAM or graphics card. Before i go there is also a little something that is unlocked after you complete the game in each difficulty mode,so make that something to look forward to if you buy this game! Sorry to say for all you people who love to play games online but this game does not have that capability,although it would be fun to battle your way to earth with another
person from the other side of the world,but the game just isnt big enough or that type of game to put online.....Sorry.