Taito and ININ Games have released a collection of Space Invaders games for Nintendo Switch in the form of Space Invaders Forever. Rather than a remake or new imagining of the franchise, Taito have released a collection of three games here in Space Invaders Forever. What games are in the package and how do they stack up now in 2020?
First up is Space Invaders Extreme. Space Invaders Extreme released way back in 2008 on Nintendo DS and PSP. It brought with it reimagined gameplay to the classic Space Invaders formula. Taito and ININ have opted to make this the headline game in the Space Invaders Forever collection but bafflingly have left out the equally great sequel Space Invaders Extreme 2. Gamers will have to just accept that and move on unfortunately.
Space Invaders Extreme features an epilepsy warning from the get go and this is certainly needed. There are plenty of flashing lights and colours in the game and given how the game becomes quite fast paced quite quickly, this warning needs to be taken seriously. If you have an aversion to flashing lights or if you suffer from photosensitivity, we suggest avoiding this title completely. The visualizer that constantly changes and syncs itself with a beat is a great visual treat but it may harm some people.
Players in Space Invaders Extreme will fire their canon against waves and waves of enemy alien ships that spawn from the top of the 2D plane. These enemy ships can vary greatly and some can fire back or deflect your shots. It’s classic space invaders redefined and it’s still just as great as it was more than a decade ago.
After defeating waves of enemy ships, players might trigger a bonus round where they can shoot at alien ships flying in a circular pattern for bonus points. Alternatively bonus rounds can also include a wave of enemies that need to be defeated within a time limit. Succeeding in a bonus round leads to a bonus being applied for the rest of the normal stage and the flashing lights and points modifiers start to ramp up. It’s immensely rewarding and the addictive gameplay will keep you coming back for more.
The game being on Nintendo Switch means that gamers can easily pick up and play a stage or two and return to the game later. It’s perfect for bite sized chunks of gameplay just as it was on Nintendo DS and PSP 12 years ago.
Space Invaders Extreme also features a free play mode where you can freely choose levels you’ve already unlocked or beaten and replay them to rack up high scores against online leaderboards. The Switch version of the game is quite flashy and the effects and soundtrack are great. Taito’s in-house sound team Zuntata’s music is quite catchy and fits with the on-screen effects perfectly in each level. Gamers can however opt to disable the sounds and voice lines should they prefer to just enjoy the gameplay in silence.
Gameplay in Space Invaders Extreme is quite challenging with some levels being incredibly hard to beat without dying. There’s plenty of longevity to this title since there’s 16 levels available and you can always push yourself further by trying to beat your previous scores in levels you’ve already beaten. Fans of racking up high scores and beating challenges in games will enjoy this.
The second game in the collection is Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE. This one is fairly lacklustre since it’s a four-player couch co-op version of an arcade Space Invaders game that follows the tried and trusted formula without too much variation. Players will team up with each other and defeat wave after wave of enemy ships and face off against a boss. There’s nothing exceptionally flashy as with Space Invaders Extreme here. If you’re a single player gamer, chances are you’ll launch this title once to try it out and never again afterwards because it’s clearly meant for playing with others.
The third title in the Space Invaders Forever collection is a separate download/install titled Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is a crossover between Arkanoid and Space Invaders as the name suggests and is a game that’s available on Android and iOS should you wish to check it out elsewhere. It is however quite pricey so having it as an included download in the Space Invaders Forever collection is great.
In Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, players will have to turn their Nintendo Switch into a vertical orientation and use the screen as a touchpad. The JoyCons are pretty much non-existent to this game except for the screenshot button. Using gameplay mechanics from both classic titles, Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is a revitalized crossover that mixes things up enough to keep you entertained for hours. Gameplay revolves around bouncing enemy shots back at their source and there’s other mechanics introduced too such as being able to fire powerful shots back at enemy forces.
The strange vertical orientation of the game and the touch controls however do sour the experience somewhat. If you’re used to playing games on a 7-inch tablet though, you may find yourself right at home here. We do suggest removing the JoyCons from the Switch if you’re going to be playing this title since it significantly cuts down on the unwieldiness of the Switch in a vertical orientation.
Overall, for $29.99, The Space Invaders Collection is rather pricey for what you’re getting. You’re essentially playing old games and paying a premium price for it purely because of the fact that it’s now available on Nintendo Switch. If you’re a fan of Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, get this. If not, you may want to give this collection a skip.
You can purchase Space Invaders Forever on the Switch of PS4 from the links provided below for around the £24.99.
This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
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