[Beyond PlayStation] Space Invaders Forever Review
Space Invaders Forever from ININ Games and Taito is a new collection celebrating the series. Learn more in our Space Invaders Forever review!
Space Invaders Forever from ININ Games and Taito is the latest collection that celebrates the long-running classic franchise, now on Nintendo Switch. It includes three games for you to play, all paying homage to the original formula while doing their own thing. The games included in this Space Invaders Forever collection are: Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, and Space Invaders vs. Arkanoid.
Space Invaders Extreme is going to be the highlight of this collection and with good reason! The game was originally released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders back in 2008, with a launch on Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable. The game takes the classic Space Invaders gameplay – move your spaceship left and right at the bottom of the screen as you shoot at enemies on the top of the screen, doing your best to avoid their attacks. As you defeat the colorful space invaders and the UFOs, you’ll gain access to power-ups such as a powerful laser, a broad shot, a shield, and more.
It features revamped visuals that are perfectly complemented by its electronic soundtrack. This particular version of Space Invaders Extreme in the Space Invaders Forever collection is actually based on the Steam version that was released for the series 40th anniversary, which adds further improvements on the Nintendo DS and PSP originals, such as higher quality sound effects and music, sharper graphics, new voice clips, as well as some quality of life improvements. Oh, and there’s also online leaderboard support!
Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is an arcade game released by Taito that was the first Space Invaders game to support multiplayer. This release brings us classic stages as well as new stages, new gameplay mechanics, more different space invaders to battle, and gigantic space invaders, which end up making for a more hectic and fast-paced game! The gameplay is still the same “move left and right as you shoot at the space invaders while taking cover from their attacks behinds the barriers at the bottom of the screen,” but the action is definitely crazier than what we got from the original Space Invaders!
Once you load up the game, you’ll be adding credits with the L button – since remember, this is, after all, an arcade game! – so that you can get started and enjoy the game with up to four players, thanks to its local co-op option. Since there’s going to be up to four players taking on this one, the screen takes this into consideration by offering an extra-wide setup that will display a ton of the classic Space Invader enemies we all know and love, as they move left to right, trying to destroy your spaceship.
While playing this one on your own is very much possible, the way you play at the start of the game certainly changes since you have to quickly get rid of the first line of space invaders – the very long line of space invaders – or a couple of columns on one of the sides, or else they’re going to quickly move down towards your barriers, greatly lowering your odds of survival! When playing with 2-4 players, things get a bit easier before the difficulty is ramped up since you can split the screen into different blocks by communicating with your fellow gamers so that each one can focus on one area of the screen. There’s also the option of bringing together all spaceships to gather energy so that you can unleash a power shot. The more spaceships that come together, the more powerful this shot will be!
Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE was certainly a pleasant surprise, as it’s a game I had never played before since up until this point it was a Japan-only arcade release, but this console port on the Nintendo Switch certainly lives up to the Space Invaders legacy. Add the great soundtrack by ZUNTATA, the Taito house band, and you have a very fun take on the Space Invaders formula and a great game for this collection.
The last game in our Space Invaders Forever review is Space Invaders vs. Arkanoid. As the name suggests, this one mixes up Space Invaders with classic brick breaker Arkanoid for a very unique experience. This game is actually based on a previously Japan-only premium mobile release, which is why Space Invaders vs. Arkanoid is a lot of fun to play on the Nintendo Switch. Why? Because for this game, you can play with the Nintendo Switch vertically and make great use of the console’s touchscreen, perfectly porting what was presented in the original mobile release.
You’ll be using the Vaus spaceship at the bottom of the screen to deflect the bullets of the space invaders, with said space invaders acting as the bricks you’d see in Arkanoid. You’ll be aided by Nadia Vivie, who will be serving as your operator, relaying valuable information from command that will allow you to understand what is going on after the invasion is in full effect.
You’re going to be taking on many stages in this one, as you try to deflect as many bullets as possible to defeat the target space invaders for the level before your energy runs out – which is marked by the timer that is right below your current score and the target you’re aiming for. In classic Arkanoid fashion, as you defeat the space invaders, you’ll sometimes notice some pill-shaped items start to roll down the screen. These are power-ups, and you should certainly collect as many as possible to stay alive!
As you progress through a stage, you’ll probably end up filling up the gauges on the left and right sides of the screen. What this will do is send you into Attack Mode, during which you’ll get a chance to use the Vaus’s bow form to strike directly at the invaders. This will unleash a very powerful attack that will make short work of any invaders foolish enough to stand in its path, and the good news is that you’ll be able to use the Vaus to bounce it back to deal even more damage! Oh, and you’ll also end up taking on levels that feature the Arkanoid bricks from ages past, which will change things up a bit to keep the whole experience feeling fresh.
Completing the different stages in your path will eventually allow you to start recruiting more characters to your cause. You can use the allies to unleash skills that will boost the Vaus’s fighting strength with abilities such as a piercing attack, a splitter that unleashes extra bullets onto the playing field, extending the overall length of the Vaus so that it can cover a bigger area, or being able to slow down enemies, bullets, blocks, and traps. You’ll also be working on a list of achievements as you play, which will reward you with medals once completed.
Space Invaders Forever does a great job of giving us a collection that celebrates the long-running franchise with a trio of fun games at a very affordable price. Having already played Space Invaders Extreme on the Nintendo DS, that was the game I was most looking forward to taking for a spin on Nintendo Switch, but I was pleasantly surprised not only by the arcade-style nature of Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE but also by the very fun mashup from Space Invaders vs. Arkanoid. The Nintendo Switch’s screen is put to great use for this fully featured mobile to console port. Space Invaders Forever is out on Nintendo Switch with a $29.99 asking price.
This Space Invaders Forever review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by ININ Games.