LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever

Space Invaders Forever Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Space Invaders Forever
Genre: Arcade, Action
System: Nintendo Switch (also PS4)
Developer|Publisher: Taito | ININ Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £24.99 | EU €29,99 | US $29.99
Release Date: December 11th 2020

Review code provided with many thanks to PR Hound

A Retro Classic

I’m a huge fan of Space Invaders. The classic arcade game from Taito like so many other games has seen multiple releases over the years on several consoles and I have enjoyed checking out multiple revisions of the classics formula. When I heard Space Invaders Forever was on the horizon I couldn’t have been more excited, it’s a title which features three classic Space Invaders games; Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE and Arkanoid Space Invaders. Sounds like a good collection. Sadly after spending over a week with the game I have come away feeling quite disappointed.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
Always hard to shot the last Invader

Space Invaders Extreme

Space Invaders Extreme is a single-player quick and snappy high score chasing take on the classic formula. The game moves a lot faster, adds some funky music as well as colour to create an addicting arcade experience whilst remaining true to its retro roots. Just like the original game, the goal is simply to clear the screen of the Invaders and move on to the next screen.

This is a very fast-moving Space Invaders and there’s usually a small number of Invaders per screen. If you shoot down four of the same colour Invaders in a row you can capture a powerup, drops to dispatch the Invaders even quicker. You can also shoot at the saucers which occasionally spawn from the top to enter a bonus mini-mission, this usually involves shooting some targets under a certain time limit. If you achieve this you activate ‘fever’ mode which discos everything up giving you a temporary power-up boost and increasing your score multiplier. There are also boss fights at the end of each level. It’s a very addictive formula and it’s an ideal title to jump in and out off particularly when on the go or when you just want to shut your brain off and instantly get into a game.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
The game is fast-moving and highly addictive

The game originally released on Nintendo DS and Sony PSP but later received ports to PC and Xbox 360 Live arcade. Strangely this port does not feature co-op. Something that was present in the Xbox 360 port making this a not so definitive version of Space Invaders Extreme. A bit of a disappointment since the Switch seems the ideal place to enjoy this game with an additional player. Space Invaders Extreme is easily the best title on this collection but it’s a shame it’s not the best version.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
Chase those high scores

Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE

Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE is an arcade port. This title feels a lot more like the original authentic Space Invaders experience. You have the old ship shooting up at the pixelated Space Invaders moving at a much slower pace. The game even has a familiar colour overlay filter which fans of the original arcade experience will be familiar with. The big difference is this version is designed for four-player co-op play which is both great but also problematic if you decide to go at the game solo.

Each level is filled with an absurd amount of Space Invaders to defeat. Once you make a significant dent in the alien horde the Invaders start moving around and increasing in size when you shoot them. This then morphs into a boss fight with a giant version of the saucer that usually flies by the top of the screen. Trouble is, if you choose to go at this game solo it’s far too hard. You die far too easily due to the ridiculous amount of enemies and the boss has so much health it’s near impossible to defeat it on a single credit. Since this is an arcade port you can simply just add credits and continue where you left off but it all feels like such a grind. I even tried playing the game co-op with the wife and we still really struggled.

The ideal settings for this title seem to be finding four people all of whom love Space Invaders and playing it together. By shooting at the same time together you cause more damage so the game really feels like it should only be played this way. It’s a darn shame this was not adapted to single player. But once again this feels like a straight port without considering the hardware it is coming to.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
It is dangerous to go alone

Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders

So here is where I would talk about Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders. Well sorry to say this did not launch with the game despite being advertised on the eShop. As of writing this review: if you brought the game on launch in Europe on Switch you only have two of the three games. The publisher made a statement on Twitter indicating a patch was coming but as of writing this review, it hasn’t. I will update this review when it decides to materialize.

Some time later……

Eventually I got to play Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders which comes up on your Switch dashboard as a separate tab to the rest of the collection which is just odd. This is a lazy port of a otherwise decent mobile game. You play as the Arkanoid paddle at the bottom of the screen and using touch controls move it around to deflect the shots from the Invaders above back at them as well as taking out all the blocks on screen. You move across several bitesize levels racking up high scores. It’s a fun little game to pick up and play on mobile in short burst. The Switch version however, is very disappointing. You have to play the game in handheld mode with the Switch tilted to the side (or Tate mode) and you have to use touch controls. This is probably the only game I have ever played on Switch that makes you do this and it doesn’t feel comfortable. You can’t use Joy Cons and can’t control the game on TV mode. You Switch basically acts as a oversized mobile screen. Once again it feels like no effort was put into adapting this to the Switch hardware. If your interested in this game you are just better off downloading it to your phone as it feels much better suited to that device.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
This game can only be played in handheld mode with touch controls. Lame

Not the Definitive Collection

I was left disappointed by Space Invaders Forever not just because only two of the three games were present on launch but it seems bizarre more games were not added to this collection. There is Space Invaders Invincible, a collection of the above three games plus nine other Space Invaders games released in Japan that is eventually getting a Western but sadly has a limited release. Seems odd that this isn’t coming digitally as it feels like a better title to celebrate the Space Invaders franchise. The games here are not bad but as a long fan of the series, I was left wanting more.

LadiesGamers Space Invaders Forever
That’s one giant saucer

Conclusion

Space Invaders Forever has some entertaining games but it is disappointing the developers did not put a little more work into this collection. Each game feels like a straight port from its original system instead of being adapted and improved for the Switch.

If you’re a Space Invaders fan it may be worth a look but you may want to look into the Space Invaders Invincible collection. If you’re just testing the Space Invaders waters this is a pretty good place to start. For a fan though, I was very sad coming away from this.

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure 

LadiesGamers Slide Stars

Notes

As of writing this review Arkanoid VS Space Invaders still has not been patched into the game over a week after launch. I contacted the published and they have advised me if you buy the collection digitally now or own the physical game you should have the game. This was supposed to be the case for players that brought the game digitally on launch but this still has not been fixed. I will update this review once the patch arrives.

 

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