It has been 30 years since the original Space Invaders hit arcades, which then politely proceeded to relieve people of their hard-earned coins. The game was successful because of its addictive formula involving shooting never-ending fleets of alien creatures to get the highest score.

Although painfully slow-moving, these aliens are a persistent lot, and even if you’ve shot down tens upon thousands of their comrades, they valiantly persevere. In fact, the only thing that’s more persevering than these aliens is the Space Invaders franchise itself. Space Invaders Extreme has landed on the PSP—with the same addictive gameplay created 30 years back, the same pesky aliens and a graphical overhaul.

Fight Off Alien Attacks and Other Nuisances

More than a sequel, Space Invaders Extreme is a tribute to the original game. It doesn’t change the formula—instead, it refines it and adds some nifty new features. As in the original game, Extreme puts you in control of a spaceship trying to defend against throngs and throngs of alien creatures. You’ll move the ship left and right on the bottom of the screen to blast away the invaders descending from the top portion of the screen. Unlike the old game, the invaders here now are of different colors and sizes. The color can be used to indicate special abilities on them: equipped with shields, the ability to swoop down for a powerful attack, and others have different attack formations.

Aside from that, the change in color holds significance when playing for the high-score too; consecutively shooting down aliens of one particular color leads to big combos and power-ups. Power-ups in the game include a spread gun, a laser that deals out area damage, a laser that can obliterate a whole column and a shield. You’re going to need these power-ups if you want to beat the game. The game spans five levels of alien-shooting action, each of which has a gigantic and intimidating boss waiting at the end. One thing that is not in this game, though, are the destructible barriers which were supposed to shield you from the invaders’ attacks.

The multiplayer aspect of Space Invaders Extreme involves hooking two PSPs together, each with a copy of the game. In this mode, you play against your friend, wherein the ultimate goal is to outlast one another. Power-ups can be acquired to get an advantage. It is even possible to send invaders to attack the other player.

Visually, the game won’t win any awards. This isn’t a bad thing, however, since the graphics—while still pretty—are able to retain their charming appeal with its blocky, Atari-inspired images mixed with just the right amount of modern flair.

Simply put, Space Invaders Extreme is a great game for those craving for a time when games were a lot simpler to pick-up-and-play. The new features will make the gameplay more exciting while not breaking the spirit of the franchise.

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