Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Space Invaders may arouse all the excitement of a Metro 0.1 nowadays, and a remixed version can’t be that good can it?
The Space Invader essentials are the same as they’ve ever been. One or two players control guns which move left/right across the bottom of the screen, trading laser bolts with the descending aliens. The guns still can’t move forward, but can collect spanking brand-new hardware released by shooting a UFO which flies across the top of the screen.
There’s a spectacular Fire Flower smart bomb, four laser beams which bounce around the screen, a hyper laser that knocks out a whole row of aliens and a vertical laser that fires upwards, erasing all the aliens in its way. Other goodies include rapid-fire and a collectible which gives you some much needed bases to hide behind!
The game’s structured in 12 levels, each with its own stunning backdrop, some of which scroll! But there’s no time to ogle — the relentless alien attack begins immediately.
There are three Attack Waves in each level, with over a dozen different ways of attacking, from the standard left/right then descend march to a swirling, circular ‘polar’ attack. The alien ships vary substantially and some of them expand when hit!
All these ships are shown in a great little booklet which comes with the package, enhancing superlative in-game presentation. It also has drawings of the super-monsters or Guardians. There are three of these described, and very mean they look too, but they’re just as good onscreen: nicely drawn, quick moving, well animated — and very tough!
Getting through to these monsters is a real graphical treat and the only problemo is that there are not more of them! When you complete a level you either get one of these monsters to defeat, or the hilarious Cattle Mutilation screen where flying saucers nip down to carry off cattle! You must defend the moo-moos for loadsa bonus points, but fortunately you can’t die on this bonus screen!
Should all the variety of alien hardware still not be enough for you, hold on to your socks because the new restyled Invaders also offers you a choice of how to progress through the levels. After each Guardian or Cattle Mutilation screen you get a choice of which level to attempt next. This adds much needed variety.
In short, Super Space Invaders is amazing. The game really has been hit by lightning, becoming a hugely playable update, superbly converted. A classic game, great in one-player mode and even better as a two-player — Domark have started ‘92 in astonishingly good style!
Don’t let the age of the title put you off. This is a fast, furious shoot ‘em up that’s well up to today’s high standards on the MS.
While playing true to the ancient arcade original, this latest version has a host of new features. Apart from the startling backgrounds to each of the 12 levels, there’s a lot more to Space Invaders this time round. The special weapons, a simultaneous two-player mode, the Galaga style cattle mutilation round make this a really hot game.
My only reservation is that the easy level reveals the surprises of higher levels too soon — especially in two-player mode with continue-plays. However, Super Space Invaders is no wimp out.
A trip into the lives of two barking mad but excellent aliens.