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Space Invaders Extreme

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Space Invaders Extreme (Japanese: スペースインベーダーエクストリーム Hepburn: Supēsu Inbēda Ekusutorīmu) is a re-vamped incarnation of the classic arcade game Space Invaders. The DS and PSP versions were released to mark the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders which saw its original arcade release in 1978. An HD version of the game has been remastered by Backbone Entertainment for Xbox Live Arcade with new four-player multiplayer modes and visualizer backgrounds by Jeff Minter, it was released on May 6, 2008 as a wrap-up to the 30th anniversary. The game is played at a fast pace with an electronic soundtrack and sound effects.

A sequel for the DS titled Space Invaders Extreme 2 was released in Japan on 26 March 2009, North America on 20 October 2009, and Europe on 2 October 2009.

GameplayEdit

Single PlayerEdit

The player controls a laser base at the bottom of the display - this can move left or right and fire. To the top of the display formations of invaders appear - these must be shot for points and to avoid them destroying the players' laser base. Sometimes a flying saucer will traverse the top of the screen. This is the same basic design as Space Invaders; the player loses a life if he/she is hit, or if one of the aliens touches the ground; but the formation of the aliens differs greatly, changing from level to level. Sometimes there are only a handful of invaders in a tight formation, sometimes individual invaders advance rapidly down the screen separately from the main formation, and sometimes a boss level will be encountered, often consisting of a very large invader and various guards. The invaders themselves have individual properties, such as firing lasers, splitting into duplicates or charging for the ground after being hit once. Bonuses for higher scores can be obtained by doing as instructed by words that flash up on the background, such as hitting invaders of a particular colour or particular type.

Shooting four invaders of the same colour in a row awards one of four power-ups; bomb, broad shot, laser and shield. If a different set of four is shot afterwards, a flashing UFO will appear. Shooting that accesses the Bonus Round, in which a player is given a short time to complete a certain goal, such as defeating so many aliens. If the task is completed, the game enters 'Fever Time', awarding the player with an even more powerful up for a short time, allowing the player to get through waves of enemies faster. Getting different combinations of colours can reap different bonuses, such as a roulette UFO that offers bonuses such as Freeze and Extra Player, changing all the aliens to the same colour, or turning all enemies turn into UFOs that reap power ups after one hit.

The main game sees the player go through 5 stages, and depending on the score he/she managed to achieve at the end of the level 2 and beyond, he/she can opt for an easier or harder route, with a total of 11 individual stages. Arcade Mode features a save and retry feature that allows players to continue and restart the game from the level they were on. Ranking mode does not feature these options, but allows the player to post his/her score on the online leaderboards. Stage Mode allows the player to replay any stage they have completed.

MultiplayerEdit

The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game is the first version to include four-player co-op and versus multiplayer modes. Players can compete both locally and online over Xbox Live.

On the DS, two players can compete against each other using either the Single-card download play, Multi-card play, or Nintendo WiFi Connection (via the Internet). The top screen is used to display the remote player's progress; there is also an online ranking system. The PSP version only allows local competitive play.

Music and sound effectsEdit

The game features an electronic soundtrack with the sound effects keyed to it, integrating the effects with the music and enhancing it.

A soundtrack album with tracks from the DS game was later released.[9]

SPACE INVADERS EXTREME -AUDIO CLUSTER-

1. ExtrEmE (MENU)

2. Intro #1

3. invAde yOu (Stage1)

4. Intro #2

5. Outbreak (Stage2)

6. Intro #3

7. Regress (Stage3A)

8. Progress (Stage3B)

9. Intro #4

10. Gradation (Stage 4A)

11. Harum (Stage 4B)

12. Shatter (Stage4C)

13. Intro #5

14. rEpulse mE (Stage5A)

15. Executor (Stage5B)

16. Rebel Worm (Stage5C)

17. Zero Hour (Stage5D)

18. Intro #6

19. Crackle (Staff Credit)

20. invAde yOu -Original Version-

21. Outbreak -Original Version-

22. Regress -Original Version-

23. Gradation -Original Version-

24. rEpulse mE -Original Version-

25. invAde yOu -COSIO 'Rainbow'MIX-

26. Outbreak -ONSEN LATINO MIX-

27. ExtrEmE -Ryu☆Remix-

Tracks from the PSP version were released several months afterward as part of the Space Invaders 2008 30th anniversary album.

Differences between versionsEdit

Multiple player options for the DS version have already been mentioned above, but in gameplay terms both versions are the same, sharing the same levels, attack formations, similar graphics, and power-ups. However, the PSP version has crisper graphics due to the higher resolution implemented on the PSP. Also, while the DS version has a soundtrack composed and performed entirely by Taito's in-house sound team Zuntata, the PSP version features music from a guest group of external composers and DJs. The obvious main difference between the two is the use of the second screen on the DS version. This is used to make certain levels, specifically Bonus Rounds and Boss Battles, vertically larger. When not used for this it contains assorted information on the game currently in play. The Nintendo DS version can also use the Nintendo DS Paddle Controller which was originally designed for Arkanoid on the DS, or the DS Rumble Pack, adding force feedback to the game's music.

In addition to the peripheral support, the DS version features many modes of online play not available to its PSP counterpart; the game can be played against random players and friends over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and top scores can also be shared over the internet. Also, single-card download play is available for local multiplayer. The PSP version only supports multiplayer locally in Ad-Hoc mode, and each player must have their own game disc. No Infrastructure modes are supported for online play or high score tables.

The Xbox Live Arcade version has many of the networking features of the DS version with the addition of a co-op mode where up to four players can play the arcade mode. It also uses background visualizers as created by Llamasoft's Jeff Minter.

Downloadable contentEdit

Downloadable content was announced for the Xbox Live Arcade version of Space Invaders Extreme on the 17th of June, due on the 18th of the same month. It includes three new stages, with new enemies and bosses, and two emulators, allowing the play of the original arcade versions of Space Invaders and Space Invaders 2.

ReceptionEdit

The game has enjoyed critical praise since its release. The game is noted for its fast-paced gameplay with IGN claiming the game "[is] energetic and addictive, and does an absolutely fantastic job retaining the old-school charm of the original 1978 classic"; however, IGN scored the PSP version of the game slightly lower due to its lack of online play and score sharing. Gamespot stated that "the gameplay has been improved" over the original. 1UP called the single-player mode "engrossing" and Gamespot later concludes that "Space Invaders Extreme is a very good example of how to update a classic game".

Both versions of Space Invaders Extreme were listed as the best shooter game for their respective consoles by IGN.com. IGN also awarded the DS version as having the best artistic design and best original score, as well as being best shooter for the DS.

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