Where to start with Space Invaders Forever? If this was a package that had the original arcade game, Space Invaders Extreme and Space Invaders Infinity Gene, then I’d tell you to stop reading now and go get it.
As it is though, there is more to talk about and I’ll cover that before getting to the good bits. First up we have Arkanoid vs Space Invaders which is a mix of Arkanoid (or Breakout) and Space Invaders. Does as it says on the tin really.
It is a mode that is fun for five minutes but has nothing of value to keep going back. I was bored after a very short while and the need to turn the Switch vertical and play with the touch screen just completely sullied any facet of enjoyment I could have got.
It would have been bearable had I been able to use the Flip-Grip and the Joycons. But no, touch screen it is and it really doesn’t have anything special enough to warrant this forced control mechanic.
Then we have Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE which sounds exciting but again is a rather boring addition to such a legendary series. It boils down to multiplayer Space Invaders and not much else.
The concept is sound, but the execution is just poor. As with the previously mentioned Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, once the initial intrigue has worn off, the game is boring. The wider field does nothing to enhance the experience and instead, you labour to completing rounds with friends… if you have any left by the end. As you have bored the living daylights out of them. (I say friends, but I played with family as lockdown and all that).
However, there is one reason and one reason only to buy this package and that is the exceptionally wonderful Space Invaders Extreme. Initially released in 2008 for multiple systems, this was to Space Invaders as Championship Edition was to Pac-Man.
It kept the core concept of the game but added a ton of modern-day bells and whistles that enhanced the experience in the best wat possible. The game has a speed and urgency to it that was lacking from the 1978 original. I mean that comes down to hardware limitations of the time and as great and important as it was, time has moved on.
Extreme gives you the thrill you remember from the original as you’d want it in a modern-day release. Everything about it is a joy, from the explosion of colour and flashing lights to the massive enemy bosses and variants to the scoring. Built-up from the core game to make it one of the best home arcade experiences you can have.
I spent hours, upon hours on Extreme on the 360 and PSP in years gone by and having it on the Switch is such a pleasure, that I can now put many more hours in. Taito could have released this standalone and I would have bought it for the price of the collection.
Honestly, get Space Invaders Forever, ignore the other two game in the collection and enjoy the hell out of Space Invaders Extreme.