Monday 30 August 2021

Space Invaders Invincible Collection Review (Switch)

Following on from the recent Space Invaders collection that featured three titles, ININ games has decided to now release the Invincible Collection digitally. Previously the compilation was only available physically via Strictly Limited Games and hopefully this means more of the deluxe versions of their games heading to the download services in the future.

Space Invaders needs little introduction being one of the icons of the gaming world. But what many people may not be aware of is just how many games there have been in franchise and the fact that new releases are still twisting the formulae to this very day. A large number of these games are here, though there are some glaring omissions that really dent the appeal of the collection in the long term.

There are three major omissions which stop the collection really being able to label itself complete. First of all the most recent Space Invaders Extreme 2 is absent, though it was exclusively a DS game so there could be a solid argument for its omission. Return of the Invaders from 1985 is also missing, this isn’t a deal breaker but it seems an odd one as it leaves a considerable time stamp gap in the collection. The real hit though comes with the omission of Space Invaders 95. Previously included on the Taito Legends 2 collection it’s an awesome and crazy take on the Space Invaders game and it’s really a big miss from this collection. If this had been included then collection would be essential.

What is here are eleven games for you to get your alien blasting thrills with. In terms of going right back to the start of the series you get the black and white and colour versions of the original Space Invaders and Space Invaders Part 2 which adds a few things such as reinforcements and the mixing up of attack patterns. They are good for quick goes every now and then and the core Space Invaders gameplay stills holds up but it’s unlikely you’ll be spending hours of your time on them. Space Invaders DX follows much the same vein as these early offerings - but with the choice of a multiplayer and parody version of the game based on the SNES release.

Also included are Lunar Rescue and Space Cyclone which are two games which used the Space Invaders board. Both are fast paced, old school, arcade games and it’s really nice to have them included. Lunar rescue has you landing a spaceship on a planets service while avoiding enemies and then blasting off back up the screen to deliver your rescued person to a space station. Space Cyclone is an arcade rarity and requires players to blast insect like robots riding across the screen on clouds. Then every now and then a UFO turns up and blasts you with lightning. It’s a tough but fun game and both are welcome inclusions.

Space Invaders 91 and the Majestic Twelve version of the game are the first big steps forward for the franchise. Here the stage backgrounds and ship design vary from planet to planet and the enemies are far more diverse in terms of design and attack patterns. There’s even a bonus game where you have to defend cows from swooping UFO invaders. This is one of the main reasons to own the collection and will likely see you returning often to better your scores and move on to the next area.

The undoubted highlight of the games though is the wonderful Space Invaders Extreme. This moves the franchise into the modern era of shooters with stages to progress through, bosses and a wide range of enemies to blast. A Tron-esque techno vibe hangs over the design and music which takes its pixel heritage and presents it in a vibrant and fresh way. It’s a joyous game and one everyone should spare some time to play.

Rounding out the package are Space Invaders Gigamax and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders. Gigamax is a multiplayer focused offering which sets up to four tanks against a veritable horde of invaders across a huge screen. There are also massive bosses to overcome and teamwork is vital to progression. It’s a great fun game but one that really struggles in single player. Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is a conversion from a mobile game that’s only playable on handheld mode. It’s a gimmick game at best and won’t hold your attention for long.

Overall, The Invincible Collection does just about enough to warrant a place in your collection. It’s obviously great for fans of Space Invaders but falls down both as a historical collection and vital purchase for everyone due to the rather baffling omission of a few key titles. Throw Space Invaders 95 in here and it becomes impossible to ignore. As it is it’s a solid revival but in reality only two or three of the games present are likely to have you coming back for anything like long term fun.

Overall 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment