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Taito's Super Space Invaders (Amiga)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37801)
Written on  :  Dec 31, 2005
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
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Summary

The space invaders have a new look for the 90's

The Good

Those gamers who are lucky to live in 1979 might remember a classic game called Space Invaders where you have to shoot down hordes of invaders before they reach you and avoid their bullets. They also had to shoot a passing UFO for points. Super Space Invaders is an update of that classic, and it really is an update.

The object is the same, but with many modifications. Not only can you shoot invaders with just one shot, now you have to put up with the many tricks that they have up their sleeve. When shot at, invaders can blow up, forcing you to shoot them once or twice more. They can also multiply into two separate ones. In most rounds of the games, invaders can even go around in circles (like in Return of the Invaders). Some of them behave like Galaxians, in which one or two of them will fly toward you.

A ship still passes by now and then, but shooting it will result in a much-needed power-up that flies down the screen and stays there for only a few seconds before it disappears. These power-ups are useful if you get into different situations. The power-ups can give you more shields, give you those four barriers that the original game had, make the invaders freeze on screen while a butterfly goes up the screen (I don't know what the deal is here), and my favorite, the ability to fire laser shots at invaders, both thick and thin.

Aside from these features, you get to play “Cattle Mutilation”, a little challenging mini-game, where you have to protect six cows from UFOs, which can grab one of the cows at any time. What I found challenging about this mini-game is trying to shoot the UFO while it beams the cow up. You have to try your luck here. Depending on where the front of your ship is, you can either shoot the cow by accident or be spot on and destroy the UFO. After six waves of shooting invaders, you have to destroy a boss ship, which can take quite a pounding unless you get a power-up that emit laser shots from your ship.

There are two modes of play available. “Normal” and “Advanced”. Normal is where you go through all the stages in sequence, while Advanced lets you choose the stage. I prefer to play the “Normal” mode, because with the Advanced mode, you don't get to see all the backgrounds that you do with Normal.

Speaking of backgrounds, some of them (but not all) are quite appealing, especially the ones that have you staring somewhere in space, looking at planets, asteroids, satellites, supernovas, black suns, etc. The animations are smooth, with the invaders moving as you expect. I especially like how the letters move in a “figure-8” direction when you are entering your own high score. Unlike the arcade version (entitled Super Space Invaders '91), Domark has added an excellent introduction where Maverick beams up in his ship and shoot the invaders that are bent on destroying his ship. This introduction is cartoon-like.

When it comes to sounds, most of them come from the Space Invaders arcade game, ranging from the little bullet that you fire to the beep that is played four times but at lower notes, which increase in tempo as you shoot more and more invaders. The theme music is excellent, and suits the game rather well.

Other things that I like in the game include the funny story, where you found out that the original coin-op drifts through space, and gets picked up by aliens. The invaders inside the game are then made real-life and jump out of the screen, and threaten to destroy Earth and its people. After the story, you get to meet the six people who made this game possible.

The Bad

When you have the option of picking the two modes of play, you can't use the cursor keys to select. Instead, if you don't do anything for a few seconds, the game will assume that you want to play in Normal mode. I was quite confused by this, since I am used to selecting shit with the cursor keys.

There is a power-up you can get in the game that did nothing.

The Bottom Line

A great update of Space Invaders that not only has a great introduction and story, but nice graphics and sound effects as well. The gameplay is the same as the original, except shooting passing ships give you a power-up that may or may not help you complete a stage more quickly. You are treated to a mini-game where you have to protect cows from UFOs. If you are a die-hard Space Invaders fans, I suggest that you get this game, mainly because of its extra features.