30th Mar2021

‘Space Invaders Forever’ Review (Switch)

by Phil Wheat

It’s been almost 45 years since Space Invaders hit arcades (2018 was the official 40th Anniversary of the first game) and sincve then the series has appeared on pretty much every home computer and console since then – in various forms, from the original format to todays review, Space Invaders Forever.

But why two games? I’m asking the same question myself. Especially given that Taito released the games in these two titles in ONE game, Space Invaders: Invincible Collection, last Summer. That release featured a backl & white AND colour version of the original Space Invaders from 1978, Space Invaders Part II, Majestic Twelve: The Space Invaders Part IV, Super Space Invaders ’91, Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders as a digital download; and if you bought the special edition release you also got Space Invaders DX, Space Cyclone and Lunar Rescue added to the mix.

Well it seems that Taito didn’t deem the rest of the games in that title worthy of release outside of Japan, instead releasing Space Invaders Extreme and Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE in one game, Space Invaders Forever, and throwing Arkanoid vs Space Invaders in to the mix aswell in what I’d consider a bonus… Why? Well that game is the most awkward to play on the Switch, feeling very much like a touchscreen mobile game dumped onto Nintendo’s flagship machine AND it actually appears as a separate game on the console!

Though to be fair to Arkanoid vs Space Invaders it’s actually the most fun of the three games to play. Foregoing any tradtional joycon control system, the game is played entirely via the touchscreen – as if the Switch is a ridiculously ginormous mobile! But whilst it might sound odd, the idea of mashing together the brick-bouncing gameplay of Arkanoid with the alien invasion of Space Invaders actually works; and rebounding the invaders bullets back to them works a lot better than trying to target them the old-school way!

Of the other two games I’m sure everyone will have played Space Invaders Extreme back in the Nintendo DS era. That game was something of a revitalisation of the franchise, mixing the traditional gameplay with a techno-inspired soundtrack and ultra-flashy visuals that brought the aging series bang up to date. Though here it doesn’t feel like much has been done to improve things further, so if you played the game to death in the past don’t expect anything new here – however playing the game on a massive TV screen is an experience in itself!

The final game, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, is one that I hadn’t come across in the past. Apparently the first Space Invaders title to support simultaneous multiplayer but that’s pretty much the only thing the game has going for it. It’s otherwise just the original game in a widescreen playing field to accomodate up to four players at once. That’s it. Playing it single player is probably the worse way to play the game too – the massive amount of alien invaders across the wide playing area is honestly too much for one player!

So in the end we have an average Space Invaders game in Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE; a great game that you’ve probably played before in Space Invaders Extreme and a game that is essentially a mobile game that can only be played in handheld mode in Arkanoid vs Space Invaders… If this was a budget title, or you can grab it on sale on the eShopo then maybe, just maybe, this is a recommendation. Otherwise, if you’re a hardcore Space Invaders fan you’re better off buying the Japanese release, or the Strictly Limited Games version, of Space Invaders: Invincible Collection.

Space Invaders Forever is available now.


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