Over the years, Taito has done quite a bit with Space Invaders. They been rehashed, tossed onto compilations, re-done, and updated. The one thing they’ve never had done was to go EXTREME! Err, well, at least that’s how you’d do it back in the ‘90s. Is this whole “extreme” fad over by now?
Regardless of the naming, this is one of the better outings for that never-ending world destroying alien horde. It’s appropriate given that this is their 30th anniversary of killing us all to treat them to something special, such as a wonderful graphical overhaul, not to mention giving the Invaders even more stuff to help us die faster.
Much of Extreme feels random. The arcade mode is a simple “kill ‘em all” scenario, split into levels. Each level has a boss, and as per the norm, each stage becomes progressively harder. The core hasn’t changed. The player is still stuck moving left to right (30 years and we still can’t find the tech to let the cannon move up… depressing), shooting up at the descending monsters.
At the very least, there are new weapons available to wipe out these suckers, including a nifty laser cannon and machine gun that offers a wider shot. As you score points, you can upgrade your standard cannon, and dying will take away two levels previously earned.
All of that is simple enough. This is a score frenzy though, and there are numerous bonuses and game altering opportunities for you to access. Rounds pop-up after special requirements are met, taking the player to a special screen with a specific task (shoot down X number of Invaders in Y number of seconds). Fever Time is another cut-away feature, boosting your firepower, and bonuses are awarded for all critters blown away during this period.