Setup & Timing
The Space Invaders Extreme menu is a scroll-bar system, as opposed to having everything on screen. This setup is not as friendly to new players, partially because the game doesnt always give a good indication that the first tap (of the double-tap) was accepted. When scrolling, though, the entry point is "Multiplayer" (so, in other words, it makes sense). Opening credits are a little long. Download time is around a minute and a half.
Menus & Navigation
The scrolling function of the menu works apporpriately (as long as you're paying attention). Tappable areas in the menu are large enough to read and take taps correctly.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Space Invaders Extreme chose to skip touch controls, and probably because controlling the cannon with a stylus would hide some of the shots being fired at you, causing unnecesary death and frustration. (As an alternative, the Nintendo DS Paddle peripheral can be imported and used to play, but it won't be compatable with the upcoming Nintendo DSi.) The game's direction pad controls actually feel very comfortable, with control quality being reminiscent of the original arcade versions.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Without question, the game retains its original look and feel, but much improved with new Invader patterns and abilities, items, and, of course, attacks. The music does a great job of setting up the atmosphere and, at times, an appropriate sense of urgency. The sound effects are essential to be alerted to what's going on all over the board. The one glaring omission in the game is a lack of Single-Card Download demo - either for Extreme and/or the original game.
Space Invaders is one of the most internationally-known arcade games of all time. Doing a little research, I found 19 (!) versions of the original game, as well as 29 (!!) other versions, sequels, and games that made use of the Space Invaders name, covering 33 different gaming systems/platforms. Being the franchise's 30th anniversary, that an average of around 1.5 games and 1 system being added each year. Who knows, I might even be missing some.
Space Invaders Extreme for the Nintendo DS is, by far and away, the best version I've played. Several new modes, including versus multiplayer, several new abilities and items, and new Invader types add to the enjoyment. I could play the game for hours and hours on end and enjoy every minute of it. The game is easy to get into, and - with endless difficulty and challenges - doesn't stop being fun. The game is a great revival of a truly classic franchise and (with the exception of lacking a downloadable demo) is one of the best games on the platform, and at a bargain price as well. Well done!
Include a Single-Card Download Demo single-player experience, either for Extreme and/or the original Space Invaders game.
Add in a board-designing feature to allow users to set up a custom board (Invader configuration, Invader movement patterns, etc).
Shorten up the opening credits (or make the entire thing skipable).
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 89 / 100 (a.k.a. 44.5/50)
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