Setup & Timing
Like the menu system of the first Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Extreme 2's menu is still a scroll-bar system, but it's better than in the first game (all four options are on display instead of just one). Opening credits are now mostly skipable Download time is around a minute and a half.
Menus & Navigation
The menu options are larger and easier to read than in the previous game. The menu options take taps well and work flawlessly when navigated via Direction Pad and buttons.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Space Invaders Extreme 2 again chose not to provide a touch control option, presumably for several reasons: how it would alter the game's difficulties, because controlling the cannon with a stylus would hide some of the shots being fired at you, and the fact that the game works just fine without them. (Again, the Nintendo DS Paddle peripheral can be imported and used to play, but not if you're playing on a Nintendo DSi system, since it doesn't have the required GameBoy Advance Slot aka Slot-2.) The game's direction pad controls are very comfortable and accurate, and again are very reminiscent of the original arcade versions.
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Space Invaders Extreme 2 is nearly identical to the first game, with one new type of invader replacing one old type of invader, a new power up item, and a new UFO ship. The game retains an otherwise identical look to the original Extreme title. The music does a great job of setting up the atmosphere and, at times, an appropriate sense of urgency. The sound effects wil often play to the beat of the music. Again, the one glaring omission in the game is a lack of Single-Card Download demo - either for Extreme and/or the original game.
While reviewing Space Invaders Extreme 2, I had to jump back and forth between it and the first game several times to figure out all of the differences because they're THAT similar. The vast majority of the differences are unrelated to the Single-Card Download play, such as Wi-Fi multiplayer, but there are a few gameplay differences (see above). Overall, the improved interface makes this game better that the first for its offline multiplayer, and (with it's other new modes) thus the better purchase for people still deciding which one to purchase. If you have the first game and are wondering whether or not to pick this one up too, I'd say to ask yourself the following...
- Did you enjoy the original Space Invaders Extreme?
- Do you play the single-player experience in addition to the multiplayer?
- Would you like to play against people online?
If you have the original Extreme and you answered yes to those questions, then it's definitely worth your money to add the new game to your collection. If you don't have the original Extreme, then pick up Space Invaders Extreme 2: it's a little better than the first and it's just a fantastic game overall.
Offer a multiplayer Co-op Play option.
Allow up to four (or more) players.
YES - Shorten up the opening credits (or make the entire thing skipable).
NO - Include a Single-Card Download Demo single-player experience, either for Extreme and/or the original Space Invaders game.
NO - Add in a board-designing feature to allow users to set up a custom board (Invader configuration, Invader movement patterns, etc).
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 90 / 100 (a.k.a. 45/50)
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