Extreme 2 looks and sounds like a juiced up version of the first game. The acid-trip colors are even flashier and the backgrounds animating wildly behind the invader formations have an indie-art vibe. The morphing pixel art quality of the invaders and the various effects looks about the same but it worked so well in the first game and I’m glad they stuck with it.
The music is still electronica that is synced to the actions performed on screen—your cannon shots produce different notes and rhythms depending on what weapon you’re using—but the musical stats are no longer displayed on the top screen, replaced by the bingo card. I didn’t pay much attention to that display in the first place and the bingo mechanic is, I think, a more compelling feature. The in-game announcer has more to say this time, cheering you on and giving cues to various combos you can pull off. All in all Extreme 2 is a psychedelic feast of retro style for both the eyes and ears, just like the first game.
Unfortunately “just like the first game” is a pretty accurate description for Extreme 2. It makes slight improvements on all the things that worked so well last time and offers a lot more of the same great content, but there aren’t a many new ideas which ends up making Extreme 2 feel like a big expansion pack instead of a sequel. I’m also a little disappointed that once again, they didn’t include the original arcade game as an unlockable.
If you loved the first game and want more levels, bosses and score challenges, then the sequel is a sealed deal at only $20. If, however, you liked the original but want something fresher, then you might want to hold off. That said, Extreme 2 is still just as good as its predecessor, and with so many crappy DS games out there running you a full $35, this arcade sequel is a bargain and a gem at only 20 bucks.
Space Invaders Extreme 2 keeps the same addictive elements that made the first game so good and adds a few new features, but it's more of an incremental improvement. The gameplay is still great but very similar to last year's game, which makes Extreme 2 feel like a huge expansion pack. It's still a standout DS game though and a bargain at only $20.
Page 2 of 2