When you're done with the single-player mode there are a number of other things you can do with the game. For starters, you can try your luck at the harder difficulties. Not only will the enemies be harder, but you will also be privy to brand new levels. You can also go in and play all of the individual levels that you've unlocked, which can be fun ... if you're the kind of person who likes besting your hi score.
Perhaps the most exciting mode is the multiplayer mode, which allows you and another player to battle it out one on one. Although this mode is on the simple side, it's hard to deny how addictive the two-player mode in Space Invaders Extreme is. Thankfully the Xbox Live Arcade offers full online play, something missing from the PSP original. On top of playing the game online, you can also play against a friend in a local match. On top of the online multiplayer, Space Invaders Extreme also supports leader boards, allowing you to compare your alien shooting abilities to people you know and don't.
Thankfully Taito didn't downgrade Space Invader Extreme's presentation. The simple truth is that this game looks fantastic. It features a retro look, all while featuring a psychedelic background that is right out of a music video. All of the aliens look crystal clear, especially on a nice large high def monitor. Like Pac-Man: Championship Edition, Space Invaders Extreme manages to have a fantastic new look, all while retaining the classic motif of the original game. It's a tightrope Taito had to walk, but they did it with absolute perfection. My only complaint is that this Xbox Live Arcade version doesn't add a lot to the visuals. Sure they look good on the television, but they don't look that much better than what we saw on the small screen. Still, the graphics on the PSP were second to none.
Sadly the music isn't nearly as good as the visual presentation, but there's no reason you need to keep the sound on. For a game that feels like it was influenced by Q Entertainment's games, it's a shame that Taito doesn't have the same musical prowess of Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Maybe that's why I'm so disappointed by the game's generic beats, when a game looks like Lumines I expect it to have the same rockin' soundtrack. But alas this game doesn't, and so I played the game with the sound off and my music on.
Space Invaders Extreme is exactly what you think it is, a straight port of one of the PSP's greatest 2D shooters. In a lot of ways this isn't a bad thing; Space Invaders Extreme is good no matter where you play it. But part of me is a little disappointed that Taito didn't do something to upgrade this year-old handheld game. I do think the price is right and there's plenty of content, so I certainly recommend this. However, with a sequel in the works and so much time to work on this version, I expected something more from this game. If you somehow missed this game the first time around, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this incredible action game.
Fans of last year's excellent PSP game will feel right at home with this port. Unfortunately that's because not much has changed since Space Invaders Extreme first hit the handhelds. Still, if you somehow missed this game last year, then there's no excuse for you to not pick up this incredible $10 shooter!
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