Space Invaders Extreme

Thirty years after its initial release, the latest incarnation of Space Invaders kind of snuck up on me. As has been the case with some of the best sleeper PSP titles, I caught my first glimpse of it on The 1up Show. It was flashy, it was bright, it was the kind of eye candy you’d get hooked on quickly, the good stuff.

The original Space Invaders from 1978 was pretty simple by todays standards. While the game incorporates almost all of the original elements of the game, there’s so much else going on it can hardly be considered the same game. The enemies still come from the top of the screen and it’s up to you to shoot them all before they reach the bottom of the screen.

Now enemies also come in different colors. Shooting four of the same colored enemy in a row causes a bonus to drop down. There are three weapon bonuses and one shield bonus. Red enemies drop bombs (area of effect), green enemies drop the broad shot (multiple shots simultaneously), blue enemies drop the laser (continuous, kills everything in it touches) and gray enemies drop the shield. Bonuses only last for a limited time.

Shoot eight enemies in a special pattern and a bonus round ship will fly across the top of the screen. Shoot this ship to go into the bonus round. At the start of the round you will be given a goal and a set amount of time to achieve this. Fail and nothing happens. But if you succeed you go into Fever Time and your weapon gets a major boost in firepower. Just like the weapon bonuses the Fever Time bonus is also only active for a limited amount of time. Fever Time is where the bulk of your points will come from and it’s the best way to tear through the waves of enemies. Continue reading “Space Invaders Extreme”

Patapon: March to the Rhythm of War

If Patapon had to be pigeon-holed into a genre, I suppose it would be considered a rhythm-based near-time-strategy seasoned liberally with devices from role-playing games such as customization, creation and item collection.

You play the leader of the Patapons, essentially black and white eyes organized into a tribal structure. As their leader, it’s up to you to guide the Patapons out of their exile and into “Earthend.” Who exiled the Patapons? The Zigatons, of course. And what exactly is at Earthend? “IT,” of course. The Patapons live in a very simple world. Continue reading “Patapon: March to the Rhythm of War”

God of War: Chains of Olympus

After seeing how beautiful and how fun God of War II was, most of the fans of the franchise were more than a little curious about the next game to come out in the series. I think everyone was a little surprised when it was announced that the next title would be launched on Sony’s portable platform, the PSP. Surprise turned to eager anticipation when it was announced that a demo would be made available to PSN members who signed up while supplies lasted.

This past week I got my copy in the mail and after playing through it who knows how many times I have to say it passes muster. I was afraid that the game would lose some of its scope and play control by being on a portable system, but from what we’ve seen in the demo, those fears can be put to rest. Continue reading “God of War: Chains of Olympus”

Mega Man Powered Up: The Blue Bomber Blasts From the Past


Capcom is without a doubt the king of franchises. Sure, Konami has classics like Castlevania, DDR and Metal Gear, but Capcom blows them away with hits like Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Phoenix Wright and—perhaps most famously—Mega Man, with over fifty individual titles. Yes, fifty. Unfortunately, a lot of those games have been cheap knock-offs of the genuine article. That’s not the case for their latest update to the series.

Mega Man Powered Up is the best thing to happen to the PSP since Lumines, in my opinion. Aside from the original Mega Man with updated graphics, Capcom has included a brand new game based on the first with two new bosses: Oil Man and Time Man.

The mechanics are exactly the same as the original game but they’ve improved by extending the gameplay. In addition to the new levels, which are loads of fun, a challenge mode has been included. The object of this is simply to complete an objective. Typically you have to reach the end of the level or collect all of a certain object. The replayability is a nice feature, but the true value of these challenges is how they improve the way you play. Complete a few challenges and you’ll have no problem with precision jumps and shots. Continue reading “Mega Man Powered Up: The Blue Bomber Blasts From the Past”

Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters


The best new product for Sony’s PSP is Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, developed by High Impact Games. While I haven’t played any Ratchet and Clank games up to this point, Size Matters seems to keep the same visual style and platforming controls as the previous games.

The parts of the game where you play as Ratchet have been the most fun for me. You start out exploring the beaches and islands of a resort planet, fighting your way back to your ship to rescue a young girl who’s been kidnapped. Continue reading “Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters”