Space Invaders Evolution is the updated PSP version of the classic Space Invaders game, which was written in 1978 by Tomohiro Nishikado. This version, unlike its DS counterpart Space Invaders Revolution, does not involve Tomohiro Nishikado as part of the development team, however, the game is progressing nicely and we recently got the chance to play the game and chat with Tomio Kanazawa, who's a senior producer for Marvelous Interactive and Rising Star Games, and can say we are quite impressed with what they have done with it.
As you might expect, the original Space Invaders game is included and is a spot on conversion, with little changed to keep it authentic, including the good ole' black-and-white graphics. The big change comes when you choose the Future Mode. This has been built from the ground up and looks and plays nothing like the old version, that's not to say that it is poor by any means, it does however retain the original gameplay where your objective is to kill wave upon wave of aliens until you either die or destroy them all.
The game is now presented in 3D and shown from a first person perspective with the aliens surrounding you and constantly moving up and down, which makes the game a little harder than the original as it requires better shot timing. After a while any aliens that are left in the current wave retreat, but come back in addition to the next wave, so in that way the game gets harder and harder, fail to beat one wave and the next one gets bigger, making your job even more difficult.
In addition to the normal shot, you also have "Beat Attack" which is activated by using the triangle button and is designed to be used in time with the games' music. Do this repeatedly, and the game's music will change and the power of this shot will increase, however if you miss a beat or stop firing, the power of the shot will go down again. You can also wipe out all aliens onscreen by holding down the triangle button until the fourth beat and then letting go.
Possibly the mode that I was most impressed with is the Match-up mode. By using the buttons at each end of the PSP two players are able to battle it out against each other, and this is where the twist begins. Instead of destroying the aliens, like in the single player mode, every time an alien is shot it moves closer to your opponent and turns to face your opponent, firing on them instead of you. I would like to be able to claim that I beat Tomio Kanazawa in this mode on my first go, but it might have something to do with the fact that he was describing the mode and not actually trying to play the game.
In addition to the Match-up mode, 4 players will be able to play co-operatively/semi-competitively via WiFi in Wireless Mode. In this mode, which is similar to Future Mode, all players work together to clear the playfield and destroy the alien mothership, but they are also working against each other as they will be ranked based on their score.
Overall, the game still keeps to its roots, there are still barriers for you to hide behind to protect you from alien bullets, the aliens are still arranged in rows and there didn't seem to be any power-ups. That said, this is one game I can't wait to get my hands on.
Space Invaders Evolution is due for a European release in early November.