Space Invaders: Infinity Gene Review

Developer: TAITO/ Square Enix Co., Ltd.
Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.
Players: 1
Genre: Shooter
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $9.99 / 800 MS Points
Platform: PS3 via PSN / Xbox 360 via LIVE Arcade (* reviewed on Xbox 360)
Website: Space Invader: Infinty Gene

Fans of retro arcade games, be warned; Space Invaders: Infinity Gene will send you back into arcade game addiction counseling.  Fortunately, you will be able to play as long as you like for the price of a single roll of quarters ($10).

The game begins with a level direct from the 1978 classic Space Invaders, however, very soon the game starts to evolve. Invaders change form and tactics and your ship’s abilities and weapons evolve also. Sweeping left and right to shoot at the enemies approaching from above is still the main staple of this game but the ability to also  move vertically is unlocked very early in the game. Wave after wave of invaders attack from above in various patterns that remind me of the Galiga challenging stages. Over time, the game becomes less flat and more dimensional with a huge variety of “3D” enemies battling you in what could sometimes be called a vertical scroller.

Rendered mainly in vector style graphics, the game constantly reminds players of its roots while throwing fresh enemies and tactics at you. At times, the retro style is a bit dizzying when vivid grids are sweeping through the background, but these are few and far between, and tend to be less of a problem after playing the game for a while.

For me, this game goes in a special category of “casual” games that I like having available to me because it can be played for five minutes or five hours with the ability to start on any level previously played. Of course this is assuming you are able to walk away. This game is very addictive.

There is just a ton of gameplay here.  First off there is the regular play through of the game with three difficulty settings.  While playing through the regular play, bonus levels are unlocked and can be played through separately in Bonus Mode.  Challenge Mode has 99 levels that are randomly generated and Music Mode uses music on your console to generate levels to play.  Add to this an arsenal of weapons to choose from and it’s hard to see how this is not worth ten bucks.  I have personally settled into the wave weapon and have found it tough to move away from.  Ranking is live while you play so you will always know if you are movin’ up or movin’ out.   It’s easy to overlook the missing multiplayer with so much variety within the confines of the Space Invader universe.

Aside from the occasional Timothy Leary trip inducing background and the lack of support for music on external devices (usb key), this game is a blast.  I’ll be revisiting this game on a regular basis for a long time to come.

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