Revivals of classic franchises are a useful means of reading the temperature of the video game industry: Pacman Championship Edition channeled Peggle’s neon, crack-addled aesthetic in 2007 while Elevator Action Returns channeled Contra and Metal Slug’s run ‘n’ gun conventions in 1994. That’s why today’s post is going to probe Space Invaders: Invasion Day (aka Space Raiders in the US) on PS2, which is less interesting for its gameplay than what it reveals about trends in videogame storytelling in 2002.
I have to say, the screenshot of a CG-rendered busty woman on the game’s back cover is what piqued my interest in this game, so to speak. So much that I bought it right then and there on the spot. (Admittedly, at £1 it was hardly a big investment.) “How low would Taito go to try and make Space Invaders hip with the kids?”, I wondered. Very low, it turns out. Let’s get the gameplay out of the way: thoroughly uninspiring all round, a (very) poor man’s Sin and Punishment. The game’s presentation, on the other hand, is fascinating. It’s so telling of its era you really have to laugh. Continue reading
Think you’ve got what it takes? Do you have the Twerk- er, hang on, Quirk Factor?
Who are you? A game? What are you really? Did Taito, your creator, realise the profound philosophical implications of creating you? Every name you adopt is a puzzle, a joke designed to make us question the nature of identity. How very fitting and profound given that one of your names refers to layers: perhaps if we uncover all of the layers we might find the real you, or perhaps not.
Two human-piloted ships in space, one red and one blue. Scores of bad alien guys after your blood. It’s certainly a daring and original concept, but what does it play like? Continue reading
In case my previous post wasn’t explicit enough, let me relate now that I have been extremely excited for the arrival of Pu Li Ru La on Saturn. Incredibly, Lauryn Hill even altered the The Fugees’ song Fu Gee La so that she now sings “Pu Li Ru La” throughout the chorus. I mean wow, seriously it’s so amazing that she would do that for her fans, even if it is just my imagination, like my mother keeps telling me.