Review – Space Invaders Forever

Space Invaders is a franchise that needs no introduction. Anyone born after the 50’s has, at the very least, heard of it, played it, or seen the ultra-iconic alien-shaped pixels that can easily be considered the single most iconic gaming sprites of all time. With Taito’s recent resurgence, releasing games such as Bubble Bobble 4 and Darius Cozmic Collection, it was only a matter of time for them to finally bring their most famous franchise to this generation of consoles. Let’s see if Space Invaders Forever is worth your time.

Space Invaders Forever

Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders is exactly what you think it is.

Space Invaders Forever is a compilation of three distinct Space Invaders experiences. The first one is Space Invaders Extreme, originally released for Nintendo DS and PSP in 2008. It’s a wackier take on the classic formula, ditching difficulty for style, fast-paced action, and trippy visuals. It’s all about destroying enemies as quickly and as sexy as possible, combining power-ups in order to defeat a series of enemy waves as swiftly as you can.

The second game is the anime-themed Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders, originally released on mobile phones in 2017. The name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s Space Invaders, but you defeat the famous aliens by deflecting their lasers with an Arkanoid paddle. Weirdly enough, the game is played in its entirety with the DualShock 4’s trackpad and it doesn’t exactly work as well as it should. The trackpad has been criminally underused over these past seven years, but that doesn’t mean it has always been considered a piece of top-tier tech. Playing the entire game with it is a bit unresponsive at times. The game has also been reworked in order to have all microtransactions removed as well, thankfully.

Space Invaders Forever

Space Invaders Extreme is a far cry from the classic formula, but it’s still a very fun time!

Finally, there’s this weird anomaly called Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, a weird port of an arcade cabinet that was considered a touristic attraction in Japan. This is basically a huge, borderline ludicrous take on the classic formula, with the player being told to literally mow down hundreds of aliens at a time, all while having to deal with classic 70’s controls. This game can be played with up to four players, being absolutely mandatory if you want to get past the first screen.

These are the three games included in this collection. They each have their pros and cons, and are really fun games, but you can clearly notice that they aren’t exactly retro games. Sure, they are retro-inspired, but if you were looking for a collection of Space Invaders classics, you won’t find them here. This isn’t exactly the best way to relive the franchise in a “gaming history lesson” kind of way. Taito should have added other titles, such as the original, Space Invaders DX or the WiiWare exclusive Get Even. Hell, even the weirdly dumb Space Raiders, originally released for the GameCube, would spice things up. At the very least, all games run incredibly well and feature trippy visuals and soundtracks, even if the latter isn’t exactly what the entire franchise was known for.

Then there’s… THIS…

If you’re looking for fun, retro-inspired titles in one package, Space Invaders Forever can fulfill your needs. But bear in mind this isn’t a retro collection. You’re getting a DS game, a mobile spinoff and whatever the hell Gigamax 4 SE is. You’re not getting the history of Space Invaders, any meaningful additional content, or even a reskinned version of the original. As it stands, this is still a well-put collection of hidden gems. However, if Taito ever decides to make a second collection, I’d love to see the entire franchise’s history being better represented. I’m a sucker for historical preservation.


Graphics: 7.0

Besides the anime aesthetics featured in Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders, the visuals are pretty much what you would expect from a retro revival compilation like this one: classic Space Invaders pixel art mixed with flashy visual effects.

Gameplay: 8.0

Space Invaders is one of the simplest games you can play, and these games’ controls sure showcase that. With that being said, Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders is played with the DualShock’s trackpad and it’s nowhere near as responsive as it should.

Sound: 7.0

Some fine electronic beats and sound effects here and there, but nothing too exorbitant. Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders features Japanese voice acting as well.

Fun Factor: 6.5

A collection of fun arcade games with retro sensibilities, sure, but I wish this collection had more classic games and information regarding the long-lasting franchise, as the homage this gargantuan franchise deserves.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Space Invaders Forever is available now on PS4 and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Space Invaders Forever was provided by the publisher.