I know what you are going to say, just as I did when I first saw it. This is a clone of Space Invaders. Well, yes it is, really right at it’s core, as it’s not really a reimagining as such. This is essentially a really well produced tribute to Taito’s classic arcade 10p eater with a Galaga frosting.
It turns out you are the last tank commander on Earth (a super advanced tank obviously) after an attack by aliens from the moon, Titan. You and you alone stand in their way – and you only get one life (fortunately shields are provided to avoid the one shot and you are dead scenario upon commencement of the replusion of the attack!) Fortunately you are equipped with a number of non-regenerative shields that take a single shot, and you can pick up and buy more as you go along.
The game screen has a familiar bearing with the initial wave being the usual mildly animated alien sprites moving from side to side and coming down the screen one step at a time, fortunately without the original dub-dub sound effect as they move. The alien firing sound effect is very familiar and then the mothership comes across the screen with a sound efect that sounds a little classic Cylon to me. Immediately though there is a slight change in that ocassionally when you shoot one of the alien craft it comes plummeting to Earth with the distinct ability to take a shield from you as a weapon blast does. However you manage to obliterate it on the way down, you get a skill shot points bonus. To throw a little more fun in the mix, plummeting or destroyed craft also emit an alien on a parachute. These little miscreants can be collected for a bonus bit of cash, or you have a monetary penalty if they get past you. The third, rather harsh option, is to take no prisoners and let none escape by shooting them as they fall, which seems a little too third reich for my taste.
A shop between levels contains extra shields, gun power, extra bullets (to allow more rapid firing as usually you only have one bullet on the screen at a time,) smartbombs (the entire screenful gets blown to smitherines, add-ons (side mounted guns) and recharge (speeds up the recharge time on the side guns) which can be purchased with money earned from shooting the bad guys. Mystery boxes are dropped from the screen topping Cylon-sounding motherships when you obliterate them following a shot of impeccable timing. These mystery boxes can contain a points bonus, money or a special such as a supershield for a while or even missiles, a laser, extra standard shield, or even a supergun active till the end of the wave (not a time to waste a smartbomb!)
As you complete each wave without incident (not losing a shield) you gain a multiplier for your score, which you lose the next time you lose a shield. The multiplier goes higher than I have managed thus far so the high scores could get rather lofty for someone really into this (which may include me at this rate!)
As you move on you have 20 main levels on each world environment (Earth, the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and Titan) and in each case the enemies get more difficult to deal with, with new forms having the ability to move faster, have different attack patterns, fire diagonally, or even send a missle command style explosion at you using bombs (looking rather like mine turtles – Tom Ska you appear to be invading my consciousness) with an increasing blast radius you need to avoid before they dissipate. Oh and there are falling asteroids to deal with too (and they are proper Asteroids looking asteroids!)
Now this is just a straight port from the PC version. As far as I can tell, no alterations have been done to the PS Vita version, which had me rather embarassingly trying to touch the play button on the title screen rather than select it with the more traditional controls. This is a shame, but really has no effect on the game itself, though it does mean you cannot switch the in-game music for your own from the music player.
Fortunately the music is perfectly fine for the game, if not a bit retro for some tastes, and you can always reduce the volume to zero in the options menu (which unfortunately is not available from the pause menu, in-game.)
When all is said and done the game is incredibly playable and certainly could become quite an addictive little shooter. Fortunately there is a limited save function where you can save your game mid level and go back to the start of that wave when you next play, so you can keep powering through in more than one gaming session.
There is nothing wrong with the presentation, though it’s hardly pushing the Vita (let alone the near identical PS3 and PS4 and PC versions) but it does have it’s own tongue in cheek style and is very much toned to make this a fun game and certainly not taking itself too seriously.
Titan Attacks is huge fun and provides enough to make wanting to complete the game of interest, and though I don’t know the final UK price at the time of writing, I can’t see it being too high even with the cross buy.
To be honest when I first saw this game at EGX Rezzed I was kind of cynical (Sony’s display making it look like it was only coming to PS4 did not help) and I just thought it looked like *just* a Space Invaders clone without the revamping that, say, Super Stardust HD/Delta has over Asteroids.
I am glad to say my cynicism was misplaced.
At A Glance
- Title: Titan Attacks
- Publisher: Curve Studios
- System: PlayStation Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: Yes – PS3 & PS4
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- PlayStation TV Compatible: Yes
- Memory Card Space Needed: Download: 139MB