|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Taito||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 22, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
June 4, 2007 - When Space Invaders is the best game of the bunch, you should proceed with caution. Of course, you may prefer other games to the overplayed and overly repackaged Space Invaders. It's not my favorite game anymore, but when compared to the games offered in Taito Legends Power Up, it certainly is the flagship.
Space Invaders is not the reason to purchase this collection of classic games. There are other, lesser known games to experience here that you just might enjoy. Some of them don't have any more depth than a standard mini-game, but there are more than 20 of them - and the game is budget priced at under twenty bucks. That's less than a buck a game. If you like the games presented here, you're going to get your money's worth. Some of them have even been updated. If you only like half of them, it's still a good deal. If you're not keen on old-school, these updated versions are unlikely to move you, so rent before you buy.
Taito Legends Power Up is a lot like the multi-mini cereal pack. There are a few boxes of Frosted Flakes, but there are also more packs of Bran Flakes than even grandpa would care for - and he's dead. Aside from Space Invaders, other popular games are Elevator Action, Lunar Rescue, and Qix. The rest could be considered a little on the obscure side by the average gamer. There's a decent assortment of gameplay styles including puzzle games, side scrollers, shooters, action, and platform titles. Of course, many of these games will include a mix of such gameplay elements. Many of these games have been released on other systems, some more than a few times. A few of them, four to be exact, Crazy Balloon and Balloon Bomber, Camelty, and Legend of Kage, have been updated. They now carry the "2005" tag at the end of their titles. The improvements are largely cosmetic, although there are some different obstacles in Balloon Bomber. You may not like the way it's been updated since you shoot at the object from the bottom of the screen not unlike Space Invaders. I guess they invented the genre
All of the games look good, but some suffer from the smaller presentation. They are far more colorful than they ever were on the old systems, but it can sometimes be difficult to see bullets and other smaller projectiles. The PSP offers a lot of configuration options such as stretching the screen, rotating it, and the ability to reassign the controls. I experimented with each and every game and found that there is no "standard." Some look better compressed while others look better stretched. When you change the screen shape and size, you might find that you want the controls to correspond to a certain position. These are good options to have.
The games play and respond well to the controls. I would dare say they are virtually flawless. Keep in mind these classic games don't have much depth, so most of the controls are of the pick-up-and-play variety. That's good for beginners, but it's a boredom alert to the hardcore gamer. As challenging as most of these games can get, it's mostly a case of ramping up the difficulty by speeding things up and increasing the number of enemies or obstacles. It's an old-school style of redundancy that you either hate or tolerate. This was due to the lack of processing power in those old arcade processors that kept developers from making more detailed environments for each level. We've come a long way since then, so you have to ask yourself if you're prepared to go back.
Here's the list of games in alphabetical order: Alpine Ski, Balloon Bomber, Cameltry, Chack 'n Pop, Crazy Balloon, Elevator Action, The Fairyland Story, KiKi KaiKai, Kuri Kinton, Legend Of Kage, Lunar Rescue, New Zealand Story, Phoenix Qix, Raimais, Rastan Saga, Return Of The Invaders, Space Chaser, Space Dungeon, Space Invaders, and Space Invaders Part 2. Depending on your generosity, you could say there are 25 games. That would be the original 21 and the four updated versions.
Be wary of the multiplayer component. Regardless of what you've heard, or what the box says, you can't play against another challenger via the wireless system. The only thing that you can do is allow another player to download versions of these games from your system to their system. The only way that you can play against another player is to actually pass one game system around. The multiplayer mode is turn-based. It's not unlike a classic arcade game in that respect, but the box does seem more than a little misleading about the wireless capability. It would be more exciting if you could at least view your opponent's screen on your machine. It does get annoying with someone looking over your shoulder when you're playing on such a small screen.
I've dropped more than twenty bucks on a blackjack bet in Vegas. I'm not rich; I was just drunk. I'm making a point by putting things in perspective. We'll all spent more money than this on more inane things. You're bound to get a few hours out of this, and quite possibly weeks or months if you attempt to complete most of the games. Some do get really, really tough - smashing-your-machine-against-the-wall tough. Better stock up on your cheat codes.
Even though the PSP can store all of these games and then some, it's something that we take for granted. We're just used to bigger and better things. Keep that in mind when considering this collection as you may find yourself disappointed at just how shallow some of these games will seem. Know what you're getting into.
CCC Senior Writer