|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Taito||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 1, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
This is the year of the Space Invader or so it seems. All of the stops are being pulled out in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the classic series that pits a lone group of laser cannon-wielding humans against an unstoppable marching swarm of cute pixelated aliens. Earlier this year, the pocket-sized Space Invaders Extreme provided one of the best updated remakes of the arcade game in recent memory. For its WiiWare debut, Taito gives the series some special attention and a completely charming overhaul.
Space Invaders: Get Even is a highly imaginative and very humorous take on the classic. Instead of defending the Earth from destruction as the last bastion of human salvation, youll be seeking to further its annihilation by any means necessary. Thats right; this time around you get to play as the aliens. Get Even pits your small extraterrestrial force against not one group of pesky humans but the entire planet. Systematically blasting pockets of civilization completely off the planetary surface and rescuing your captured alien buds proves to be extremely addictive.
The chuckle-worthy cheesiness of the voice-over intro sets the tone perfectly for a great retro-inspired story that plays directly into the simplicity of the original game. The tale recalls the first alien attack on the Earth 30 years ago (see what they did there?), when the invading creatures swarmed the planet. The humans developed the core cannon and were able to obliterate the Space Invaders one-by-one until they were driven off completely. With the aliens gone, the powerful weapon sparked an arms race on the planet which led to war. Three decades later, the aliens have come back to get their revenge.
Get Even brings entirely new gameplay to the series. Instead of controlling individual aliens directly, youll pilot a small UFO capable of launching them out in colorful swarms to strike at human targets in different ways. Once all of your alien swarms have been launched, youll have to wait a brief moment until at least one of them returns to your ship before firing another round. You can switch between their attack behaviors on the fly, which is handy in some situations. For example, using the drill attack causes the alien swarm to attack a target repeatedly for a few seconds before returning. Another attack causes them to bounce like a ball, destroying anything they touch. While these neat variations offer different approaches to taking out the human infrastructure and enemy forces, few are quite as effective as the straight-forward blasters when the onscreen chaos builds to a crescendo. The only exception is your special attack, which calls down the mothership to completely obliterate practically everything on the screen very cool.
With a variety of attack methods at your disposal, your general goal is to blow anything and everything up. Since your space ship can only spend a finite amount of time on the planet, youre given a time limit for every stage. This can be extended slightly by a few seconds for every building or unit you destroy, so rampant annihilation is highly encouraged. Getting hit reduces your available level of aliens to fire out and also shaves seconds off the clock. Theres slightly more to Get Even than blowing stuff up, though. Each area has its own objective. In some cases youll have to destroy certain installations or specific units, while in others youll focus on rescuing your captured alien brethren. Exploring the map is a chaotic and cathartic process, since youll be constantly seeking new things to destroy to boost your time while dodging incoming fire and pursuing objectives.