Final Glimpse: Go old school on those pesky invaders from space.
Most gamers will remember 2005 as the year of the Next Gen System with the introduction of the Sony PSP and the upcoming release of Xbox 360. But for those of us born before the advent of gangsta rap, the World Wide Web and the idiocy known as reality TV shows [Ed. Note: No one mocks the greatness that is Survivor and The Amazing Race! No one!], 2005 might well be remembered as the year of the classic compilation.
Capcom, Midway, Namco and Tecmo have all released collections of their classic games within a few short months of each other, allowing gamers young and old to revisit the past glories of Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Pole Position, Final Fight, Street Fighter, Tecmo Bowl and many others. However, one game ? make that THE
game ? of all time was conspicuously absent, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of old school gamers.
But rejoice, all of you old fogies ? er, classic game lovers! Taito will soon be releasing a collection of its own featuring what is perhaps the world's best known and most loved arcade title ever: 1978's Space Invaders.
Yup, you too can soon experience the pleasure of shooting through your shields at slow moving aliens neatly lined up in rows. It may seem ridiculously simple compared to today's shooters, but Space Invaders had an enormous impact on the gaming industry that still resonates to this day, influencing the creation of other classics ranging from Asteroids and Tempest all the way up to Doom, Duke Nukem, Half-Life and Halo. It's hard to believe but those blocky black and white pixels are the progenitor of the Covenant and every other alien baddie you've ever blasted. Not bad for a game that took only three months to develop. (Although to be fair, developing the programming environment took another six months since there were no off-the-shelf game engines or development tools back then, so everything had to be created from scratch.)
The collection will feature 28 other great classics including: Bubble Bobble, Battle Shark, Colony 7, Continental Circus, Electric Yoyo, Elevator Action, Exzisus, Gladiator, Great Swordsman, Jungle Hunt, The New Zealand Story, Ninja Kids, Operation Thunderbolt, Operation Wolf, Phoenix, Plotting, Plump Pop, Rainbow Islands, Rastan, Return of the Invaders, Space Gun, Space Invaders Part 2, Super Qix, Thunderfox, Tokio, Tube It, Volfied, and Zoo Keeper. Sure, several of these titles will have even the most avid classic gamer scratching their heads and wondering, ?What the heck is that?? but tossing in obscure games is a compilation staple. At the very least, it gives you the opportunity to try something you might have missed the first time around.
The collection will feature many extras, including interviews with the creators of Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, Volfied and Rainbow Islands, along with a detailed history of Taito itself.