That the Dreams development studio (the one set up by Space Invaders creator Tomohiro Nishikado) chooses to dust off Taito classics appears to be some sort of curiously sadistic plan to reinvent enduring properties and crush all of our hopes, dreams and memories in the process. Since it all kicked off last summer with Space Invaders Revolution, it's been a head-scratching, harrowing, depressing exercise in grave-robbing that seems to miss the point entirely. Both the Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble remakes were about as far from 'revolutionary' as you could possibly imagine - and the 2/10 spankings we dished out to both were being kind.
You can't blame Dreams for trying to mine Taito's rich seam of past glories, though, especially when the DS' touch-screen affords the developers new opportunities to dust off classic ideas and reinvent them with a new twist. But, as we've seen so many times in the past 18 months, the touch-screen can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Being able to move things around on screen and draw lines with a stylus does not automatically make something more fun. Indeed, for every stroke of genius, there are another five that seem to complicate things, often spoiling pure ideas and concepts with novelty or redundancy.
Even so, we greeted Rainbow Islands with optimism. Despite its track record, it was hard to imagine how Dreams could cock this one up. Let's see how they did.