People are trying to make a Space Invaders movie.
Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda has said that we're unlikely to see existing games patched to work with Project Natal.
The motion control system's energetic front-man told Destructoid that it involved significant alterations that would likely involve a complete re-release for any game that attempted it.
As at previous conventions, Microsoft showed Project Natal during the Tokyo Game Show using real games as well as technical demos, and in this case had mapped controller-free controls to Space Invaders Extreme and Beautiful Katamari.
What does the word "Extreme" mean to you? Extreme sports? Extreme weather? The life and work of Nuno Bettencourt? When it comes to videogames, the presence of "Extreme" in the title is rarely a good thing. It usually signifies a desperate attempt to pretend there's something exciting about a game which is rubbish, as everyone involved in its creation knows.
Evidence for the prosecution: Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure, Antz Extreme Racing, Monster Trux Extreme, Monster Trux Extreme Offroad Edition, Freak Out: Extreme Freeride, Urban Extreme, Nanosaur Extreme, Dice Extreme and of course, who could forget Alawar Entertainment's superlative Traffic Jam Extreme ("a puzzle game in which the player's goal is to untangle vehicular gridlock on the streets of Stresstropolis").
So it's worrying to see the word "Extreme" in the title of the new Space Invaders game for Xbox Live Arcade. How do you make a simplistic 30 year-old game "Extreme", anyway? Make the enemies move a bit faster? Invent some stupid new guns? Throw in a few multiplayer modes? Add some tripped out backgrounds and repetitive beats in the hope at least people on drugs will enjoy it?
Microsoft has said to expect three new Xbox Live Arcade games tomorrow - Space Invaders Extreme and Arkanoid Live! from Square-owned Taito, and Zombie Wranglers from Activision. All three will cost 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60).
Evidence has mounted that Taito plans to release a Space Invaders Extreme sequel for DS this year. Owner Square Enix has declined to comment.
Microsoft's New Xbox Experience dashboard update will launch in 26 countries on 19th November.
Hey! Did you know that Space Invaders was originally inspired by Breakout? I didn't - until I looked at Space Invader's Wikipedia page in a desperate attempt to come up with an interesting fact to begin this review. As it turns out, it's not only a suitable theme for this intro, but I can use it to link to the Arkanoid DS review too. Thanks Wikipedia!
The message that can be taken from Space Invaders' humble beginning is that you can make clever use of a source's interesting aspects (in that case, rows of blocks that need to be destroyed by a craft at the bottom of the screen, and the sense of achievement from doing so) and create something unique and worthwhile in its own right. The amazing thing is that Taito has been so successful in doing this again with Space Invaders Extreme.
Space Invaders Extreme is very faithful to the most important things that make a Space Invaders game rather than just another shooter. It keeps the crab-walking enemies that encroach on the player ever-faster as their numbers are destroyed, and chooses to enhance this by featuring different formations and types of enemy rather than adding Galaxian-style swarms or any other blatant complications.
Commando 3 leads the PlayStation Store update this week, and is well worth looking into if you fancy a spot of co-operative top-down two-stick shooting.
Square Enix has plans to unleash its reinterpretations of Arkanoid and Space Invaders in Europe on 4th July.
If you're planning to go outside this summer then Square Enix has a few ideas for games you could take with you, like Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift for DS, Space Invaders Extreme for PSP/DS, and Arkanoid DS, all of which are due out in sunny season.