Rounds, Chains, Lamps, Features; Roulette, Fever, Bingo and Break. Space Invaders Extreme 2 needs a whole lexicon - a strangely camp one at that - to describe its arcane and multi-faceted scoring system. One of the oldest and simplest shoot-'em-ups in gaming became one of the more complex with the original Xbox Live Arcade, PSP and DS game, and in this DS-only sequel, it gets a little more complex yet.
Taito's iconic pixellated aliens have been enjoying a purple patch these last few years, and it was Extreme that set the standard. Unlike the bold reinvention of the iPhone's Infinity Gene or the bizarre table-turning of WiiWare's Space Invaders Get Even, Extreme took Space Invaders into the 21st century by adding innumerable twists and elaborations to a basically unchanged core. Waves of Invaders creep down the screen from left to right, from right to left, faster the fewer they are, as unhurriedly menacing as ever. Your cannon picks them and passing UFOs off.
The basic gameplay was unmistakeable and faithful, not quite as pure a revival as the brilliant Pac-Man Championship Edition, but just as successful at making a faded icon good as new. A Rez-inspired rhythmic techno makeover spruced up the image, but to be honest, the blocky sprites possess so much retro cool that they hardly needed it - stamped indelibly as they are on pop-culture consciousness (and, thanks to French artist Invader, the street).