Analyzing Activision’s Space Invaders through the years

Space Invaders is easily one of the most popular and recognizable classics in the gaming world. Because of this, there have been an abundance of remakes on various gaming platforms throughout the years. Typically, Space Invaders remains in the 2-D, pixelated style that it was created in. However, in the late ‘90s, something completely fresh and new came for the series, and that was a version of Space Invaders by Activision that had 3-D models.

This version made its debut on the PlayStation in September 1999. With this remake, there were now 3-D models of the aliens, ships, and bosses while keeping it in a 2-D shooter format. There were also very distinct bosses, power ups, and types of aliens that was new to the series. This version became loved and accepted by many fans of Space Invaders. However, there were some complaints, such as using stock animations for when an alien is shot and defeated.

However, I have had a great experience with this particular version of Space Invaders. The music is simple and catchy, which allows the player to focus more on the gameplay rather than the other aspects. Each alien and boss had original traits and characteristics that kept the game interesting and new. The graphics were wonderful for its time, and I truly do not have a major complaint about the PlayStation 1999 version.

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In December 1999, the Nintendo 64 got the same Activision version. This one was basically the same game, but there were minor differences. All of the differences between the N64 and the PlayStation version of this game was in the graphics and colors. For the PlayStation, the colors were more lively and vibrant, but also flat. The characters seemed to lack depth and dimension. However, with the N64, the colors were a bit dull, but contained lots of depth. There was a lot more shadowing and dimension that the original released lacked. Other than that, they were essentially the same game.

For quite some time, it seemed that this 3-D version of Space Invaders had been put to rest. However, in 2002, that changed. This version returned once again – on the Game Boy Advance. This one showed the most deviation from the two other versions, in some good ways and some bad ways.

One of the most noticeable differences is the music. I was rather disappointed to find the original soundtracks from the other games replaced because that was always one of my favorite aspects from the original Activision game releases. Another let-down was the final boss. The last boss was replaced with something I would consider sub-par.

However, there are things I do love and appreciate with the Game Boy Advance version of Space Invaders. The change I love the most about this version is the animations. The movements of the characters, especially the bosses, are a lot more polished and refined. The character designs are a bit different, but I love them just as much. The colors are also a bit more vibrant, especially compared to the N64, so it is a lot more pleasing on the eyes.

Activision’s remake of Space Invaders was a complete success. As the game was released on more consoles, it had improvements that continuously made it better and better. What I would personally love to see is one final remake, perhaps for the Nintendo Switch, of Activision’s Space Invaders. I feel that with all the advancements of gaming since 2002, this game could truly be something incredible now. Only time will tell if something more will be done with this game.

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