Space Invaders: Infinity Gene – Xbox Live Arcade – First Impressions

Okay, so I’ve been downloading a lot of Xbox Live shooters this evening. One reason might be so I can use more of my arcade stick without resorting to purchasing a Japanese/Asian Xbox 360. Please note that the following are my First Impressions rather than a considered review:

I loved Space Invaders: Infinity Gene on the iPhone and was worried about how they’d port a touch-screen mobile game to a console. Moreover, the change from vertical screen to widescreen worried me. I really like vertical shoot-em-ups, but don’t like horizontal ones. I also don’t like vertical shoot-em-ups which have the screen orientated horizontally. This goes one further to make it widescreen. Its been a long time since I played the iPhone game (which I will give four stars to) and so trying it out on the console was potentially dangerous.

So far (I’m up to 2-4) it feel excellent. The great aesthetic remains – keeping in pace with the Space Invaders tradition and yet feeling throughly modern. Like Rez (another game I own on multiple platforms), it’s best played with the lights off and volume up. The mainly black and white visuals look excellent in HD and the unlocking as you go remains a great touch. The game always feels like it wants you to play.

However, there are a couple of minor things compared to the iPhone version so far. Mainly its how Nagoya attacks (when you go point blank to an enemy and can go through their bullets) are harder to pull off as the contrast of the bullets isn’t as clear, thus removing an element of fun/daring. The other is the ship movement.  The iPhone game revolutionised the control of iPhone shmups, but this Xbox 360 game with an arcade stick just doesn’t feel right (at least compared to Cave games).

It looks like there is a lot more added to this port (indeed there is DLC) but then again, there are a lot of updates and extra levels on the iPhone compared to when I first downloaded it which I haven’t tried. I was annoyed the achievements were added after I achieved most of them. Indeed, the Xbox achievements seem completely different.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to going through the rest of the game, and may also download Space Invaders Extreme, another port which I own the original of. And another game which successfully reboots the Space Invaders franchise making it feel really modern, without losing the essential Space Invaders aesthetic, whilst being completely different to Infinity Gene. I should also get the sequel to Extreme on the DS, providing it still has paddle control…

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