Space Invaders Virtual Collection is a “Japan only game” and is also one of the rarest VB games ever. There’s no question that this game, with its high purchase price, is only something for collectors. Nevertheless, this game will, of course, also be thoroughly put under the microscope.
For all those who actually don’t know what Space Invaders is about, it shall be explained: Space Invaders is the founder of the shoot ’em up genre. It’s about shooting down all spaceships flying over you – from below, with your spaceship, in a 2-dimensional view – as they approach closer and closer to you and become faster with time, and of course, they can shoot you, too. Once you have destroyed all the enemy spaceships, the next level follows, where from then on, it gets faster and harder.
The adaptation for the Virtual Boy has succeeded relatively well. There is the classical 2D style and the 3D style, which is displayed in a 3-dimensional view from halfway up.
After the very, very cool animated intro, you come to the selection screen. There is the choice between Original 2D, Virtual 3D, and Challenge mode.
Original 2D: At the beginning, you can choose between the original Invaders and Part 2. Sadly, there is really no difference to the arcade version. The main thing to do is to fire like crazy – that’s about it. The difficulty level of this game is incredibly high. Unfortunately, there is no music; you only hear the enemies coming closer. 🙁
Virtual 3D: Also here, you initially choose between the first and second part of the Space Invaders series. You find yourself in a nice 3D environment again, like, for example, a planet or a space station. It is fun, every now and then, to play a round purely because of the brilliant optics. But in the end, it remains, like in the 2D mode, just a simple Space Invaders game. Also here, the difficulty level is very high, and you must do without sounds here as well.
Challenge: Let’s come to the best part of the game in my opinion. At the beginning, you have the choice between Time Attack and Score Attack mode. Both modes are a lot of fun, and you can’t wait to get a new high score. In Score Attack mode – where it is, as said, about collecting points – there is, as another feature, the fact that the enemies make themselves smaller and bigger, so that you have to aim even better – a really good idea of the programmers, but it also often brings me to despair. 😉 Otherwise, it’s a matter of gunning down everything that gives points. In Time Attack mode, it is, logically, about clearing away the whole field in the fastest possible time.
In the end, we have nothing other than another Space Invaders title. The story hasn’t changed at all. However, Taito has made an effort to produce a fitting version for the Virtual Boy. Sadly, the sound in the game is completely lacking. The menu sound lets you hope for something, but… that’s it with the music. They could have made more out of that. Whoever isn’t a collector and thinks he absolutely must have the game, I advise him against it, unless he has $300-$600 and doesn’t know what to do with it.
Space Invaders is really only for collectors and, seen playfully, is nothing more than a well-made, average game, but its rarity, however, makes it something very special. I, personally, don’t regret the buy.