domenica 6 maggio 2012

Taito's Coin-Op Conversion

© 1987 Firebird
C64 Spectrum Amiga

It was a calm morning in year 1987 when we first met, and it was love at first sight. I had never seen bubble-shooting dragons before, but I decided to follow them in every further adventure since. Two brothers being as like as two peas except the colour of their skin (Bub has the typical green colour as elder dragons, and Bob looking more cyanish as a sort of reminder of the water he's grown up in...).
That's probably the longest friendship I've ever had but... well this is not exactly the place to tell you the way it became stronger with the passing of years.
Adventure begins here... let's jump
down the cave and make bubbles!

How many purple whale-steaks do
we have for lunch today?
Today I'd like to tell you about their first, mythical adventure - the one when we first met. At those times Bub and Bob didn't look like the drgons we know, they were two happy children with round faces and plump hands, and had fun in playing peek-a-boo on the Rainbow Islands.
Well we'd say everything was perfect, such perfect to cause the envy of the terrible Super Drunk. The evil dude then kidnapped their girls and took them in the darkness of the cave of monsters... but that wasn't enough: he even transformed the two brothers into innocuous bubble-shooting dragons, looking like some sort of "manga" characters.
The challenge takes place inside of a hundred of caverns fulfilled with enemies, all odd-looking and each attacking in even odder ways: some throwing rocks, some others flying happily and bounce everywhere, others jumping on their own springs, throwing bottles or thunders against our heroes. The only way we have to fight them is shooting bubbles against them, and then entrapping and bursting them. Such operation is worth 1.000 to 32.000 points depending on how many enemies you burst at the same time. A side effect is that monsters then become juicy fruits worth 500 to 5.000 additional points. If you're playing in co-operative mode with a friend, you can now discover how fun it is to steal bonuses to your partner!
Levels design is exactly the same
as the arcade version wow!

The problem is: how to distinguish
the blue and green dragons on the
Spectrum version?
You can collect not just fruits, there's a cathegory of fundamental gadgets which appear soon after entering a cavern: the red shoe makes dragons faster, candies make the shooting capability increase, rings bring lots o bonuses. Well there's also a ton of extremely useful "use once" items such as umbrellas making the dragons go various caverns ahead, crosses making the power of elements go against enemies, potions making stage clear and filling the screen with items to gather within 30 seconds in order to get an incredible bonus!
Gameplay has a "dark" feature: yes, you have to cooperate with your partner, but you'll also end up challenging him and stealing the most juicy and worth bonuses. This genre has been then reprised in lots of further videogames (Snow Bros, Tumplepop, Bomberman, Parasol Stars for example...).
No other word than "masterpiece" can be used to describe this videogame best. Some say this is C64's best videogame ever, some other say it's even better than the original arcade version, while most people keep on saying it's much much funnier than 16-bit portings (Amiga and Atari ST), graphically perfect but apparently boring. My judgement is a little bit far from what magazines from the 80's told (Zzap!64 included). Oh yes, it's a beautiful videogame, it's a wonderful example of how to programme the C64 properly but... since I'm a true arcade fanatic, I consider it as a good pastime, but there's better videogames for C64. By the way, even though I prefer the arcade version, I believe no fanatics of the old brown Commodore machine must leave this title: give it a try!
The game is enriched by a wide number of hidden bonuses, tips and tricks such as secret rooms full of diamonds you can reach with your first life only, mysterious messages written in a cryptical alphabet, odd methods to get additional bonus fruits at the end of each cavern, coloured bubbles to collect in order to get more lives, and much much more...
At the end of the 100th cavern, after battling against Super Drunk with hundreds of thunders flying all over the screen, we'll get our reward: one million bonus points, setting our girls free, being children again and living happily forever or at least until the next adventure... hey who said "Rainbow Islands"?
Bubble Bobble takes me back. I remember playing this breath of fresh air on my C64 after playing the arcade game one sticky summer, so many long hours have been lost to this game. Although cute, Bubble Bobble is pretty hard but its playability and strong urge to get to the next level places it in my top ten all time games. The Spectrum version of which I found to be pretty much a spot on conversion minus little details. The graphics and sound are obviously shallow compared to other versions you might have seen and play but do not let that out you off. The game here is intact. The cuteness that was a major point is all but gone (our heroes are now see thru visions of themselves) and the that continuous soundtrack is only evident in the 128k version but Bubble Bobble Spectrum is one hell of a game to fit into its 48k shell, and for that is should be commended. Great old school fun.
I don't think I need to spend too many words about the Amiga porting of Bubble Bobble, because it's pretty similar to the original game: graphics are almost identical, the background music is even better, and playability is exactly the same as the coin-op version, well it's just a little bit easier but this doesn't affect the product - on the contrary it makes the whole game more interesting and the player is hooked to the screen in an attempt of completing the game. That's enough for me to say that this game deserves the gold medal award for sure, it's an absolute must play!
Oh, I believe I made my friend Roy Jones happy with such a rating to his best favourite videogame ever...

No bad graphics and sounds for the
16-bit versions - Amiga being a little
better than Atari ST

Colourful intro screen, appropriate
tune but no options at all... well quite
obvious for an arcade conversion?
How coul they could store so many
graphics inside of that brown box
labeled Commodore?
Lovely intro music, perfect conversion
of all the tunes from the original coin-op.
sound effects could be better though...
Bubble Bobble on C64? Must be
some miracle... let mecheck it!
It takes a century to complete
the game, even in co-operative
mode - that's the best way to play it
A great quality conversion,
extremely fun to play with. A true
classic you must play for sure!

© 1987 Imagine
C64 Spectrum MSX

The Middle Age was an era full of mysteries when legends, superstitions and religion all merged together, villages were burnt with extreme ease, plagues and famine were common happenings, wars were always beyond the corner and people also waited for the end of the world - maybe the poor masses thought of it as a sort of freedom from such sufferings?
Amid all of these horrible things, a story was told about a bravest warrior who made a journey, alone with his sword and couragem in order to challenge and kill a giant dragon mastering the realm od Stam. The warrior is called Rastan, and this is his story.

Rastan's searching the door to exit
the ancient castle...
Beware of falling down the waterfall!
People spoke a lot about him, and told he had tons of muscles, dressed with barbarian clothes and had such a heavy sword it would require no less than three men in order to just lift it, but Rastan alone mastered it as if it was a stick!
The warrior's journey is divided into six scenarios full of dragon's minions trying to stop him. At first he encounters green lizardmen armed with rods, named Gigas, but well that's just the beginning! More mystical creatures await for him as chimeras and powerful warriors, named Graton, looking like skeletons and armed with a dangerous long-pole trident.
The hero's not in company with just human-looking opponents during his journey: there are also storms of bats living in the caves, whose bits are quite dangerous!
Each scenario is divided into two parts, the first being in open air (mountains, forests, etc) and it's the castle's surrounding; the second being the maze inside of the castle, then the area bosses: they are lords serving the dragon. At the end of the sixth castle there he is: the giant dragon.
Lots of items can be collected while travelling the lands and castles, each bringing Rastan a different effect: common bonus points, more attacking power, shields and woho! wonderful weapons as fireball-releasing swords or long axes!

"Rastan the mighty" is moving around
on a Spectrum screen

Graphics are no bad at all on the
MSX version!
Rastan's health is shown on a gauge you can see at the top-left side of the screen. A heart is shown at its side, and it beats fast or slow depending on the gauge level. If energy goes down to zero, a life is lost but there's the chance to regain it by collecting blue potions enemy sometimes release (beware of red potions: they are poisonous!).
Game ends when all lives are lost or when the warrior wins the final fight against the evil giant dragon. Good luck!
Rastan is a terrible conversion from an hooking arcade game. I believe the ones who tried it have my thoughts exactly. Action brings very few funny situations, and you might find it pleasant for a very little while. But beware of playing the cassette version: loading times before playing every level are so long (a number of minutes each!), making the whole gaming experience a genuine boring rubbish. Then what expect us after all such loading time? More boredom...
I'm also disappointed because I'm well aware that the C64 hardware allows much more detailed sprites and backgrounds. In-game soundtrack is no bad, it's even extremely similar to the one of the coin-op version: great atmosphere! Also the presentation screen and options remind of the original version, same look and lack of options.
The title is very hookable, so I think you'll want to play it sometimes but believe me, you'll stop soon after discovering game action is such slow! If you're a fanatic of fantasy platform/fighting games, try Beyond the Ice Palace, that's much better!
Scrolling left to right fighting games, I love'em. Rastan is a fantastic arcade game that had me hooked many a time in the arcades and our beloved Raine. Rastan on the Spectrum could have been a mess, but lucky for us this is quite a good port of the original. I found it quite pleasant to play with lots of areas to cover and baddies to bash. It has some sparklingly good Spectrum effects and the programmer seems to follow the arcade code as closely as he could within the limitations of the machine. It was even better on a 128k Spectrum (no loading between levels you see, which is always a bonus). People who enjoyed the arcade version should get a kick (or is that a swipe of the sword) out of this slightly remixed version
Extremely odd porting this one! There's no scrolling background, platforms and enemies are placed in a completely invented way, waterfalls don't even kill Rastan but just steal some energy... But at least it's very funny and fast - that's what matters most! ...and what about graphics? Backgrounds are great, the barbarian sprite is well-drawn and colourful though enemies are monochromatic, and there's almost no animations at all! The background music is shrill, while sound effects are not so bad. Well worth a try!

Nothing special, except
the nice introductory tune
Slow and badly drawn. Collisions
are often not detected properly
Martin Galway is a genius, and
brought a touch of class to the
whole product!
A conversion of such famous
coin-op hooks immediately... but
it won't last long.
The slowness of action will
cause you boredom very soon
Though keeping all main features
of the coin-op, it's badly programmed
and fun won't last much. try it if you're
a real fan of this kind of games.

© 1988 Imagine
C64 Spectrum Amiga

Oh God! I've just been transported back to the late '70 bad clothes... glam rock music and... Breakout! Breakout by Atari, the essential bat and ball game. It came along in the early days of video games and took the world (and my pocket) by storm. Along with Super Breakout, these games became legend. Years later, Taito dusted down the old format, added some new bangs and whistles and created Arkanoid which became popular with its easy gameplay and nice visuals. This game marked the return of Arkanoid, in fact the Revenge of Doh, the main baddie from the first game. Tweaking the gameplay slightly and adding some new features, Does Taito have another smash on their hands?
Beware of blocks without a shade:
they move back and forth!

That figure looks somewhat
familiar, doesn't it?
The game is displayed again with the player sitting firmly at the bottom of the screen only moving left and right with the oposing bricks sitting in various settings at the top of the screen. The player must ensure that the ball does not pass him when played in the field as this deletes a life. The bat (or in the game, your VAUS spacecraft) can bounce the ball back across the screen and must dispose of all the bricks using refection. The player is also aided by powerups given by various selected random bricks. Expanded bat, sticky bat, laser beams (this time more frequent than the first game), multiball bonuses and even a neat power ball that smashes through all the bricks it passes in one go.
The 32 levels are varied in brick design. There are different kinds of bricks you see, from normal  ones, multi hit and even indestructable ones to cause the player pain.
Also on each screen are the enermy sprites that enter through sliding doors at the top of the screen. Rather than being part of the screen quota of killings, these guys just add more difficulty to the game as they do not kill the player but get in the way of the ball. If the ball hits one, it reacts as if hitting a brick and sends it back down to the player. These get more frenzy when the lower down on the screen these beasties become as trying to get the ball past them without hitting them becomes a game within itself.

Quality and varying backgrounds
are pleasantly looking.

Clean graphics though confusing
colours for Spectrumeers...
Many lives can be lost this way. More frustratingly, the ball can increase speed if the bricks are not cleared fast enough making levels that include enemies and indestructable bricks and a fast gaining ball frentic fun.
The C64 version is a one load affair making the game more like the arcade game rather than waiting around for code to load. The graphics are more sluggish than the original Arkanoid game released years before but indeed are very nicely done, colourful and bright. The sound this time around was not produced by Martin Galway maker of some the Commodore's better sound moments including Rambo and Wizball but by Jonathan Dunn who created some nice pieces in Platoon and Total Recall.
After the pretty amazing job of Arkanoid, the game falls into Imagine's hands again and this version is a real gem. Its got everything that makes a game playable in the first place but with some coding magic on the Commodore, it makes the game that bit more enjoyable. The game is much harder this time around which makes it more lasting. The graphics and sound are up to par and nice enough (but this time around lack the finish of the first game). I also enjoyed the Galway style openings to the game. If you like your games nice and simple and are a fan of Arkanoid and Breakout then indeed seek out this one, it makes the nights fly by.
The game was programmed by Ocean/Imagine in-house programmer, Allan Shortt who also created the C64 versions of other arcade games including the brillaint Combat School and Athena. With this team is the arcade conversion of Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh up to scratch?
I think Imagine did a really great job with this porting. I personally expected something more from it (especially from the 128K version) but the result is really good either ways: the 128K version features great sound effects indeed (which the 48K version hasn't) but I think much more could be added... the two versions have no other differences than that! Gameplay is more than average (a little bit slow sometimes), and graphics is wonderful! I mention a strange pod marked "SC" which makes background scroll and has no effect on gameplay... stange though cool, isn't it?
Wonderful introductory screen and animations: it really looks like being in front of the arcade... but it's not like that actually. Sounds are the weakest part of this conversion: it's too far from the original one, featuring short tunes and a few sound effects, all having average quality. That's a pity because graphics at least are almost identical to the arcade. Speaking of playability, well that's no good at all: even collision detection often fails its task - that's unacceptable to see the ball going down after hitting your Vaus! Disappointing.

Stage one: the arrow-painted
bricks show the available paths.
(Amiga version)

Simple title screen with usual
options. Very nice loading screen
and highscore table
Not so different from the arcade
game and previous C64 game. Lacks
polish though...
Some classic Arkanoid tunes in
there plus some great new pieces
Pick up and play. Very
easy to get lost into!
Will be enjoyed for a few months
of brick bashing at least
A good quality conversion
of a simple game

© 1989 Imagine
C64 Amstrad CPC X68000

Welcome to the botany class. Today we'll speak about kiwi, a juicy fuit with green peel containing a soft pulp... hmm... maybe something's going wrong... oh yes, I've just been informed by the director that this is Zzap!Test not botany, so the kiwi must be some sort of videogame's main character. But oh, how could a green fruit full of seeds be the star of a videogame and, the most important thing... what does Newzealand have to do with this all?
Of course people at Taito's didn't go crazy for the vitaminic properties of the wonderful fruit. In fact the kiwi we're about to talk is nothing but a tender bird, nidifying in the Newzealandese archipelago, who simply shares the same name as the fruit: nothing else than that!

Kiwi Tiki onboard of a duck... this
is real brotherhood among birds!
Tiki's gonna have some
whale-flavoured icicle today
So we have a kiwi called Tiki, a terrible walrus having such little bizarre name as Wally Walrus, and his tasty daily lunch: a batch composed of the whole family of the chicky hero (who luckily escaped from the kidnap). The story begins at the Auckland Zoo and it consists of a desperate seek for Tiki's brothers, cousins, friends and relatives, all imprisoned and scattered all around the archipelago (they remind much as Tweety in his cage).
Each island is composed of four smaller areas, each representing a game stage, being loaded one at once. The final area always ends with a challenge against bosses, each having their own shape and attack mode. What about a "matrioska" doll with laser gun? Or do you prefer a frozen whale spitting snow as if it was an ice volcano?
The kiwi is a quite similar bird to the quail: his tiny wings and remarkable weight don't allow him to fly... well, he's the perfect character for a platform videogame, where our heroes normally use to jump here and there without flying! By the way, Tiki can cross empty areas by applying to the oldest way in the world: steal a flying vehicle from an opponent, after unsaddling him.
Available vehicles vary quite a bit: you can take a montgolfier, a toy-duck, a flying saucer or balloon (can be both driven by the upper and bottom side) each having different features as handyful use and resistance to attacks. Our bird also has a pocket underwater mask and mouth-piece allowing him to swim in the abysses for a limited time.

CPC version is all but good-looking

The X68000 porting is the closest
possible to the arcade game!
Apart from jumping around happily, the chicky is a real wrangler, and this adventure is a great chance for him to practise with his bow, as his kiwi-grandfather taught him. So let's see him battling such cartoonish, typically New Zealandese opponents as koalas etc.
And what about the ability to change weapon in such a humorous platformer? Here comes the weaponry: huge laser guns, bombs and a wizard's rods spitting bouncing fireballs. We can also find other useful items such as clocks (stop time for a few seconds), joystick levers (increase the capability to fly), shoes (Tiki runs faster) and magic books (clear all on-screen enemies at once). Final words about the greatly useful letter items: by completing the EXTEND word we'll get an extra life... oh well, what a hard life for adventurer kiwis!
This is one of the videogames I liked most in its arcade version, especially because of so many touches of class making it a real milestone, but unfortunately absent in this though wonderful home conversion. The technical production is real good: high-res sprites, nice animations, the scrolling routines do work properly... but colours are soooo monotonous. I believe programmers and graphicians could do more than this in order to make the videogame a joy for the videogamer's eyes. By the way I think the game is worth it. What about music... they've been well-designed and sound much much like the ones from the original version - though SID sound processors are not as good as the YM-2203 series heh! Tunes hold the joyful and cartoonish atmosphere of the game. Gameplay is the best part of the game, and it doesn't even suffer from the pauses caused by the levels multi-load, which stop game action for just a few seconds. But well, I'd prefer having to wait a little more seconds if only the game could feature my beloved maps introducing the stage that's about to start.
Zaxxon1CPC 464
After a good-looking arcade-style loading screen, game begins and immediately shows the low quality of the conversion: flickering scrolling, poor playability due to the difficulty in maneuvering Tiki, and the impossibility in seeing forthcoming enemies and platforms over and under our hero. Sounds are not so bad though. The main features of the coin-op are (almost) all there, but I believe it's not a capable game of keeping players involved for more than a few minutes.
Here comes little Tiki, trying to rescue his fellows on the X68000! I have to say this conversion is VERY similar to the arcade game (except the insert coin thing). Graphics have this crisp, arcade style feeling, sounds are great (maybe FX lack a little) and gameplay just as much. Even though there are Sega Mega Drive and Amiga versions, this is the version I would recommend to play in this era of emulators: it's just plain perfect and you can even activate rendering effects (making the game look even better than the original arcade version).

Options screen is nothing special.
The lack of the loading screens
makes it quite average.
Great main character sprite and
varying background. Colours often
are a real mess.
Good sound effects accompanied
by happy-mood tunes. Boring after
a while...
A conversion of such famous coinop?
Let me put my hands on it!
Hard, funny... a little frustrating.
Will keep you involved for a long time!
No bad at all... and it squeezes every
single byte from your rusty C64!

© 1989 Ocean/Graftgold
C64 Spectrum Amiga Atari ST

Rainbow Islands is the return of Bub and Bob, or to give that game its full arcade title: Rainbow Islands - The Story of Bubble Bobble II. The game sees Bub and Bob now placed into human form instead of the designer dino-suits they wore before. The object completely turns Bubble Bobble on its head. The main aim is to have to escape by scambling up the various Islands using a given magic trick: upon pressing fire, a lovely but deadly rainbow spounts out maiming and killing everything in its path. This also aids crossing the platforms making hard to reach places easy to get to it with a few rainbow paths placed in front of the player. But wait, jumping apon them makes them crumble away falling and killing anything under it... Handy sometimes...
Our journey begins in Insects Island

The bomber helicopter boss is not
as hard as it should look like!
The seven large scrolling Islands are covered with many nasty villains that live at each varied place. Starting off with Insects Island with ugh! bees, Combat Island with the cutest tanks with eyes ever, Monster Island so beware of the little werewolfs, Toy Island... deadly water pistols and so on. One of the nicest features is Doh's Island with a large nod to the Taito arcade game Arkanoid. You get the idea. As said before each monster can be killed by a few rainbow shots but a miss timed shot can sometime enable the monster to get trapping within the rainbow and obviously he gets angry (ala last one left in Bubble Bobble screens), so if he gets free he will be after your blood.
There is also a very stern time limit within the game, that floods the screen slowly with water if you are not fast enough. So as you make your way up the top (gaining more points for various goodies and collecting those important power ups such as multi-shots, speed and some important diamond collecting, more of which later) you finally reach the surface and are awarded with a big spray of lovely goodies that must be collected quickly. After the fourth level of each world, the battle really begins with a big boss bash. Large and deadly. So with those powerups you collected on the way up (you did collect those, didn't you?) these should be easy pickings (yeah, right!) the bosses must be hit a number of times shown at the top of the screen. Kill it and it's on to the next world.

Vampire bats trying to have a
drink from our hero?
Rainbows invade our good old
Spectrum... and it's no bad at all!
Each game is played along with a tuneful melody, yes its "Somewhere over the Rainbow". The diamonds make the games final result a bit more intresting: collect these in a special order and new Islands appear. Also available to the player is various new endings such as even turning back into a Bubble dragon and a sad ending.
On the C64 version, the levels are loaded in off tape (or disk) one by one but short loading times make the action seems to never stop. The front end of the game follows the arcade game closely, even down to a very close copy of the Taito character set which adores each arcade game.
The arcade game sprouted more sequels included the third "official" home sequel, Parasol Stars and the mighty Puzzle Bobble range (Using Bub and Bob back in dino form).
After Software Creations conversion of the great Bubble Bobble, you just cannot fault the C64 version of RI. Using every little trick in the C64 book and then some, Rainbow Islands is a masterpiece in coding. The graphics are spot on arcade wise right down to the cute main sprite and character set. I'm terrible at the game though, so I couldn't get very far but loved every time I played it. If you want some stunning gameplay wrapped up within the nicest arcade ports ever, then your halfway there describing RI on the C64. Just a shame there was no version of Parasol Stars to follow this up.
Good job indeed! I don't usually trust much in Spectrum versions of classic coinops, but this time I have to admit it's no bad at all... Graphics is quite what we use to see coming out from the "black phantom" - though working perfectly and having lots of details. Music is quite boring actually since it's just a small part of the entire tune... The game itself offers hours of fun, if you have the patience to wait all those loading sequences from tape... I recommend it to all platform lovers.
This videogame is incredible! It looks like playing the actual arcade version, not the Amiga or ST (those are really identical, no noticeable differences): presentation and graphics are as beautiful as the original game, you even have to insert coins via keyboard! As for sound, the original soundtrack is here replicated wonderfully, and sounds exactly as the coinop tune. As for playability, it's nto affected by level loading since an intelligent system is featured, reducing loading time a lot. Well done Graftgold: you again did a wonderful job!

16-bit versions are almost identical
to the coinop (Atari ST screenshot)

Near faultless even down to
inserting credits for a game. Good
handling of the multiload.
Cute and very colourful but
not crisp at times with slighty
blocky main sprites.
A lively rendition of "Somewhere
over the Rainbow". Some good
sound effects usage.
Arcade overtones make it very
playable upon starting...
...and it keeps you there for
a long time!
Possibly the best arcade conversion
we could wish for and a great game
to boot.

© 1990 Domark
C64 Spectrum Amiga Atari ST

Thud! Thud! Thud!
Those chilling sound effect that came with the original arcade classic, Space Invaders as they moved slowly across the screen send chills across any child that played it in the 70's. It was a total phenomenon and even mad Japan have a yen shortage for those addicted to the game.
Classic games came and went, but we always remember the first time we play Space Invaders. It took a while for some kind of game to rekindly the magic of blowing up simple designed ships but that's what Taito did in 1990 with "Super" Space Invaders. This update makes use of the new processing power with such nice things as new backdrops and soundtracks.

Battling aliens under a
blood red sky...
Our beloved Earth seen from
thousands miles of distance
The Commodore version was converted from the arcade game lock,stock and barrel.
The player has again to save the world from unfriendly alien scum as he did back in the 70s. The screen displays the same as it did in the original. The player can move his base left to right at the bottom of the screen using his fire button to dispatch a missile. The aliens are in rows that start at the top of the screen and slowly march downwards. When the Invaders reach each side of the screen, they lower a row downwards. If the Invaders reach the bottom of the screen and touch earth, it's not game over as in the original game but you lose one of your three lives. The game also introduces to the new rules shields instead of instant death hits so simple mistakes are not so deadly.
The base can fire only one missile at a time to defend Earth so it better hit true. Earth's boundries are protected by three bunkers that can take direct hits but only so many. These can also help the player but firing them up into a path of marching invaders killing them on impact.
Another updated feature is the powerups that feature in just about every update of an old game. Super Space Invaders makes no difference to this rule. Some great addons can be collected by the passing motherships that when shot, drop such goodies as Fire Flower and the Buster Laser, handy for multiple dispatches.

Amiga version is quite similar to
the coinop, both for graphics and

Spectrum colours remind of the
classic coinop version
The first waves are very like the original Space Invaders in gameplay but as the game advances varied invaders appear such as ones that split into two when shot or expand. The game does'nt limit itself to the original sprites too as major bosses appear to defeat earth this time.
Possibly the best new feature of the game is the Cattle Mutilation bonus waves where the player must stop the Invaders stealing our cows from fields.
The Commodore version uses multiload to load in the various sets of waves, these are long but the gameplay between each load is well enough time to distract the gameplay.
Although Space Invaders is soooo long in the tooth now, it still a great game to play. I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to this Super version on the C64 (have you ever played a good Space Invaders game on the Commodore?) but Domark have made a commendable effort in making it a great arcade conversion. It's still the same game I used to play all those years ago in the 70's but the new addons and new playable sections make it more addictive. The graphics are something else, with loads of fantastic retro screens and new sprites mixed together. The Sound is another commendable effort and uses some good effects on the old Sid chip. It's a simple shoot'em up mix of fun and frolics and one game that deserves to have the name Space Invaders stamped on it. Great stuff!
Intro is the best part of the whole, graphics is not so bad, sound... where is it? Well we're quite used to see such poor video and audio quality in many Spectrum games, so this is not a problem... the ACTUAL problem is that if playability was as "good" as intro, graphics and sound, SSI would be a good game - but it isn't! It's slow, darn slow: both your cannon and aliens are slow, except that mothership, which you'll hardly see because of its insane speed! It's no fun at all, so I suggest you to have fun with other games. Even though I never played it, I believe the "classic" version of ZX Invaders is much better than this one...
Oh my God! An entire floppy totally dedicated to intro! Beautiful and funny animated screens and then, after long time, the actual game starts. Clean and quite refined graphics, great sounds... but where's gameplay? It has very little similarities to the original game, and action is so slow! Player is not involved at all: a true disappointment. Amiga and Atari ST versions are really the same, so no chance to find something better among the two...

Good arcade style attract
modes, slow loading levels but
these do not effect much due to
good loading structure.
Great backgrounds with nice
sprites but missiles sometimes
get lost in all the fuss.
Thud type token Space Invaders
fx but a fantastic loading tune.
It's Space Invaders with bangs and
whistles so it's very addicitive.
The simple gameplay overtones
will bore some players.
A fun and challenging version
of an all-time classic.