The Critics Said
The gap in the scores between the two versions is roughly equal to the distance between Earth and the Marcab Confederacy
has an Metacritic average score of 85 / 100
, whereas Revolution
falls around a 49
. Generally, most critics found that Revolution
was a cheap attempt to cash in on an old franchise (your shovelware-ometer should be buzzing!) while Extreme
was praised for its new gameplay additions and presentation.
For the record, we'll be referring to Revolution
- Played Space Invaders before? Then there's no reason to play this version. Seriously. The "New Age" mode is not much more than taking the old Space Invaders, switching around a few alien colors, and slapping a JPEG of a historic location in the black background. Oh, and there's an amazing map selection screen. And by amazing, I mean completely useless. End of story.
Hmm ... well, I guess it's nice that some younger gamers will have the chance to experience a pillar of gaming. Yet in its current presentation, it might make them dismiss it as crap. After all, kids are smart nowadays. Perhaps they'll be intrigued by the introduction in which you're immediately prompted to shoot at a UFO. That's kind of funny. Well, it's different anyway. Finally, the emulation of the original is spot-on! Actually, it serves to show just how little has been improved in this "revolution."
Personally, I've never been huge into Space Invaders
. It's interesting, because I'm normally all about old-school games. I can absolutely appreciate the enormous significance its release had on this industry, and it will forever have my respect. Yet it just never quite did it for me. Perhaps I was spoiled on the faster-paced scrolling shooters of the NES, but I still love Pitfall!
despite my Super Mario Bros
indoctrination. So needless to say, Revolution
was incredibly boring to play through. It manages to be worse than the original game, even allowing the original to stand on its own today. Yet Extreme
is pure joy. It takes the solid foundation of the original and incorporates elements of modern shooters to keep things fresh. The game has been reborn as a Lumines
-esque techno experience. Music is channeled directly into the gameplay, as the sound effects and tempo are plugged directly into what's happening on the battlefield.
It's just the extra effort that makes Extreme
so notable and Revolution
so poor, especially in comparison. We've taken a look at a fair amount of shovelware games, and one of the few consistent traits to be found is that the games are lacking in effort. There's plenty of games that aren't enjoyable, either by my own preferences or by the majority of gamers, yet anyone can appreciate the effort spent on the title. Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck
comes to mind. It's not for everyone, and the critical reception was fairly mixed. Yet I don't think anyone could deny that the title is unique, fun, and much effort was expended in its creation. It's a pretty important life lesson that any balanced individual learns: you don't have to like everyone, but you should at least try to find an acceptable level of respect for one another. Whether or not you're into the Space Invaders
scene, Space Invaders Extreme
should earn your respect. Space Invaders Revolution
? Not so much.
In gaming, the term shovelware refers to any game in which time and effort were eschewed in favor of turning a quick profit. Bury the Shovelware takes a closer look at these titles, typically those that inhabit the lower end of metascores. It attempts to: 1) find out where and how the developer went wrong 2) identify common traits present in most shovelware 3) measure how long the game can be suffered.