Space Invaders landing on PSP

Marvelous Interactive is updating the coin-op classic with a musical twist and three bonus modes.

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, Marvelous Interactive is developing a remake of Taito's classic shooting game Space Invaders for the PSP. The company announced it is developing Space Invaders: Galaxy Beat, which is slated for release in Japan on September 22 at a price of 5,040 yen ($45).

Marvelous Interactive didn't just slap a fresh coat of paint on the old arcade classic. Galaxy Beat plays almost like a new game when compared to the original 1978 release. The biggest change is that Galaxy Beat features 3D graphics, and it plays in a first-person view. The Invaders have been updated with a more realistic spacecraft design, losing their familiar 8-bit alien looks.

It's not just about snazzier graphics, there are also a few changes to the gameplay. While the original Space Invaders only allowed a single beam to be shot, Galaxy Beat lets the player blast rapid-fire lasers by holding down the fire button. This mechanic is also where the game gets its new suffix of "Galaxy Beat"; the game features some musical elements to it, and the player's rapid shots come out in a rhythmic pattern that follows the beat of the background music. In addition, the player can also press the triangle button to the beat of the music to execute a powerful attack that destroys multiple enemies. The player can also wipe out all enemies onscreen by holding on the triangle button until the fourth beat and then letting go.

But beyond all the graphical and system advancements, Galaxy Beat game still seems to play as a relatively simple shooter that inherits characteristics of the original Space Invaders. The enemies are still aligned in rows, there doesn't seem be any power-ups, and the game still features barriers for hiding from enemy shots.

Aside from the main game, Galaxy Beat features three other modes. Wireless mode lets up to four players fight for a high score via Wi-Fi. Classic mode lets the player enjoy Taito's very original Space Invaders in its black-and-white graphics. And finally, the inventive matchup mode lets the player fight against another player on one PSP handheld by turning the screen 90 degrees; each player will be holding one end of the handheld. The mode features the classic Space Invaders (but in color), and when the player shoots the Invaders on their side of the screen, they appear on the opponent's side.

According to Famitsu, devlopment of Space Invaders: Galaxy Beat is currently 85 percent complete.

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