These Titans are out to invade your space!
Titan Attacks is another gem from Curve Studios that shows classic game play can still thrive in today's modern world. As the internet clamors for kill streaks and massive online battles, Curve continues to put out games that fit with classics you know and love, while maintaining a modern charm.
At first glance, Titan Attacks seems rather simple. Those of you following know that it's only half of the Titan pack originally promised, with the other half coming at a later date, but Titan Attacks definitely holds it's ground as a solid title. Graphically, it reminds me of another recent Curve production: Lone Survivor: Director's Cut. The retro/pixel graphic layout makes you feel as if you are playing a classic game that got a severe injection of beautiful color schemes. My absolute favorite part of the game is the faint scrolling line image that runs through the whole thing, making it feel as if I was on an old tube TV. Titan is played in a smaller field, too, making me want to find an option to rotate the graphics and shift my TV for the classic taller arcade screen setup. Titan Attacks definitely evokes the old arcade groove, without the need to keep pumping quarters in.
Instead of pumping physical quarters in, Titan Attacks finds you working to earn in-game currency, which you can spend on screen-clearing bombs, more armor for your ship, or a stronger arsenal. At first, I was disappointed, as I was unaware of how this upgrade system works. You start out with a simple little ship that can only fire a weak missile at a rate to where only one can be on the screen at a time. After a few upgrades, you can be a swift double-barreled bringer of death.
Titan Attacks has a terribly addictive risk-versus-reward system in place. The bigger rewards come with higher prices. You want the better upgrade, you'd better deal with the arsenal you have for a while in order to beef up your bank account. This can be done via 'sploding the enemy ships, avoiding damage yourself (which leads to multipliers) or capturing escaping aliens. That's the clincher in risk-versus-reward: you can blast the alien while it's falling from the sky for a neutral solution, or you can avoid falling debris and gunfire in an attempt to catch him for a large cash bonus. Let him hit the ground, though, and the same amount of cash is deducted from your hoard, and therefore stunts your growth in the game. This affects the modern twist added to this classic genre: the leaderboard. Leaderboards are available through the whole game and give you further impetus to keep fighting to achieve the best score imaginable.
Enemy types are predictable, which is good in a game like this. You get a few seconds to see the incoming horde, and then you have to follow the attack patterns, dodging and blasting away like a 2014 Galaga. The only negative I can see with the game is as you develop, you become more powerful, and if you are highly skilled at games like this, you could find yourself overpowering the stages. A few commenters around the internet state that once you finish the final level, you are returned to the first level with all your power-ups intact, which means you can make quick work of most any level and only get more powerful as you progress again.
Titan Attacks released on May 6th for $11.99, and is a PS4/PS3/Vita Crossbuy. Personally, I got to play it on PS3, but I can see it being a big sale for a Vita owner, as the game lends itself well to short burst and challenge play. There is no story to worry about, short of level progression as you fight your way back from Earth to the Titan home world. If you've been missing the classic game play of the 80's and 90's, this title will easily fill that void.