Titan Attacks! the 3DS
I was able to review Titan Attacks! originally as a PS3/Vita/PS4 cross-buy item. Now, the Space-Invaders tribute has slid over to the 3DS. The core of the game remains the same, and I wholeheartedly still agree with my original review: this is a game worth buying, and it makes good use of it's portable nature. Taking the classic idea behind Space Invaders, adding a risk/reward mechanic where you can upgrade or repair your ship with your funds, either becoming safer or more powerful depending on your skill. The retro aesthetic continues with the supersmooth 8-bit stylings and the CRT tube roll going through the graphics. Overall, it's a fun game, but I had a few disappointments when first opening it on the 3DS.
I'm one to utilize the 3DS' 3D effect, and this game completely forgoes any chance of utilizing it. I wiggled that slider back and forth to no effect. I know retro games don't have 3D, but one that has updated just about everything else about it's classic medium surprises me in the fact that it didn't utilize this option. Also, if you know the nature of these games, they tend towards the vertical shooters: the classic arcade cabinets that actually had their television turned on end so they maximized the top-scrolling game space. On the television for PS3/4, there was an active section of the screen that made for a more compact arena than utilizing a whole widescreen. Given that there was no 3D, I thought maybe this could be a game that could take advantage of the top/bottom screen setup and zoom in on the action more by stretching the gameplay across two screens, but that isn't an option either. This puts the screen in a box on the top, which makes for a tiny play area even on my 3DS XL. It also had consistent errors in trying to hook up online for the leaderboards, but that could simply be due to the fact that I was able to play a pre-release review copy, and the leaderboards simply weren't active yet.
This is not to say that the game is without merit: I'm merely nitpicking some of the things I would have liked to see. The game still runs smoothly, and if anything, I feel it might be a little easier having the picture right there in your hands versus up on the television. I like the inclusion of using the R button as an option to fire, it feels a lot more like a trigger to blast away at the invading forces. Whether by difficulty curve adjustment or simply that I've played the game more now, I have an easier time getting further. Halfway through the game, the enemies really start mimicking classic Space Invader patterns, which becomes a lot of fun if you find yourself with enough firepower to take them out.
The tiny screen made for some frustrating injuries: there are a few mini-shots that start coming down in later levels that blur into the action a bit too easy on this screen, making you really have to pay attention to keep up with the twitch gameplay. But if you came here for what the game was designed to do, you're bound to be up for the challenge anyway.
Despite the flaws I'm finding in the 3DS edition, I still say I can recommend this title. It's made for quick blast gameplay, and cheap shots make you feel like the old days without having to pump another quarter into the slot. If you only plan on playing the game stationary, I'd recommend picking it up on a home console and running it on your big screen for full effect, but if the 3DS is your only way to go, you still can't go wrong.
Titan Attacks is available for $9.99 on the 3DS eShop. A copy was provided to the site for review by Curve Studios.
Final rating: 3.75/5