They’re attacking but perhaps ‘invading’ would be more appropriate…
We love a good old fashioned shoot-em-up here at Wireless-Gaming and Titan Attacks! certainly can’t be accused of not being old fashioned. The oldest of fashions, maybe as the key inspiration here is Space Invaders, but with fancy new additions and a fancy upgrade system.
So who likes Space Invaders? Can you remember Space Invaders? In a nutshell, Space Invaders was slow, repetitive but ultimately skill based. Back when Space Invaders was released I have no doubt that it was heralded as the ultimate gaming experience, but the formula has been improved many time since and thankfully Titan Attacks! takes the formula and improves upon it once again.
The upgrade system is the single best feature in Titan Attacks! Killing enemies earns money and said money can be spent on upgrading your little tank. Unlike Space Invaders, there are no fortifications to hide behind so buying extra lives or shields as they’re known here will prolong your gaming experience. There’s also gun upgrades, even more guns and smart bombs to tickle your fancy all serving to enhance gameplay and move away from the one bullet every ten minutes ideals of Space Invaders. It’s a great mechanic and ensures that the player will feel that they are progressing through the game and being adequately rewarded.
The scoring system is another great feature and one that’s of critical importance in any shoot-em-up. Rewarding players with a points modification system for continuous killing enemies whilst punishing the gamer that loses a shield; those gamers that want to progress will need to kill everything but if they want the points as well they’ll need to have sharp reflexes to avoid a screen that’s full of alien lasers of doom. Avoiding return fire is made even more difficult with an upgraded tank as the sprite becomes much wider than its initial profile: it’s not a simple case of upgrading until you’re invincible.
There are some strange quirks and flaws within Titan Attacks! that can hamper the experience. One such problem is Collision detection. Any schmup fan knows that collision detection must be flawless in a game that relies on split-second decisions or timing and unfortunately Titan Attacks! is a little too punishing in this regard. Maybe it’s these old eyes, but it’s far too easy to take damage from a laser that has just gone past your tank but somehow has managed to hit you. There must be perhaps a pixel’s worth of allowance, but it’s simply not enough, especially considering that it will reset that 9x chain to zero and force you to work up once again. Couple this with occasional slow-down and Titan Attacks! can leave a score chaser gnashing their teeth in frustration. It’s criminal that a game like Titan Attacks! should suffer from frame-rate drops but invariably they happen at the worst, do or die moments. It’s far from game ruining, but it’ll certainly lead to anger and some choice words directed at Sony’s little handheld.
There’s far more right than wrong with Titan Attacks! and it’s a great experience for all those score chasers and shooter fans out there. Once finished the game will enter an infinite loop just like the games of yore that it draws inspiration from but this is a little too much for the modern gamer that wants cut scenes and plots resolved so it may be that Titan Attacks! is a little inaccessible when compared to the games that came before all those years ago. For those that are looking for a fun game that’s of a modern, retro-inspired persuasion, to dip in and out of or to while away the hours, Titan Attacks! is here for you.