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Space Raiders

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Space Raiders
Behold, the predecessor of a crappy reboot of a classic game.
Genre(s): Third-person shooter
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Release: PlayStation 2
JP: December 19, 2002
EU: September 5, 2003

Nintendo GameCube
JP: January 9, 2003
NA: April 19, 2004
Developer(s): Taito
Publisher(s): JP: Taito
EU: Sammy Corporation
NA: Mastiff
Country: Japan
Series: Space Invaders

Space Raiders (known as Space Invaders: Invasion Day in Europe) is a 2002 remake of a 1978 arcade game from its creators. It was developed and published by Taito in Japan, and Sammy Corporation in Europe for the PlayStation 2. The Nintendo GameCube version was released in 2003-2004 by Mastiff in North America, and Taito in Japan.


The playable characters include Justin (street teen), Ashley (fashion photographer) and Naji (police officer), and while they look different, all three play similarly. From a fixed height behind the character the player directs them to shoot at increasingly large waves of various aliens as they march down the street toward the character's position. Characters can move side-to-side as in the original arcade game, but also have limited movement both into and away from the screen.

Occasional power-ups become available giving the player temporary access to special weapons. Strategic use of power-ups is required as the variety of aliens and diversity of their attacks will not allow for the straight forward shooting of the original arcade game. The game contains six missions and can be completed in under two hours. A port of the original Space Invaders arcade game is included and unlocked by a cheat.

Why It Got Raided

  1. Unwelcome shift to a dark, gritty, urban-street setting.
  2. Bizzare storyline.
  3. Absolutely zero replayability value, for reasons that will be elaborated below.
  4. Though the three characters you can choose have slightly different weapons and plots, the levels you play are exactly the same.
  5. The gameplay is simply a rehash of the original Space Invaders, with only minor changes and none of the challenge that made the original addictive.
  6. False Advertising: Taito claimed this was the first true 3D sequel to Space Invaders, yet the gameplay is exactly the same as the original, except you're viewing it from a 3D environment, though you can still only move left or right.
  7. Everything that made Space Invaders enjoyable has been removed. While the aliens can still get to you, they no longer kill you when you're hit; they only do a small amount of damage. And if use you're dodge roll in their direction, it'll damage them and send them backwards.
  8. The story mode can be beaten in less than two hours.
  9. No need to worry about dying; you have unlimited continues, with the only penalty being your high score is reset. In challenging games such as Ikaruga, your score means something. Here, it doesn't.
  10. Ugly visuals.
  11. Poor sound effects.
  12. Music is barely noticeable.
  13. Atrocious voice acting, complete with ridiculously cheesy lines.
  14. Terrible ending. What's worse is all three characters share the same ending.
  15. Co-op mode is the same as single-player, with the only difference being you have someone to share the pain with.
  16. Bad first impression: When you boot up for the first time, the game says "Load failed" instead of "Save data not found", as if the game's save data was corrupted.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The pre-rendered cutscenes are quite well made for 2002 standards.


Space Raiders received negative reviews. On Metacritic, the game earned a score of 40 out of 100.

Criticisms included poor graphics, repetitive gameplay and infidelity to Space Invaders.

ScrewAttack called it the worst reboot or remake in gaming, due to its awful departure from the original Space Invaders franchise.


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