Space Raiders, known as Space Invaders: Invasion Day in Europe, is a 2002 update to the original 1978 Space Invaders arcade game from its creators. Re-imagined for the sixth generation home consoles, Space Raiders takes the surface-to-air shooting action of the original title and puts it into a third-person urban street setting on the GameCube and PlayStation 2 (the latter only in Japan and Europe). This update features detailed opening cinematics of the alien invasion, story and survival modes, boss battles and three playable characters, each with their own backstory.
The game was not well received by fans or newcomers to the series, and received heavy criticism for its bizarre update to the original.
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.
Space Raiders received generally negative reviews, earning a score of 40 out of 100 from Metacritic. Criticisms included poor graphics, repetitive gameplay and unfaithfulness to the source material. ScrewAttack named it the worst remake or reboot in video gaming because of its radical, unsuccessful departure from the original Space Invaders franchise.
- The game's name was changed to Space Invaders: Invasion Day in Europe to prevent confusion with a popular British brand of crisps (potato chips) named Space Raiders.
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