Titan Attacks! is an arcade shooter, reminiscent of Space Invaders. You are the last tank commander, and you’re the only one who can push back the invading alien fleet.
Developed by the British studio Puppy Games, Titan Attacks! was originally released on the PC in February 2012, and now, thanks to Curve Digital, the arcade shooter is now gracing the PlayStation family of consoles.
I missed this game when it made the rounds on the PC, and honestly, I don’t normally go for arcade style games, but I thought I would give Titan Attacks! a go, after all, a few of my friends have shown some interest in it, so what did I have to lose? I decided to give it a go on my PS Vita, seeing as it’s been getting quite a lot of use lately, and the first thing I noticed was that it was a relatively small download size, not much less than 200mb if memory serves me rightly. That made me a little weary, I won’t lie, I’m a bit of a graphics hog, and I like my games to look pretty. Despite the small file size, I was pleasantly surprised. The best things in life really do come in small packages.
From the moment I first booted the game, I was in love. The colours of the game are incredibly vibrant, from the background of the levels to the glowing laser beams that would put the Rebel Alliance to shame. It’s like a banquet for your eyeballs! What I also liked was that the crafts were all obviously designed in the same manner, to show that they’re all from the same alien race, yet, they were all uniquely different, with their own set of abilities and movements. One, for example, may hover for a while and then dive bomb your tank, while another may bounce wildly around the screen firing projectiles at you.
Titan Attacks! is very reminiscent of Space Invaders, especially the early levels where the ships increase speed and change direction – For some reason, Futurama would always pop into my head while watching this happen – but as you progress, it is clear that Space Invaders was merely an inspiration and not the base design.
As you progress through the waves, you earn credits from destroying the enemy spacecraft, or by intercepting aliens who think it’s a good idea to abandon their flaming vehicle, which can be exchanged for tank upgrades, or more shields, which act as your health, if your shields are fully depleted, its game over! You are also able to upgrade the power of your weaponry, as well as how many bullets your tank fires at once, or you can even add on a missile launcher and a laser cannon!
The game spans an initial 5 worlds, Earth, The Moon, Mars, Saturn and the alien home world of Titan, each with their own colour scheme, and varying levels of difficulty and each sports an “Alien Mothership” at the end, which you must vanquish before being permitted to the next stage. I must admit, I found the first four stages challenging, but not overly so, but Titan was a different matter, strategy went out of the window, and I had to resort to using smart bombs for a majority of the levels!
You may think that this is a relatively short run, and yes, it is quite a short game to complete from beginning to end, but when I had destroyed the boss of the Titan level, I was presented with the opportunity to start over, but with my existing tank upgrades – Now that was fun, if not a little overkill. The only downside I could think of was that there are only 13 trophies to collect, all of which I was able to unlock with a few hours of gameplay.
I liked the retro feel of the graphics, with the pixel designs, as well as the upbeat soundtrack, with the added 8 bit flare to it. And I am pretty sure the sound effect for when you collect a power-up is the teleport sound from Megaman!
Overall, Titan Attacks! is a great game to while away a few hours, I know I did, or to just pick up and play as and when. The retro feel of it will be a welcome sight to some of the older gamers out there, but the vibrancy of the level design will no doubt entice the newer generation of gamers. The game is a cross-buy, which means if you buy it for one of your PS consoles, it will be available on all three of them which makes it an excellent value for money.
If you haven’t played it already, I urge you to, it really is worth it. Titan Attacks! is out May 6th, 2014 on the PlayStation store.