I was really into my DS back around the time that Space Invaders Extreme dropped. Like, I'd take my DS with me wherever I went Into It. And y'know what else I was really into back then? Shmups! And arcade games in general. But that was a decade ago, and I've noticed my focus has changed a lot since then. While I still certainly have an appreciation for those arcade games I used to love, I just don't seem to have the same patience for them lately.
In the past year I've found myself revisiting old favorites or various other old arcade classics and I'm just finding myself as sucked in as I once was. It seems weird to say that I don't feel like I have time for these kinds of games. But I don't know. While some gamers seem to appreciate the fast pick-up-and play nature of games like this, the truth is that I find there's too much 'practice' involved with getting any good them.
Then again maybe this is all in my own head. Some games that I've spend many hours on the past year include Overwatch, Paladins and Arena Of Valor - all games that require a lot of practice (and repetition) to get the hang of. So maybe it's just that I feel like I've played a lot of these sort of arcade style games so much in the past that they just don't exactly excite me as much anymore. I don't know.
I've also found myself more drawn to slower more deliberate kinds of games these days. Games like Civilization VI and Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures are fairly high on my wantlist right now. I've also been in the mood for digital card games and turn based RPG's. Heck, I just played through a Pokemon game last week and enjoyed every moment. So maybe that's the bigger thing. Maybe I'm using gaming as a way to really unwind and chill right now, so arcade games just aren't jiving with that.
Whatever it is... I feel like I connected with Space Invaders Extreme way more a decade ago. Part of it might be that in 2008 the whole "modern retro" thing was really kind of novel. I remember when Mega Man 9 was announced that kind of thing seemed so mind-blowing at the time. Of course ten years later we've been through the biggie indie game boom (see Indie Game: The Movie) and nostalgia has been at an all time high. Even some of my favorite games this year were very obvious retro throwbacks - things like Dead Cells and Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon. So there's a possibility that a newer game just looking or feeling "retro" doesn't instantly make it cooler to me anymore. Or maybe I'm just rambling some nonsense again. I mean really, part of Octopath Traveler's appeal totally was THE WAY IT LOOKED.
I'm not even sure why I'm doing so much thinking on this one. WHY do I need an answer on this? In 2008, Space Invaders Extreme was totally awesome. I loved the way a game that looked old could feel so new. And now something about this game just feels... I don't know. Shallow? Rounds last a few seconds. There are a few power-ups, but they don't last long. The bonus rounds don't really do anything for me, so I'm often just skipping them. The boss battles are admittedly the most interesting part of the game for me. They're sort of like little puzzles to solve, except the puzzles aren't very challenging. But I do enjoy these. Truth be told, I'd probably enjoy Space Invaders: Extreme far more as a boss rush nowadays. Hmm. Maybe there's a boss-rush mode. Probably. I haven't really poked around the menu much.
But I guess I'm just trying to figure out my own growth (HA!) as a gamer. I can totally see that my tastes have changed from decade to decade and it's interesting to me - but also sometimes kind of weird. It's weird when things I thought were awesome and fun now just don't really comfort me anymore. Maybe it's just a phase. Or maybe it is what it is. As we grow as people so do our tastes, yeah? Space Invaders: Extreme is cool. I suggest shmup fans play it. But I'm not really in the mood for it anymore myself.