Hyperspace Invaders II: Pixel Edition Review - My Eyes! It Burns!!!

Hyperspace Invaders II: Pixel Edition Review - My Eyes! It Burns!!!

Hyperspace Invaders II: Pixel Edition

DO NOT STARE AT THIS GIF TOO LONG!

DO NOT STARE AT THIS GIF TOO LONG!

Quick Glance:

Platform: PC
Players: 1
Achievements: Yes
Steam Trading Cards: No
Controller Support: Yes, Partial
Retail Price: $4.99

High Level Premise: A 1980’s inspired vertical scrolling bullet hell shooter synchronized to  hardcore techno music. 

Graphics/Style: Seizure-inducing. 

Music/Soundtrack: Various forms of techno. Some more ambient (aka the levels I can beat) some are much faster (aka the levels that give me panic attacks, migraines, and nightmares)

Story: Don’t die before the song ends.

Replay-ability: My desire to replay levels is directly related to how much I’m enjoying the song.
 
Time Commitment: Most levels clock in under 10 minutes.

Value: If you are a fan of super fast rave music, the $5 is worth it for the soundtrack alone.   

Favorite Element: I haven’t had a seizure while playing yet. 

WARNING - SHIELD YOUR EYES!

WARNING - SHIELD YOUR EYES!

Hyperspace Invaders II: Pixel Edition is quite simply the most visually assaultive game I have ever played. If you are sensitive at all to flashing lights, you should never ever play this game. It’s a non-stop, intense, glowing pixel pummeling. The fact that the game doesn’t come with a seizure warning is inexcusable. 

Once you set the graphics aside, Hyperspace Invaders II: Pixel Edition (HIIIPE) is a fairly basic vertical scrolling shooter in the bullet-hell genre. Controls in the game couldn’t be simpler. You don’t even have to worry about shooting, the ship auto-fires for you. All you really have to do is avoid almost everything flying at you. Your ship does eat the souls of the killed enemies which boost your main weapon, and you can pick up short-term weapons power ups along the way as well. Picking up those power ups is almost more luck than skill. You’re trying to avoid so much on screen, that at times you can’t even tell what’s good and what’s bad for you.

If things get a little too cozy, you can hold down a fire button, which raises a shield and fires a concentrated laser beam. This beam can even stop enemy bullets. This comes at a cost of your energy reserves, which increase by killing enemies under normal conditions.

I can taste the rainbow!

An extremely important element to HIIIPE is the music. The levels are not randomly generated at all. They are carefully choreographed to thumping techno songs. Each level (with one exception) lasts as long as a single song. Unfortunately for the game, many of the songs clock in at 6-9 minutes, which is far too long when combined with the visual onslaught. A couple of the songs toy with industrial grinding sounds, which comes along with full screen bright static snow which is just downright painful to look at. I’m looking at you, Level 7. This one is so intense, it literally gave me an anxiety attack. 

Oddly enough, there is one level, Level 10, which switches up this entire format. Level 10 is a 100 wave original Space Invaders inspired level. The music here is pretty chilled out, the enemies don’t fly at you at light speed, and you actually have to fire at the enemies! Unfortunately, you have to get through all 100 waves to complete the level…I lost interest after 15 waves. It does slowly get more challenging, but this is like throwing in a Shakespearean soliloquy in the middle of Crank 2…it’s a total momentum killer.

I may have finally found the game that makes me sit back and say “you’re just too old for this one.” I like the concept, I do like the pixel graphics, and I even like a few of the music tracks. The music is all on your hard drive in .ogg format, should you want to listen to it outside of the game. But the speed of the game, combined with the graphical over-stimulation is just too much for me to handle. There are people out there that are going to love the heck out of this one, I’m just not one of them. I am going to keep a few of the songs around to listen to when I’m out mall walking, though.

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