Monday, 17 October 2011

My First Video Game: Space Invaders Review

Space Invaders, this was the first video game I ever played and a good one at that. I played this back on my Uncle’s old Atari 2600  back in 1995, the game however was already popular and was released in Japan 1987 on arcades made by the Taito Corporation. These was released on many different platforms and there are still remakes of Space Invaders to this day. This game has had a huge cultural, technical and creative impact on games today and it showed that games are not novelty and that there is real money to be made in the games industry. Take the famous games designer Shigeru Miyamoto, he has been influenced by this game since he saw it as a revolutionary step for video games and he hasn't been interested in the games market until he saw Space invaders appear.

The basic premise of the game is that you have to shoot enemy ships that slowly creep down the screen in two dimensions and you can move between 4 blocks which will protect you from incoming fire. Once you win a round the music and game speeds up, the game was simple but because it was so basic it worked well and the mechanics where solid. The game also had a high score system integrated into the game itself which was common place back then and it gives a level of competition and replay value. This fixed shooting game was perfect for its time with the introduction of the analogue stick for better control. It did have some disadvantages however, you cannot play with multiple people at once which could be well suited for a game like this.

When I first laid my eyes on the screen and my uncle passed me the controller I was amazed how I could move the object on the screen. This was a new sensation altogether which was much different than just watching TV. Being able to interact with object was fascinating to me at the time. I was a kid age 4 so my imagination played a big factor in enjoying this game so much. I imagined the ships where alien monsters and ships was a fully functioning space craft. That's how I got most of my fun out of this game as a child. When you play a game like this today it looks quite simple and primitive, but back then you could use your imagination like I did, rather than having every detail handed to you like today.

Overall this game has left a mark on the market and it has made a mark on me as well as my first video game. This gave me the passion for playing games and looking for new and unique experiences of interaction. The game has used it’s simple mechanics to appeal to large audiences at the time and it showed what video games were all about.

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