Week in Arcade: Space Invaders, Sonic, King of Fighters

A triple dose of Live Arcade titles, all of them $10.

KOF: Sky Stage

Easily the most bizarre title to feature the SNK King of Fighter characters released in the US, this is an overhead SHMUP, filled with characters from the fighting game series. The voice acting is hilariously awful, the gameplay is genuinely fine. The pacing is great, mechanics solid, and the visuals colorful. Plus, the music comes from a variety of KOF title, sweetening the fan service.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Taito has attempted to revive the classic Space Invaders a few times in the past couple of years, from Space Invaders Get Even on WiiWare to Space Invaders Extreme on a variety of consoles. Nothing compares to Infinity Gene. This is as wild and unpredictable as they come, changing the viewpoint, graphical style, and background patterns on the fly, all while the game breezes by at nearly incomprehensible speed. It’s awesome. It’s completely respectful of the source and crazy difficult. It’s a fine way to bring the series to modern audiences, even if it trounces the original style in 10-seconds.

Sonic Adventure

The first Dreamcast port available on XBLA, Sonic Adventure holds up as the best of the 3D Sonics, trailed closely by its numbered sequel. Unfortunately, while the vivid colors and polygon counts hold up beautifully, not much has been done to the title, keeping it in a 4×3 frame, and the additions to Sonic Adventure DX are locked behind DLC. Still, if your Dreamcast isn’t around anymore, this is the cheapest way to get access to this classic platformer.