Scrolling Through Space –
SNK continues to support the PSN by releasing classic arcade games as PS Minis. The Next Space is a vertical shooter that is faster paced that other recently released classic SNK titles but won’t blow anyone away thanks to repetition and an unexplained power-up system.
The outer space theme is reminiscent of other classic titles like Galaga or Galaxian as spaceships, alien spacecraft, and space explosions complete the presentation. But The Next Space continually scrolls upward as opposed to being tasked with taking out all enemies on one static screen.
Positively, the speed of the gameplay is fast and there are always multiple enemies on screen at one time. Dying will be frequent but at least the player continues immediately at the point of impact. Unfortunately, the background continuously loops and enemies repeat throughout the entire quest which will quickly leave a stale taste in anyone’s mouth.
The most confusing aspect of The Next Space comes in the form of the available power-ups. Represented by a single letter, power-ups have no particular rhyme or reason; I couldn’t really tell the difference between collecting a letter A power-up versus pick up a letter E power-up, for example. Hitting the select button brings up the game’s menu options but the complete lack of a power-up listing is baffling. But given that each life will rarely last more than 30 seconds, collecting and using power-ups won’t be that noticeable anyway. Even accessing the power-up is strange because each blast from your cannon changes the letter on these collectables. This allows skilled and careful players to cherry pick the best enhancements once the trial-and-error time period of figuring out what each item actually does is completed.
The Next Space is not the best game but it is certainly not the worst. Like all other SNK classic titles released as a PS Mini, this downloadable is playable on both PS3 and on PSP.
Faster Paced Than: Chopper I
Just As Repetitive As: clicking a pen over and over
Wait For It: Upcoming NeoGeo game machine
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