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Taito

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Famitsu gives us our first look at the Raystorm HD trailer


Aug 31
// Topher Cantler
As expected, word of a Raystorm remake coming to XBLA and PSN has turned out to be very true, and Famitsu has come through with the first video of the game in motion. The trailer was shown at an STG event in Japan over the we...
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Leaked Famitsu Scan reveals Darius Burst for PSP


Aug 26
// Topher Cantler
Hooray for Taito. After screenshots surfaced hinting at an HD remake of Raystorm on XBLA, a recently leaked Famitsu scan tells us the company is set to revive another of its classic shooter franchises with Darius Burst for PS...

Review: Space Bust-A-Move

Aug 11 // Colette Bennett
  Space Bust-A-Move (Nintendo DS)Developer: TAITO CorporationPublisher: Square-EnixReleased: July 28th, 2009MSRP: $19.99One glance at the cover of Space Bust-A-Move and you can tell this is going to be a ferociously happy little game. After you fire it up, you'll see you have a handful of single player modes to choose from right off the bat: Story, Endless, Time Trial and Wireless play. First off though, I started with Story. I'm a big fan of puzzle/story hybrids, as evidenced by my consistent passion for Puzzle Quest, and I was hoping Space Bust-A-Move might deliver in the same way.The story itself really isn't anything to write home about. Basically, Bub and Bob are hanging out doing whatever it is wee dinos do when a young girl named Snown mysteriously appears and begs their help in finding items called Cosmo Bubbles, which will somehow help to vanquish the evil of a villain named Develin from the galaxy. In other words, an excuse to go on an adventure. It doesn't ever get more complex than that, but the character art is crisp and pretty, and that was good enough for me.  You can use either your stylus or the d-pad to control the level that allows you to shoot your bubbles upward. I far preferred the traditional controls, as the stylus felt a bit slower to me. The puzzles themselves are broken up into five level doses, each of these a separate "planet". You'll have three of these per planet to defeat. To get the Cosmo Bubble in each area, you'll need to break down the bubbles around it in order to get it to fall rather than matching it with like colors. This is an easy challenge at first, but it gets considerably harder as you progress. After you make your way through the three levels of each planet, you'll encounter a boss. This was by far my favorite part of any Bust-A-Move game I had ever played. The boss was displayed on the top screen, while you work on the bottom to maneuver around the pieces left on the board and whatever stuff he throws at you. I found this incredibly fun and challenging and found myself motivated to make it through the levels to get to each new boss.  Story level offers a decent amount of gameplay, and you can always replay it to improve your score, but what really impresses about the game is the amount of extra content you get, especially for the price. As you progress through story mode, you'll earn points which you can later spend at the Shop, which allows you to buy custom bubbles and arrows and extra modes like Pressure mode which require you to clear a level with just one bubble. Add all those unlockables along all the different single player modes, and this game will keep you busy for a while.Best of all, Space Bust-A-Move is easy to pick up and play, serving up its puzzle fun in bite-sized doses. You can easily play a planet in 3-4 minutes and close your DS. Between the price point and the replayability, I'd say this is a must own for fans of DS puzzlers. It certainly doesn't break the mold as far as Bust-A-Move games go, but it will be the type of game you can pick up over and over again, and there's no greater compliment I can pay when it comes to puzzle games.Score:  8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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Ah, Bust-A-Move. No matter how many incarnations of the little game seem to come about, I'm always interested in playing another one and losing myself in that mindless but addictive puzzle action. Naturally, as soon as I saw ...

Review: Space Invaders: Infinity Gene

Aug 04 // Topher Cantler
  Space Invaders: Infinity Gene (iPhone/iPod Touch) Developer: TaitoPrice: $4.99Released: July 28, 2009  Those of you who know me and have just seen the above video will understand that I was immediately interested when I first heard about Infinity Gene. I love space invaders, chiptunes, and shmups, so the three rolled into one already sounded like my cup of tea. I expected to like it. What i didn't expect was for it to be one of the most engaging videogame experiences i've had in years. Sitting down to play this game with a good pair of headphones is not recommended if you're on the subway, bus, or if you've got some responsibility to pay a lick of attention to the world around you. By the time you hit the third level or so, you're sucked in. You boot it up and next thing you know, 45 minutes have gone by and you've forgotten where you were. When it's time to stop playing, you almost have to wake up from it. It certianly looks and sounds like Space Invaders, with all the familiar enemy types and sound effects you've come to love and recognize over the past 30 years. Does it feel like Space Invaders? No, not really. But that's what the Extreme series is for, and you can take your pick from the DS, PSP or XBLA versions if that's what you want. Instead, Infinity Gene feels more like what you'd get if Crisis Force or Radiant Silvergun were available on the Atari 2600. The graphics are sharp, vector-like imagery, and are for the most part monochromatic. Just about everything is white, set against a blue "laser grid" background or a simple color gradient. The overall effect is beautiful in its simplicity, and if you have fond memories of anything from Tron, to Rez, to the Star Wars arcade game or in between, you're probably going to love the way it looks. The downside of this mostly single-color aesthetic is that it's sometimes hard to know at first what will kill you and what won't. There are some lines you can fly right through and others that will ruin your day, and it might take a little trial and error before you know for sure which parts of a given level are safe. I do love the look of the monochrome, but there were some areas where I felt a little unclear on where the danger was. Still, the graphics are a treat for the eyes, and visual design choices like fonts and hues fit the game perfectly. Everything on screen maintains the classic look of Space Invaders while invoking the more modern games it inspired, with very Treasure-esque text, boss warnings and menus. Newly unlocked stages branch out in a tree-like pattern, and which path you take next is entirely up to you. The early ones start out looking like the original classic, and later levels gradually become prettier and more frantic the further you get. Enemies get bigger and more numerous, bosses start poking their way into the mixture, and it's both fun and interesting to watch the game evolve from bare bones "pew pew pew" into a manic, full-fledged shmup, weapon upgrades and all. A popular question regarding the iPhone platform choice is, "doesn't your finger get in the way of the action?" No. No, it doesn't. Control works much like a mouse cursor and a laptop trackpad. You can place the ship into view and then control its movement from anywhere on the touch screen. It usually works out best to fling it about 1/3 of the way up the playing field and control it from the very bottom, but when things heat up you may want to keep it a bit closer to your finger so you can navigate the madness around you.The levels start out very short -- maybe too short -- but get considerably longer and more involved as you progress. Difficulty, action and overall pacing gradually ramp up as well, and if you take time to play through several stages in one sitting, you really feel like you're getting somewhere. Most are followed up with some unlockable or another upon completion, and the experience on the whole feels very rewarding. Whether you play two stages or ten, you never once feel like you've wasted your time. As was said, the sound effects are classic Space Invaders fare, now set to a fantastic little collection of music. If you enjoy chiptunes, the price tag would still be worth it just to get the soundtrack. But if for some reason you don't, the game features library support, which lets you play exclusive bonus stages backed by whatever songs you have stored on your iPhone. As cool as that feature is, I doubt many people will be using it, because as I said, the music is good. Really good. The tempo picks up in all the right places and sometimes makes it hard not to nod your head and make an idiot of yourself in front of whoever happens to be nearby. It matches the gameplay to the letter, and makes you never want to put down your iPhone -- a platform that I'm altogether stunned to see such a quality game on. All that for the price of a drink at Starbucks? Not bad. The visuals, music and gameplay are all stellar on their own, and when you put them all together as one experience, the end result is something I would have easily paid much more for. If you have an iPhone, you'd be crazy not to pick this up, and for $4.99 you'll get a hell of a lot more out of it than you would that frappuccino. Score: 9.5 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)
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You may have noticed that I've been anticipating Taito's Space Invaders: Infinity Gene pretty heavily since it was first announced for the iPhone. Originally released in Japan on mobile phones that aren't sold anywhere else, ...

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New gameplay trailer for Space Invaders: Infinity Gene


Jul 27
// Topher Cantler
Taito has just updated its YouTube channel with a new official trailer for its upcoming iPhone title, Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. This is the game whose announcement had my heart all aflutter a few weeks back, and now we'r...
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RetRose Tinted: Rastan


Jul 21
// Conrad Zimmerman
[A critical eye takes time to develop. RetRose Tinted is a regular column in which I re-examine games of yesteryear to see if my memories of them live up to the reality.] Rastan is a game which I actively sought out as a chil...
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Space Invaders: Infinity Gene coming to iPhone


Jul 15
// Topher Cantler
Being the massive Space Invaders fan that I am, I've had an ear open for any word regarding a little-known addition to the franchise, called Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. Originally a Japan-only release for mobile phones, it...
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New Space Bust-A-Move trailer is filled with bubble popping


Jul 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Bust-A-Move is like crack as it’s always such an addicting experience. Well, all puzzle games are extremely addicting to me but especially the Bust-A-Move series. So, a new Bust-A-Move game is coming out for the Ninte...
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Qix headed to XBLA, possibly Minter-ized


Jul 03
// Topher Cantler
According to ze German USK rating board, which is famous for spilling the beans on many an unannounced Taito remake headed for the land of downloadable games, the classic arcade title Qix is on its way to XBLA, (and if histor...
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Bust-A-Move Live! coming to your 360? It's highly likely


Jun 22
// Colette Bennett
If you're a fan of the Bust-A-Move series, you likely already own several versions of the puzzler, but what's one more? The ESRB has rated Bust-A-Move Live! for Xbox Live Arcade, and unfortunately there's little information b...
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New screens for Taito's next Space Invaders, Puzzle Bobble


May 08
// Dale North
Two new Taito games are headed to the Nintendo DS, and we have screenshots and details for both of them.Bub and Bob set off into space in Puzzle Bobble Galaxy. Out to save the universe, they get back to shooting colored bubbl...
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Bubble Bobble NEO headed to Xbox LIVE Arcade


Apr 20
// Nick Chester
According to a rating found on Germany's USK ratings board Web site, Taito is set to bring a title called Bubble Bobble NEO to the Xbox 360. Previously rumors floating around the Internet have indicate the game would be ...
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Square Enix confirms release date for Bubble Bobble Plus!


Apr 09
// Colette Bennett
In February Bubble Bobble Wii came to Japanese WiiWare, and I was oohing and aahing over it in hopes I might get to play one of my classic favorites with tons of extra maps including expert map packs. It seems that my wish wi...
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Taito enters Android Market, ready to drain your G1's battery


Feb 27
// Nick Chester
Taito has announed today that it has begun distributing the classic games Space Invaders and Arkanoid Doh It Again on the Android Market. Even though both games have been on the market for a week. OLD! The deal is that each...
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Rumortoid: Space Invaders Extreme 2 in the works?


Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
It seems that Play Asia has been a source of game announcement leaks lately, dropping news of Strikers 1945 and Crimsongem Saga. Hopefully it's going to be three for three, as it now contains a listing for Space Invaders Extr...
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Space Invaders Extreme XBLA comes with Space Invaders Not Very Extreme?


Dec 08
// Jim Sterling
Space Invaders Extreme is a damn fine DS title, and it's sure to look even prettier on an HDTV when it comes to the Xbox Live Arcade. If you don't like pretty things, however, don't worry. The XBLA version looks like it will ...
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Furu Furu Park brings Afro Love to the Wii: It's about damn time


Dec 06
// Topher Cantler
The above video displays footage from what will soon be the latest reason for me to turn on my Wii, as it combines two of my very favorite things: cute Japanese characters, and utter batsh*t madness. The game is called Furu ...
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Bargain Bin Laden #26: Taito Legends 1 & 2


Oct 11
// Tristero
[Hey all, Linde here. I know it's been awhile since I've been regular with the BBL updates, but what with review crew and Podtoid and all, keeping it up to date has been kinda tough. But rather than let the ol' column fizzle ...
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Flaming eyes on your phone: Cooking Mama goes mobile


Sep 28
// Dale North
North Americans: You'll just have to take my word on this, but (some) Japanese mobile phone games are incredible. At TGS, we played fully-3D, motion-sensitive titles that had some actual depth and gameplay, and we came away t...
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TGS 2007: Booth tours for Takara Tomy and Taito


Sep 25
// Dale North
Continuing with our 2007 Tokyo Game Show booth tours, we bring you pictures from the smaller booths of Takara Tomy and Taito.While the Taito booth only had a few playable games for show, the ones they did have had no problems...
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TGS 2007: Arkanoid DS, Space Invaders Extreme, and a sweet paddle peripheral


Sep 22
// Nick Chester
I miss many things about 80s arcades -- the sticky floors, the crowds, and most importantly, the cabinets themselves. While I've gotten used to shoulder buttons and analog sticks, there's something to be said for the feel of ...
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Red and blue shinobi beware: Legend of Kage sequel coming to DS


Aug 29
// Nick Chester
For me, the NES version of Taito's Legend of Kage pre-dates Wii Sports as the non-gamers game of choice. For whatever reason, my mother of all people, decided she was really into Legend of Kage. It's 1987 (so I'm like nine-ye...
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Majesco's Furu Furu Park for the Wii to feature 30 mini-games


Jul 03
// Nick Chester
Normally, this is the post where I'd bitch about how I'm tired of all of the mini-games coming to the Wii. But the Majesco published Furu Furu Park, developed by Taito and 505 games, is so damned adorable that I just ...

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