With a couple of 25-hour flights in the space of a month I decided I would need a new PS VITA game to ease the journey. I wanted something cheap with the essence of a classic arcade title to compete with myself whilst sitting in a desolate airport at 3am.
Energy Invasion fit the bill, I used to play the original brick breaker as a child on my family PC and it was under £4 on the PSN store. I snapped it up and jumped on a train to start my journey.
Little did I know, completely due to my own lack of research, this isn’t quite like the original brick breaker games. Yes, you have a paddle. Yes, you have a ball. And yes, there are bricks that need breaking. I set my little glowing orb ball of destruction on its path to destroy those pesky bricks but alas… the ball made its journey, travelling head on to destroy its very first brick. A hit. Complete and utter connection. And the ball bounced away from the brick and straight back down to my pad, leaving the brick completely untouched.
So, this game has a niche. Something to separate it from the arcade classic. That niche is that the ball fires bullets that are aimed using the right stick, these bullets then destroy the bricks. The ball itself does no damage whatsoever. This is a mechanic that I wasn’t particularly a fan of, where you hit the ball becomes almost irrelevant and it turns into a game of keep the ball in the air whilst firing madly with the right stick.
There’s not a huge amount to this game, there are 3 modes to choose from that all offer a similar challenge. If you die you can continue from the same stage with a penalty, meaning that if you want to you can just keep trying until you get to the end without much difficulty. I find this removes the arcade style feel from the game, which is what I was looking for in the first place.
With the lack of pixels and sprites on the screen this game doesn’t run particularly well either. There would be times of frustration where the game would lag as the ball was about to hit my pad, which makes it very hard to hit the ball; especially considering the pad isn’t flat. The pad is a dome and it is sometimes hard to tell where the ball is going, leaving you with moments of anguish as the ball bounces from your pad and goes immediately left at 90 degrees and just bounces almost endlessly from left to right.
It’s a cheap and easy to play, but it doesn’t come close to the classic version of brick breaker.