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LONG BLOG

GENESIS Reviews: Alien Soldier

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For those reading one of my Genesis review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

I already reviewed a bunch of SNES games, so its natural that I am going to review the games of its prime competition. Does the SEGA Genesis stand a chance against the legendary SNES library?

My review series is based on the top 100 list of Retro Sanctuary

Originally, I post most of my stuff in a football forum"Goallegacy" which is the first online community I have ever joined. Which is the best place for a football fan (the REAL football, not handegg) to hang out in the internet.

Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the Gamesradar list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

34- Alien Soldier:
Year: 1995.
Genre: Shooter.
Publisher: Sega.
Developer: Treasure.

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

When you read those memes making fun on early 90's game translations, all those grammatical disasters and unintentional comedy gold, it is games like Alien Soldier that are usually feature. Starting with a grand story that crumbles with the slightest knowledge of grammar and sentence structure, Alien Soldier nevertheless manages to be a grand game in its own right.

The chaos in its opening story can never be put to order, but if you can master the chaos in its gameplay, then this can be a deep and fulfilling classic shooter.

"The planer Sierra is gripped by fear and is in the midst of a deep crisis"

Obviously, the designers thought they had something with the game's plot. After all, with a grand musical opening, the game's story scrolls into the screen, with sounds and visual promising an epic sci-fi adventure. Then you realize that the quote above is probably the only tangible thing in the entire narrative.

Its not only that the entire script, and its a long one, is simply poorly written. Its that its a poorly written script of an ill-conceived story. Somehow assuming the player has full knowledge of the terminologies of its universe, Alien Soldier assaults your brain with a ridicilously complicated narrative where your character, Epsilon-something is both the good and the bad guy, and apparently there are parasite things, which are apparently related to your Epsilon-ness, and... just damn.

The hatred became bitter ... ??!

Usually, I like to take quotes from the game and out them in my reviews, but in this case, I cannot lift any sentence from the game and present it as a semi-readable line.

The chaos in the story doesn't only confine itself to the text, but extends to the rest of the game. Simply put, the styletic choices in the game doesn't mesh well, and the entire thing is a garbled mess. At one point, you are in a futerstic looking city, at another you are riding in 1950's style subway.

Characters, enemies, and bosses all do not seem like they belong to the same universe, yet they are in the same game. Of course, why should they all fit, when the player character himself doesn't fit with anything else.

Confusing Story: -2
Boring and Garbled Setting: -5

"Xi-Tiger something something"

Alien Soldier's gameplay is no less chaotic than its story, and at first, it seems like a mindless shooter hell-bent on robbing coins in a seedy arcade parlor. Except, its robbing your time at home. That is, until you realize how all of its varied systems work, and then you see how beneath all the chaos and visual carnival, there is actually a deep and engaging game.

First, you get the choice of four different weapons from a choice of six. Each weapon is theoretically useful on some situations, but there are clearly better choices. Right off the bat, I recommend using the Homing and laser force weapons.

Second, realize that this is a game that values mobility and reflexes. You have the ability to dash through enemies to the other end of the screen, and that can put you away from danger as well as in better positions to dish out some damage. You also have the ability to guard against some enemy attacks, changing their projectiles into precious health. With full health, you dash becomes a phoenix charge that does some serious damage.

Most of the game is simply challenging boss battles

Finally, realize that the game is mostly boss rush mode with a short distraction between each boss. This is not your Contra game, where the boss is the culmination of a challenging level, but this a level that simply prepares you to face a challenging boss.

With different weapons, the ability to charge and guard, the odds are clearly in your favor. Except, dying basically ensures you are going to have a hard time completing the game. In theory, you could die and continue. However, when you die, you lose all of your acquired power-ups, reducing your offensive power significantly.

Also, correct use of your abilities will need some practice, as the game is fast and doesn't give you time to think.

In that regard, the game's somewhat easy "supereasy" mode gives the players the chance to familiarize themselves with the game's systems, so that they can challenge the seriously difficult "superhard" mode.

Fast and Fun Gameplay: +4
Deep and Challenging: +3
A Unique Boss Rush Shooter: +3

"......."

With uninspired and loosely fitted artistic choices, and a lot of gameplay feedback to process due to the chaos in its gameplay, Alien Soldier's visuals had a huge task in hand. Thankfully, the game manages to look good even if the design choices aren't interesting.

More importantly, the game manages to convey all the chaos on screen clearly, and as such you are able to see where each threat is coming from and can decide on the best course of action.

And many times you will need to make split-second decesions in the middle of chaos

Sprites are unintresting, but they are well-detailed, and bosses look menacing even if they look like they have nothing to do with the base game. Hell, even the player character manages not be a total wash. Still, Epsilon-birdman would probably have fit more with Starfox's crew than this game.

In sound, the game is good, and sometimes manages to even impress. In fact, the only consistent artistic choice is the game's music, which fit into a sci-fi game. It manages to tether an otherwise garbled mash-up of styles to a singal theme, and that's just as hard as it looks.

Good Graphics: +3
Good Music: +3

In Conclusion:

Mechanically, Alien Soldiers is a very good game. Unfortunately, its setting is weird and uninteresting. Hence, you might have fun playing the game, but the game struggles to be memorable.

There are games that are not as mechanically good, but due to their setting, they are probably more highly regarded. Still, if you can ignore the garbled mess that is its story, Alien Soldier's gameplay might just captivate you.

Final: 34/50

 

That's one fat Samurai, Alien, Mechanical Bug thing

**********************************************************************

Tips:

1- Never EVER have an arsenal without Homing force.
2- When picking up an upgarde, make sure not to pick up the wrong weapon.
3- To upgrade a weapon, equip it and pick up an upgrade with the same icon.
4- Make sure to counter guard often, it changes enemy projectiles to health.
5- Dashing is your best strategy, learn that distance by heart.

Next Game:

So, here is the first Treasure game that I kinda liked. As usual though, Treasure's ability to use the Genesis hardware is undermined by how they use. You don't feel there is a consistent art direction on any of their games.

Anyways, next game on the list is the classic Capcom action-platformer, Ghouls 'n Ghosts which sit at #32 in Retro Sanctuary's list. Hope it is as good as the SNES game.

Stay Tuned

For Previous Genesis game Reviews:

The List

 For More Screenshots:

See Here

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Seeing as my top 10 games of all time would change depending on the day you ask me, I am just going to put in Random games I don't think are in anyone's top 10 list:

-Blood Will Tell
-Mega Man Legends 2
-Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
-Donkey Kong Country 2
-Suikoden 2




Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
My Blogs