When I was younger I not only played a lot of games on my consoles and my familyís PC but I also really enjoyed going to arcades. I didn't get to go as often as I liked, we lived in a small town in Montana, so the only chance I got to enjoy these dark rooms of joy was when my parents would venture to Billings every month or so. Arcades offered unique gameplay experiences not available at home. One of the best parts was the arcade experience was the temporary friendships forged over games of Cyberball, CarnEvil, and perhaps my favorite arcade game and the star of this feature Alien vs. Predator.
Alien vs. Predator is a side-scrolling beat Ďem up for up to three players released by Capcom in 1994. It was originally intended to tie into a movie adaptation of the popular comic book series but the movie deal fell through and the game was released on it's own. You can choose from either two Colonial Marines or two Predators as you fight to destroy an Alien hive that is threatening earth. Itís a little like Final Fight but in that game little gang members didnít explode out of peopleís chests.
The guy with the robot arm was my favorite character. Despite looking like a tool.
Like most beat Ďem ups this game was a lot of fun. It felt great to pick up a lead pipe and proceed to beat an Alien to death with it. Sure that doesnít make any sense, but neither does a predator wielding a flamethrower, not making sense doesnít make it any less awesome. All of the weapons youíd expect from this series are represented. There were Pulse Rifles, Smart Guns, spears, and that razor frisbee thing are all available for your Xenomorph killing needs.
Why yes, that is a Predator with a grenade launcher. Beautiful isnít it?
One of the game's features that I always enjoyed was the fact that the dialog would change depending on the characters currently being used. It was kind of pointless as the games story only really served as an excuse to move you from one Alien beat down to the next but I thought it added a nice touch. This is assuming the guys you were playing with didnít just mash the buttons making all the text fly by at supersonic speeds. I guess other 10 year olds didnít appreciate a cheesy sci-fi story as much as I did.
Situations like this never ended well in the movies.
I always liked the Alien vs. Predator series. I love the comics, most of the games and even the short lived action figure line. Sure the movies sucked, but Iíve made my peace with those. I wonít let those horrible cinematic abortions diminish my positive memories. I knew as soon as it was announced and discovered that the humans werenít going to be space marines that the movies were going to be sub par. An Aliens movie without Colonial Marines is like an ice cream sundae with macadamia nuts, sure it still has nuts but who the hell cares.
Intro with the games ďstoryĒ:
The real meat of the game, punching Aliens to death:
If you can find a three person cabinet I recommend playing it with some friends. In my opinion, the only game to offer a better multiplayer experience was the X-Men game but that had six person play and had Wolverine in it. If Alien vs. Predator had Wolverine too, my head might have exploded with pure joy.
Interesting side note: after reading the Wikipedia article in an attempt to find better pictures I discovered that the robot arm guys armís name was Dutch Schaefer, which is the name of Schwarzenegger's character in Predator. This means that the rejected movie would have featured a cybernetic Schwarzenegger teaming up with Predatorís to fight Aliens. I am so pissed that this movie was never made now.
Other games I love:
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest Soul Blazer Rogue Trip
Games that I regret:
Home Improvement Beatmania Work Time Fun