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Alien Syndrome Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 64%
Alien Syndrome
Alien Syndrome Alien Syndrome Alien Syndrome Alien Syndrome
  • Review Score:

  • B-
There was a moment in the eighth season of 24 where I started to question Jack Bauer's luck. Here's a guy who, in the course of only a few years, survived several nuclear strikes, becomes a drug addict, has to rescue his daughter multiple times, gets shot on multiple occasions and thwarts several assassinations on a rogues gallery of politicians. He's lost friends, marriages, colleagues and more, all while fighting for what he thought was right. After all this strife, I started to wonder if Jack Bauer was the unluckiest man on Earth.

Alien Syndrome (NES)

Alien Syndrome is a lot like 24. You play a Jack Bauer-like figure (or, if you prefer, a Jane Bauer-like figure) who is having the worst day of his life. His space stations has been invaded by aliens and it's up to our heroes to rescue all of the hostages and escape, all before the timer counts down to zero. And then, just like in the famous Fox TV show, we are forced to do it all over again.

Forget the play mechanics of Alien Syndrome; I'm more interested in finding out why people kept hiring this guy to live in their space stations. "I can see that you let aliens take over five space stations in the past year, but you also got most of the hostages out safely in less than two minutes ... YOU'RE HIRED!" It's as if these employers are taking out huge bets on his life insurance. This is the kind of guy your mother warned you about; he's bad news.

Alien Syndrome (NES)

Alien Syndrome is an action-packed overhead action game, sort of a mix between Guerrilla War and Dungeon Explorer. You run around a bunch of different spaceships collecting power-ups, shooting bad guys, rescuing hostages and finding the exit before time runs out. It's a stressful job that only gets harder the deeper into the game you go.

This is Tengen's crack at the popular arcade game, which can also be found on the Master System, Game Gear, Commodore 64 and MSX. As you can imagine, the overall presentation takes a big hit when compared to the arcade original. The graphics are simple and the backgrounds are lacking any detail. On the other hand, the game moves fast and the levels are interesting enough to make-up for the rudimentary graphics.

Alien Syndrome (NES)

Like any great shooter, Alien Syndrome is loaded with deadly weapon upgrades. Players can pick up lasers and flame throwers around the levels, though I found myself dodging most of the bad guys in order to keep myself from running out of time. The game's various boss battles are a weak point, mostly because they are long, drawn-out and rarely clear what needs to be accomplished.

Even if the gameplay is repetitive and the graphics are poor, the action is still a lot of fun. Two-player support adds to the excitement and the port is surprisingly faithful to the source material. Much like 24, Alien Syndrome overstays its welcome and drags the entire game down. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had with Tengen's competent port of Alien Syndrome.
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