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Alien Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 30%
  1. 1989
  2. 1990
  3. 1991
  4. 1992
  5. 1993
Alien
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Alien Alien Alien
  • Review Score:

  • D+
Chest bursting, face hugging and acid blood. Too bad this Alien game has nothing to do with Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece of the same name. Instead of playing a tough female character fighting the baddest aliens in the solar system, you pilot a spaceship in what can only be described as a slightly broken R-Type rip-off. In space nobody can see me roll my eyes.

Have you played a video game in the last thirty years, then chances are good that you know what to expect from Alien. This is a generic 2D shoot-em-up, in which the player takes control of a spaceship and shoots down formations of alien crafts. Along the way you pick up power-ups and fight bosses. This is a middling product that doesn't aspire to be more than a simple Gradius clone.

Alien (SuperVision)

The problem is that it's not an especially fun knock-off. The action is painfully slow and the screens refresh makes it nearly impossible to see all of the bullets headed your way. The animation is slow and the controls are sluggish, it feels nothing like the games it's desperately trying to ape. The game does change locations from stage to stage, but none of them feel very different and all of the alien crafts repeat more than I would have preferred. Alien shows the weakness of the SuperVision and all 8-bit portable consoles.

It's not that 2D shooters can't be done on old handheld game systems. The Game Boy proved its worth with a number of worthwhile shoot-em-ups, including Nemesis and Operation C (both from Konami). Sadly, the best shooters for Nintendo's portable came years into the lifecycle, long after developers had come to grips with what the system was capable of. Alien didn't have that luxury, which is why it's so hard to go back to all these years later.

Alien (SuperVision)

Beyond the poor gameplay mechanics, the general look of the game is mediocre at best. The enemies aren't very impressive looking and your own craft is laughably stupid looking. The stages are minimal, perhaps to prevent the action from grinding to a halt with flickers and slowdowns. Either way, there's nothing about Alien's look that impresses me.

I can occasionally forgive ugly graphics and sluggish gameplay, but the animation and frame rate cause too many cheap deaths. This could have been a competent action game on more powerful hardware. Sadly, the SuperVision wasn't capable of showing the true potential of Alien. Then again, even on the best hardware, this 1992 shooter would have been average at best.
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