Review by The Tiger Guard
"It's just so damn fun"
Capcom. Do I really have to explain more? Capcom was one of the masters of the golden age in arcades. Arguably, they single-handedly kept arcade owners fed, by attracting gamers with titles like Street Fighter and Final Fight. This game however seems to have fallen a bit under the shadow of titles such as the aforementioned two. But, this game, Aliens vs. Predator, is a huge sleeper hit probably due to both it's rarity in arcades and the fact that it was never ported onto any existing console.
Ok, first things first. This is a beat 'em up, no two ways about it. That said, don't expect a mind-numbingly amazing story. But to Capcom's credit, this is an original story that was at the time to be tied into a new Aliens movie that was rumored to be in production. Essentially, in the near future, Aliens are invading the city of San Drad, California. The city is evacuated and two elite/special fighters are sent to attempt and stop the invasion.
The two fighters are Lt. Linn Kurosawa (she's made a cameo in Ken's SFA2 stage) and Major D. Schaefer (based on The Governator's character, I believe). They are met with overwhelming numbers of aliens and when things look bleakest, a big explosion saves their bums. And behind them pops up 3 Predators, who having lost many humans to hunt, offer to work with the two to hunt down the aliens and their queen. It's pretty much all the story you'll need before you start making things go boom.
Remember that this is 1994, so everything I'm saying is pretty relative. That said, the character sprites are very well detailed. Also little details such as having the Predator's dreadlocks swing when his head is moving is nice to see. As well, the sprites have a bit of a cartoon-ish look to them. The grunt aliens aren't amazing to look out, but they do their job and aren't particularly ugly. The bosses are very well drawn and are all unique.
The background themselves really have no interactive element to them such as hidden doors or alternate paths. And they are basically just stills. But, they are nicely drawn and do well to set up the atmosphere of each level.
The sound effects are very well done. You can hear aliens scream in pain as they have their heads cut off by you. Unfortunately, there's only like 2 different screams, but that's all right, it's still satisfying. The explosions and gunfire sound effects are well done.
Overall, the sound effects definitely upstage the actual music of the game which, to say the least, needs to be changed. Not that it's bad, it's just that the music is very...plain. Nothing about it will cause one to have a real sudden urge to go crazy and start slicing and dicing aliens left and right. That's the only drawback in the sound department.
Oh...my...god it's so fun. It's like the game emits crack, it is very addicting. The sheer number of aliens on-screen throughout all the stages is very amazing. On average, you'll find yourself on-screen with at the minimum, 10 aliens at a time.
The controls are simple, but very effective. All 4 characters respond well to inputs and special movements are all registered easily with the game. The 4 characters (Linn, Schaefer, Pred. Warrior and Pred. Hunter) for the most part are unique enough to distinguish themselves from each other. Linn is the only character capable of air throwing, and is the only one that requires you to reload the gun. Schaefer is the powerhouse and the only one who has to slowly float down from his jumps and is the only one who has a robotic arm. And although the two predators are, well...predators they are distinguished from each other as well, such as having different weapons and abilities.
Overall: 7.5/10...but for the sake of gameFAQs, it's an 8.
It's a shame that this cabinet wasn't set up in more arcades. I am not exaggerating when I say that I always spend three dollars on this machine whenever I see it. Not to mention it's very well programed difficulty, it keeps the perfect balance of being challenging and fun. Definitely give it a try when you see it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/14/06
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