Review by DarkRider X
"Do you like Gunstar Heroes? Click here!"
Alien Soldier is quite the game. It's a good side-scrolling shooter made by Treasure, makers of classic shooters like my favorite of all time, Gunstar Heroes. In fact, Alien Soldier bears more than a little resemblance to that near-perfect game. That's not a bad thing whatsoever.
Might as well get the bad out of the way first. Of course, shooters don't have strong storylines. They never have and probably never will. And so it is with deep regret that I say that I don't know a thing about the story. I'm just pretty sure that the story is pretty weak. Oddly enough, the game doesn't add a lot of detail to the story. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt because the rest of the game is just that good!
One word: beautiful. Treasure sure knows what they're doing when they make a game. For a developer to get this much out of the limited color palette of the Genesis is a feat worthy of praise. Very good explosions and weapon effects. The enemies are well detailed, as is the main character. Nothing to complain about in this department!
Good. The music is standard shooter fare, with up-tempo beats and all that. You know what I mean. Anyway, it ain't bad. The sound effects are pretty good, too. None of them are really annoying, like a lot of shooters have. This is probably the biggest flaw with the game. When a good thing is the weak link in a game, you know that the game is a killer!
The most important thing in a shooter is control. If a game has bad control, odds are it will be almost unplayable. It will give you a bad headache, at the least. Alien Soldier doesn't have this problem. In my opinion, the control is even better than the almighty Gunstar Heroes. With a simple button combination you can switch between the two different shooting styles (just like you choose at the beginning of Gunstar Heroes), your main character changing colors so you can tell that you have switched. Do you remember the NES shooter Metal Storm? You know, the one where you could walk on the ceilings? You can do the same thing here, in a somewhat limited fashion. You can hover in midair, also. A very useful method of dodging enemy attacks. The only flaw is that it's somewhat awkward to switch weapons.
I have saved the best method for last, a technique that is the cornerstone of the game, a technique that warrants its own paragraph. Your main character has the ability to teleport himself from one side of the screen to another. You push the buttons and your character dashes across to the other side of the screen, totally invincible while doing so. I'll put this as bluntly as I possibly can: you will not win unless you use this technique and use it often.
When a game is hard on SUPEREASY difficulty you know a game is tough! You don't have to be concerned with the difficulty of this one! If you can beat this game without dying, then I salute you.
If you like shooters, then you must play this game. If you like Treasure's games, then you must play this game. If you own a Genesis, then you must play this game. If you don't own a Genesis, then go buy one! This is a gamer's game, a reminder of why we started playing games in the first place: pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-pumping action!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/19/01, Updated 01/25/01
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