Review by Axem_King
"Hop into the Bean-With-Bacon Megarocket for the fantastic final installment in an incredible series."
Ah, Commander Keen. A six-game series of platforming gems that helped introduce me to the wonderful world of video games. Before the explosion in the popularity of the Internet, video game masterpieces such as Commander Keen were the only things computers were any good for! And what a masterpiece of a series CK is.
Aliens Ate My Babysitter is the sixth and final installment in the series and maybe, just maybe, it's my favourite. Maybe.
An epic tale of friendship and betrayal this is not. And that's good! Commander Keen is meant to contain hijinks, hilarity, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy references. It's one of those titles where a simple story works just fine.
After thwarting the schemes of the sinister Shikadi race, eight-year-old genius Billy Blaze returns to Earth for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Peace and quiet, however, is out of the question for the sworn defender of the Earth. One night, mom and dad are away and have left a babysitter named Molly in charge. As Blaze tinkers with his trusty Bean-With-Bacon Megarocket, however, a green, slavering, cycloptic race of aliens known as the Bloogs cart Molly off to their home planet, intending to make her their next meal! Billy Blaze once again dons his brother's Packers helmet, jumps into the BWB Megarocket, and sets a course for the Bloog plant of Fribbulus Xax!
The inhabitants of Fribbulus Xax are varied both in physical appearance and in their attempts to subdue our hero. Rest assured, you'll be approaching each new creature with caution. Most of them don't want to hug you, even if it looks as though they might (I'm looking at you, you dastardly Bloogs!) From the Gik (a small yellow something-or-other with spikes for legs) to the Fleex (five-eyed, visually-impaired entities that compensate for their limited sight with a large ear atop their heads), the monsters are truly unique and a blast to see. Many monsters are immune to your stun gun, so you had better hone those dodging skills.
Bright and colourful is the name of the game here, and it definitely provides the right feeling as you explore the kooky (but deadly!) world of Fribbulus Xax. The characters and backgrounds are richly detailed, the animation flows with liquid perfection, and everything is just generally fun to look at. Exactly the way it should be.
The music always manages to suit the occasion, from the grinding machines of Bloogfoods Inc. to the patriotic rhythm of BASA (Bloog Aeronautics and Space Administration.) The tracks are memorable and catchy. If you don't find yourself humming along to them, I'm afraid you have no SOUL! Sound effects are appropriate and quirky.
Godlike. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the epitome of platforming perfection. Each level has its own unique feel, from rivers to towers to Bloog bases riddled with troublesome futuristic traps. Levels are not a "point A to point B" ordeal, either. You'll need to do plenty of exploring in each area to find all of the hidden goodies. No all-vertical or all-horizontal stages here; rather each one is a perfect blend of both. Some levels require you to locate anywhere from one to four crystals that serve as keys to opening specific gates. Crystals are often found floating in rather undesirable areas or guarded by rather undesirable enemies. Of course, everything controls like a dream, whether you are blasting enemies or bouncing to areas with Keen's handy pogo stick that are normally just out of reach.
For the short time you aren't exploring one of the game's fantastic levels, you'll traverse an overworld map that often blocks your path with an obstacle, be it a steep cliff or a voracious purple monster. The goal within some levels is to find an item that will allow you to bypass these obstacles.
Colour, quirkiness, and unbeatable gameplay combine to make this a must-play. If you consider yourself a platforming fan (pah, even if you DON'T,) you need to find some means to play this game. Considering its age, emulation is probably your best bet. Just play it. Unless you hate fun, you vile monster.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/28/06
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