Review by Mulliga

"One of the all-time great beat-em-ups!"

Let me tell you a tale of a faithful trip

We were in Universal Studios, Florida, of all places, when we came across the arcade. I don't remember the name of it, and it might not be there any more, but the image of it stays with me. Just across the street from the King Kong ride, there was a medium-size, totally overpriced arcade smack dab in a major theme park. After a full day of ''Jaws'' and ''Back to the Future,'' the glittering lights and electronic sounds beckoned to my cousin and me. We dabbled in the usual stuff - light gun games, fighting games, Star Wars, etc. And then we caught a glimpse of one of the coolest games on the planet: ''Alien vs. Predator.''

Of course, we didn't know it at the time. We stepped up, drawn in by the impressive graphics, popped in our quarters, and began to play. Slowly we came to the realization that we were having an INSANE amount of fun. More fun than I've ever had in an arcade game, actually. We were draining quarters into the machine, and we were getting every single cent worth back in fun and enjoyment. Time flew. We were going to have to leave. And ever since, I've been looking for the game in arcades, only rarely finding it.

The Review

''Alien vs. Predator'' is a side-scrolling beat-em-up in the style of Double Dragon or Final Fight. The gameplay features authentic AvP-universe weapons and enemies, as well as some neat fighting mechanics that make the combat exciting without the tedium that typically accompanies this genre. There are four distinct characters: Linn, a sexy female ninja-type character, Dutch, Arnie's character from the films, and two different Predators. You'll face all manner of dangerous aliens, mechanical menaces, and human foes. The screen is always full of motion, and the controls are responsive and fast.

The graphics, especially for when the game was released, are simply outstanding. Big, colorful, sprites (the fire effects are SWEET), fantastic animation (what else did you expect from Capcom?), vividly detailed environments, a solid frame rate, and tons of enemies on screen - this is 1994 at its best, baby! The widescreen image is a nice touch, and the action never slows down. I honestly don't remember much about the sound (except for tons of explosions), but given that the hardware is similar to Street Fighter II, I would assume it would kick butt.

In the end, this is the best AvP game ever made. Forget the FPS games released elsewhere...if you wanna smash in some alien facehuggers with a pulse rifle, do it here.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/28/03

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