Review by AnotherGamer
"Liked Gunstar Heroes, but found the forward-scrolling sections boring? Then this is the game for you!"
Treasure, the makers of Gunstar Heroes, probably congratulated themselves on a job well done after releasing GH, but they must've felt that there was something they could have improved upon. So they went out and removed 90% of the forward-scrolling sections and instead replaced them with tons of different bosses. Thus, the blastfest known as Alien Soldier was born.
After turning on your Genesis, you are first treated with the regular Sega and Treasure logos, along with the game's title. After that, the next thing you'll see is the opening text. But it isn't just your regular everyday opening text, since you'll have a very hard time understanding anything about it. Not because it's in Japanese (since this game was only released in Japan, a bloody shame), but because of Treasure's weird use of English language. It's not exactly typo-ridden or anything, it just doesn't make too much sense no matter how hard you try to understand it. Kinda like watching the anime movie Akira:)
After giving up your attempts to understand the game's story, you naturally press start and see the title screen that screams ''Visualshock! Speedshock! Soundshock! Now it is the time to the 68000 heart on fire!'' Believe it or not, it makes more sense than the opening text. Anyways, the first and the third things (''Visualshock! Soundshock!'') are debatable, although I think this game does have pretty good sounds and graphics, but more on that later. As for the second statement, let me put it this way:
This is a game not for the faint of heart. The game moves faster than any other forward-scrolling shooting game in the existance. Luckily, you can slow it down by pausing the game and pressing left and right, although this option is only available in easy mode. So the statement ''Speedshock'' is more than justified.
As for the last statement, I believe what they mean is this:
As far as I know (though I'm not completely sure), the main processor of a Sega Genesis is a Motorola 68000. So, what they mean is that this game squeezes every bit of performance out of it. And I pretty much agree with them.
Now, after boring you to death with meaningless information about the Genesis, I think I could actually get on to the review.
After you start the game, you are prompted to select 4 weapons out of 6. They range from a powerful-but-hard-to-hit-with-laser to an automatically homing but weak blaster. After selecting your weapons, you can select your preferred type of status screen from almost 30 different variations, although each status indicator (your life, boss' life, ammunition for your current weapon) can have only 3 different display types (graphical, numerical or hidden for extra challenge) so the nearly 30 different display types are just combinations of different display types for different indicators.
After that is done, you get to test your controls. Your character has quite many actions available to him, from normal shooting and jumping to a bit more exotical ones like hovering and teleporting and the ability to transform some incoming enemy shots into health boosts. After you are used to the controls, you press start and the game begins.
Like I said before, the stages are very short, with the boss battle taking up most of your time. Speaking of which, every stage has a time limit, and on some stages, it can be very tight.
And now on to the ratings:
Very nice work from Treasure. The main character and the bosses look very good and are animated very well with many different special effects.
The sound effects are mostly appropriate and the music is pretty good. There's some speech as well.
Very nice. Like said before, your character has a nice arsenal of abilities available to him and they are all put into good use. In addition to moves described earlier, he can blaze through enemies as a fiery phoenix, severly damaging them, perform an another jump while hovering, walk in the ceiling, and choose between 2 fire modes. Generally speaking, playing this game is just plain fun because of the main character's move arsenal. Nothing like teleporting through a boss that's just about to charge you and shoot him in the back.
The game has a manageable difficulty level, although there are some bosses that are just too damned hard. Luckily there's a password feature to save your progress. You'll be sure to need them, especially if you're playing the game on Hard.
It's a shooter, so there's not much replayability, although you could try to break your old record in beating a stage, since the game displays your time for each stage when you play through it or get a game over.
A very nice shooter that's worth playing. Try it, you'll like it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/22/00, Updated 04/22/00
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