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Alien Storm (Genesis) artwork

Alien Storm (Genesis) review


"Alien Storm was released in 1990 and was yet another arcade game by Sega, which joined the ranks along with other arcade classics such as Altered Beast and Golden Axe. This game was released in the arcades and a few home versions for Sega's systems, the Master System and Mega Drive and a not so good port of the game was also dumped on the NES. The 16-bit version was the best of the home conversions and was a nice addition to the growing Mega Drive collection. Unlike most of Sega's arcade games ..."



Alien Storm was released in 1990 and was yet another arcade game by Sega, which joined the ranks along with other arcade classics such as Altered Beast and Golden Axe. This game was released in the arcades and a few home versions for Sega's systems, the Master System and Mega Drive and a not so good port of the game was also dumped on the NES. The 16-bit version was the best of the home conversions and was a nice addition to the growing Mega Drive collection. Unlike most of Sega's arcade games this game did not produce any sequels or follow-ups, which was strange for Sega not to reuse this title because it was reasonably enjoyable.

This game was very underrated by the gaming population and it was a shame that it didn't reach the status of Altered Beast and Golden Axe. The storyline of this game is unknown to me because when I first played the game it was on 3 on 1 cartridge and the manual was missing. Obviously it has something to do with aliens invading the earth and a small group of soldiers have to go and send them back home the hard way. The stories of “Aliens” and “Ghostbusters” blended almost perfectly together to produce an unoriginal story, which is well suited for a game of this genre.

I guess the easiest way to describe the gameplay of Alien Storm is to compare it to the great arcade classic by Sega, Golden Axe. The game plays a similar way but it is set in the future. It’s not just a futuristic version of Golden Axe, with guns instead of swords but an all-new action game with a few special qualities that other games by Sega didn't have. The game is a blend of a 2-D platform/arcade game (once again like Golden Axe) with a dash of first person shooting, although it can be said that the first person is quite bland.
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The game has three different modes of play, arcade, 2-player and the Duel. Arcade is the main game where you will have to guide one of the characters through a city infested with aliens and electrocute, burn or blow them to bits. Once again I refer to Golden Axe because of the game’s similarities. The second mode is 2-player which are a self-explanatory mode and the classic Duel mode. Duel is a mini fighting game that allows you to control one of the three characters and put them in a one on one fight. This is a two-player mode only and was only added to increase game play and unfortunately it doesn’t help that much. You’ll probably find the main game addictive enough anyway.

There are three playable characters in Alien Storm which are given no name, bio or any information whatsoever, (I may be wrong because I had this game pre-owned with no manual.) The three unlucky chumps who have to go out and destroy the alien vermin are a chick wielding a flamethrower, a big muscle man armed with one hell of an electric pulse cannon and a robot that likes to whip the aliens into shape. The best character in the game is by far, the man who is definitely the strongest and the most powerful. His weapon does pack a punch and kills most aliens fairly simply, highly recommended for beginners.

The woman is the middle card fighter, she is armed with a pretty decent flame-thrower; an all round balanced character in speed and power, not a bad person to play as and is definitely good for a two-player game. Finally the robot, the most complicated character to use. He has a terrible weapon, which is some kind of electric whip and can also fire out a rocket. This guy is really for experts only (it’s a shame that the coolest characters in these games always suck). All three have a special attack (works in the same way the magic does in Golden Axe) which all have the same amount of strength. If you want to perform these attacks you must collect cans of energy and with a full bar of energy you can do greater damage, special attacks consist of a missile hitting the ground, destroying everything and the robot self-destructing.

The arcade game has three different types of levels. Firstly, we have the basic level in where you have to kill all the aliens on the screen to succeed; a basic side-scroller arcade game, which plays in the way you would expect it to. The second is first person shooting level in an arcade style, which I previously mentioned. It is set in areas like supermarkets (for example) and aliens jump out behind objects and you shoot them before they hit you, simple enough. The third and final type of level is a running stage where your character is constantly running in one direction. You have to shoot down enemies that get in your way and you will have to fight bosses in this way as well and they can be exceedingly annoying and boring. All you have to do is hold down B and occasionally jump out of the way. Thankfully, they are quite infrequent so you can savour the classic beat ‘em up style.

The game is divided into missions that have a mix of these kinds of level in them and each mission has about two stages, which tend to be a blend of two of these types of level.

Alien Storm is reasonably fun to play and stays as one of those games that you’d get only if you had finished with everything else that the system has to offer. Another action/arcade game by Sega that doesn’t get placed on their classic list but is something you can play through alone or with a friend. Alien Storm is something that you’d pick up for pennies and play once or twice before you leave it in your game pile for the long rest. Stick with the Golden Axe or Streets of Rage before getting Alien Storm, it’s for the hardcore Sega fans only and players who like more bang for their buck want to look somewhere else for something with more bite.

Rating: 6/10

goldenvortex's avatar
Community review by goldenvortex (January 31, 2005)

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