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Remembering Aliens – A Brief stroll down memory lane.

January 22nd, 2014

A Brief History of Alien games over the years

This article is more of an aside from another post called Alien Isolation, which
talks specifically about Sega’s upcoming release that is expected in late 2014. For those of you who may be interested in a little history behind the game and its evolution over time please read ahead and enrich your lives with this fan boy’s knowledge. For those of you who are already familiar with the timeline you’ll notice that I’ve left a few out, and that was because I didn’t find those particular releases to be of noteworthy significance. If you fall into this rare category that holds the 1993 version of Alien 3 on Gameboy as the best game of all time I suggest having your mental health evaluated by a healthcare professional. I, as much as any Aliens fan, anxiously await its release later this year; but I must admit it is a guarded hope. Much of what has come before hasn’t exactly been great, but that is my opinion. To help you formulate yours I cordially invite you to take a walk
with me down memory lane.

Atari 2600 – 1982

1982-Alien for Atari
No real point in beating around the bush on this one; it’s Pac-man meets aliens in a very sad way. I can only image the pitch that was used to convince Atari to blatantly rip off one of its more successful games. Yes, this was the best graphics available for its time, but that is no excuse to do a cut and paste job; tsk tsk.

Commodore 64 -1984

This was a step in the right direction, and unlike the Atari version you can tell that the developers spent their time researching the movie and not chomping down pellets in an arcade somewhere. The game was played from a bird’s eye view, and followed the premise of the film by having you navigate the ship attempting to perform as the Alien lurked in the shadows. It brought an underlying tension to the game that set a good example of immersion for later games.

Aliens Arcade game 1990

This was the first noteworthy advancement in graphics and gameplay. Pinkish Xenomorphs were gladly overlooked for all the action that was thrown at the players. You and a friend were armed with the iconic M56 smart-gun that was used to plow down endless waves of pastel looking aliens. If you made it far enough you got your chance at the queen.
True it didn’t follow the story as closely as it did in games before it, but players welcomed the change and enjoyed the fast pace.

Alien 3 – 1992

What I remember about this game is frustration. I don’t know how I didn’t smash my NES controller into a thousand pieces cursing the video game gods for ever allowing such a game to come into existence. It was blasphemy. Poor level designs combined with enemies that could kill you before appearing on the screen because the camera couldn’t keep up as you ran still angers me to this day. This game receives my hypertension award and the middle finger.

Aliens 3: The gun -1993 arcade-

This game had a couple of winning combinations. For starters it put the rifle directly into your hand, which is always a good feel when playing a first person shooter.
Another great thing about this game was your ability to spit out endless rounds of ammunition as wave after wave of aliens were mowed down by you and a friend as you played cooperatively.

Alien Resurrection – 2000, PlayStation –

Jumping ahead bit I would like to point out that Alien Resurrection can be considered one of the first 3D fps games that had the player using one analog stick for movement,
and the other for aiming. An example that held first person shooters to a new standard of gameplay. It’s just too bad that the game itself was incredibly boring.

Aliens Extermination – 2006, arcade –

This game was very similar to Sega’s Alien3: The Gun. The setup and game play were virtually identical but the graphics as game-play were smoother. As far as an arcade shooter is scored, this one was enjoyable to play.

Aliens: Infestation – 2011 Nintendo DS

Although it was only released for the Nintendo DS, this game had an arcade feel to it do to its 2D side-scrolling gameplay; picture Metroid or Castlevania. One of the best features of the game was having the ability to assemble your own squad from a pool of 20 marines, each with distinct personalities to enrich the gameplay. It also had a mixed variety of missions that would have you doing a fast paced run and gun, or a slow methodical stealth mission when avoiding contact was desired. What added to the in-game tension was that if got one of your marines killed in action there was no coming back. Death was final, now adapt and overcome.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 2013

I’m not even sure were to start with this epic mess of a game. In short, this game had high expectations with fans, but fell just short of the worst game ever created. The story was terrible, game play was jumpy, and the Xenomorphs were just pathetic. It was a grandiose stinker that was probably a result of the game being shuffled around during its development one times too many. I pity anyone who wasted their money on this one.

Alien: Isolation PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One 2014

Could this be the one we’ve been waiting for? Amanda, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, has gone into deep space to search for her mother and finds herself being stalked by the Xenomorph. The game has been described by its developers, Creative Assembly, as capable of delivering fear because of its methodical play. The idea that you could encounter the creature at any moment, and likely not survive, brings a tension to the game that fans have been craving. Be careful what you wish for.


About the Author

William Countiss, Editor for Eyeballistic -Entertainment news, reviews - Twitter: @Eyeballistic

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