Super NES

Review by Bill Schultz



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

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This seems to be a big month for videogame adaptations of blockbuster movies and thankfully for us gamers a good one. Alien3 by Acclaim, follows right on the heels of Batman Returns as a game cart that is both true to the movie it is based upon and being a fun game to play, you may even call it innovative.

As the intrepid hero of the first two Alien flicks, Ripley, the gamer must stop the Aliens from taking over the penal colony your spacecraft has crashed upon after your last narrow escape from these horrific creatures. To protect the colony and save the inmates that reside there, Ripley is armed with a flame thrower, machine gun, and grenade launcher to shred any xenozoic life form that gets in your way. If this was the whole premise of the cart you would probably say "another boring shoot emup, as if we don't have enough of them already." Well lucky for us gamers this is where Alien3 separates itself for the rest of the action cart pack.

In Alien3 the gamer (as Ripley) has access to computer terminals throughout the level. At these terminals you are allocated missions such as welding doors to keep out aliens, fixing power lines, and of course hunting aliens (or maybe be hunted-heh! heh!). This makes the cart have a very PC type feel to the gameplay, plus it makes you feel like you are right in on the action. Be forewarned, this is not an easy cart to finish, the levels are long and the action is fast and furious.

Alien3 graphics are an important part in setting the mood and tone for the game. They are every bit as dark and gloomy as the movie was, but yet there is enough color to make you stand up and take notice of what a great looking cart this is. Ripley looks authentic, right down to the stubble of her shaved head, and the fluidity of her movements are incredible. The cinematic sequences before the game begins and between levels is as impressive as anything I've seen on an SNES cart.

The soundtrack and sound effects are pretty good and add that dark moodiness to the game in tandem with the graphics, but I found myself getting annoyed with the music after a while. The sounds of the machine gun and flame thrower sound as though they lifted them straight from the movie.

The biggest drawback I found to Alien3 was its controls. While switching from weapon to weapon I found myself sometimes hitting the wrong control button because I was too busy concentrating on what was happening on the screen. This is not a major problem, but it is one of those times where the number of function buttons on the SNES works against it. I could live with the inconvenience of hitting the wrong button because the violence factor was so high. Aliens blowing up, chests exploding, you gotta love it.

Alien3 is a helluva a lot of fun to play, but it is not perfect. It is time consuming and frustrating at times, but that is the games real appeal. The aliens in all their various forms look great and when you die you get to hear Bill Paxton from Aliens tell you "Game Over Man. Game Over." Don't forget, that to move to the next level, you must complete all missions. What more could you ask for from Alien3?


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:15 PM