Monday, July 6, 2015

Alien Vs. Predator (Super NES, 1993)

Today I'm going to take a quick look at a game that actually features Xenomorphs rather than look-alikes or knockoffs. I also wonder why there aren't more Versus properties like this. There's Robocop Vs Terminator, but why not Terminator Vs. Aliens? Or Robocop Vs Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket? The possibilities are endless!

This was a fairly popular SNES game back in the day. I have no idea how well it sold, but it was definitely on a lot of lips. At the time, "Alien vs. Predator" was a very novel concept, combining two extremely well-liked sci fi properties. The idea hadn't yet become "AVP" and been run into the ground by two of the crappiest movies in the genre (which I'm covering shortly).

...They should have stopped at Aliens. All three 'Pred movies were good, Alien and Aliens were tremendous, and Prometheus is pretty good too. After that, you've got Alien 3 which is alright but mediocre, and then it devolves into suck. Alien Resurrection and the two AVPs get increasingly worse as you go. Alien 3 totally ruining Aliens by retconning the deaths of most of the surviving characters makes it automatically unworthy, too.

Rant off, as they say.

Recently, the PS3 got an Aliens Vs. Predator of its own. Having finished it, I can safely say that it's decent but not great. For a genre fan, it was lots of fun, though.

 And then there was Aliens: Infestation for the DS, which I also played. Decent, but kind of a lesser version of Metroid Fusion.

But I digress.


Hey, Kids! Now you can join in on the Corona Jumper fun too! How many penises did the artists hide in this picture? 

New Shanghai? Sounds like Blade Runner. This place is less built-up than modern Shanghai. When this game came out, that wasn't the case, and it's funny to think about. According to this screen, the game takes place a couple hundred years after Aliens... but I wouldn't put any real stock in anything this game says.

For one thing, this game takes great liberties with the Aliens universe by having the Xenos just show up in subway tunnels on some planet. How did they get there? And while I'm asking questions, why do they have a mouth-inside-a-mouth? Is there another mouth inside of that one? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

When I was a kid I was obsessed with getting this game since I liked both of the source materials a lot. Then I heard that the game sucked, and when I got a chance to play it... I got owned by the first boss.

It's a fairly standard side-scrolling beat-em-up... and a really easy one once you get the controls down.

In other news, given that you play as the Predator in this game and mow down hella Xenomorphs, it's safe to say that the game single-handedly kills the thunder of said Xenos. Not as bad as the terrible, awful AVP movies (coming soon!) do, though.

Here's the first boss, as far as I ever got in the past. It reaaaaally sucks, because it crashes around the screen doing devastating roll attacks and there isn't much you can do in retaliation.

BUT WAIT! This is where I discovered the wonder of the Predator's Sub-Zero-esque slide attack. Remember that devastating rolling attack I was just talking about? The slide attack cuts right through it. Nice. I then proceed to just slide back and forth, winning the fight with ease.

This... works for most of the enemies in the game, as it turns out. No one is going to accuse this game of being well-designed, that's for sure.

Japanese Voiceover: "POW! K O PUNCH!"

The next area: the cliffs. Our hero proceeds to whoop up with the slide kick. SLIDE, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!

Here's the Gorilla Xenomorph. You can actually see the corpse of the gorilla it hatched from in the background during the stage. Man, Xenomorphs are scary.

This is one of the tougher fights in the game, and forces me to learn a new move: the laser cannon. This is even more overpowered than the slide kick. I like how the game is organically letting me learn to use moves by necessity. Lots of games would stop the action to give you a tutorial on how to use these moves, and not let you use them at all before that.

Knowing said moves were available from the beginning gives me an advantage if I were to have to start over, too.

Har har! ...Predators are dicks! They give about as many fucks as Baron Corbin, and...


A swarm of larva attack in this cave. The only way to survive is by slide-kicking everything in sight. In other news, I never realized how serpentine Xenomorph larva are. Is that what those face-raping things in Prometheus were? And what's up with how Xenomorphs really seem to like raping faces?

There's something unsettling about seeing these things in the outdoors, but these between-level pictures are awesome.

Things just get weirder and weirder, as our hero (?) battles some kind of bat alien. Did this thing hatch out of a pterodactyl?

While the bat-Xeno was a brutal fight, this serpentine Xeno is slow and easy to defeat. I give this game credit for having some really inventive Xeno variations; much more creative than most of the movies. I wish the movies had gone into the assimilative properties of the Xenos a bit more. All the Xenos in the movies were spawned from people or Space Jockeys, and thus humanoid. ...Well, all the Xenos in the good movies. There was also that Predalien in AVP2, and whatever the hell that gross baby thing in Alien Ressurection was, but the less said about those the better. Point is, I'd like to see more variety in Xeno-types...in a good movie.

Blasting smaller Xenos with a laser cannon is fun. Requires some timing, but generally renders them no threat whatsoever.

Here's the final boss, the Queen. Yep, after all those crazy Xeno variations, the big bad is still the Queen. This is by far the hardest fight in the game because she can easily outmanuever the sluggish, hard to control Predator and combo him to death at random. It took a few tries, but I finally managed to take her down with laser blasts, slide kicks, and some luck vis-a-vis her cheap infinite hit combos.

Seriously though, Alien Queens are pretty damn impressive-looking creatures. The regular Xenos alone are pretty bad-ass, but the Queen turns that up to 11.

The game ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, as the Predators take off to find more Xenomorphs. I wonder how many planets had Xenos on them, given that the Space Jockeys seemed to spread them all over the place (and later Weyland-Yutani got into that business too).

Well, that was fun (and incredibly easy). Game isn't good, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

Final note for today: Want to know just how many games feature Xenomorph-like enemies? There are a lot.

4 comments:

  1. I forgot they made this game. An Alien vs. Predator beat em up is kind of a crazy idea but maybe it's cool? The beat xenomorph looks just like Ridley from Metroid

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  2. The cliffs sorta look like the spot with Terra and Tritoch.

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  3. The bat alien sort of reminds me of Ridley, but not as purple.

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  4. Interesting question for me: which is more built up, New Shanghai or 2015 Shanghai?

    The characters are so huge compared to the environments in this game. It's almost fighting game proportions.

    After the Terminator game experience I'm glad this one turned out pretty good. I also love that ending about the Predator finding this prey interesting. These two races deserve each other.

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