Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Aliens and Predators, Always Fighting

Both the Aliens and Predator movie franchises list really highly among my list of 'most awesome things ever'. However, I tend to distance myself from the movies released after the 90's for personal preferences. When it comes to Aliens, a lot of my exposure to them came from their use in video games... mostly unofficially. The Xenomorphs poped up in almost everything for awhile, or inspired creatures (it was totally them). To be fair, Aliens, Predator, and Terminator all had unlicensed appearances in a lot of video games during the 80's and 90's. So it's probably not a stretch to imagine how I'd appreciate a video game from the 90's that pit Aliens vs Predator in a setting that looked more like the unofficial efforts.

The games story is actually based on an early draft of the Aliens vs Predator comic book that would have tied into the movie. The game was intended to be out around the release of the movie... however things changed and the movie came out a decade later with another script. In this game, San Drad (translation error from San Dorado), California is overrun with Aliens. Major Dutch Schaefer (now a cyborg) and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa of the US Colonial Marine Corps have been abandoned and are fighting the swarm alone. They are joined by two Predators (Hunter and Warrior) and take on the Aliens leading to facing off with the sinister Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It's a pretty fun story line that fits the game well... but admittedly might have been too far out for a movie (I would probably loved it).

Game play is a 3 player belt fighter with 4 different playable characters (mentioned above). Like other Capcom side scrolling beat 'em ups, it never gets boring thanks to interesting levels and constantly changing enemies. You'll go from fighting Aliens to Space Marines as the scenario changes to fit the story. There's even 'Infectoids', zombies created from face hugger host bodies. They make me think of Masterforce. Like other Alien games, I appreciate the alternating colors on Xenomorphs. It gives them a lot of character rather than just being black. It's a great game and a fun time, but there wasn't any home ports. A 32x version was planned, unfortunately not released. That's a shame, this would have been a great weekend rental.

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