Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Alien Storm for the sega Megadrive/Genesis revisited in celebration of my 100th post

My first ever blog post was made on the 16th of June 2009, now due to the site it was on closing down tommorow this will soon no longer exist at least in its original form, I have done a lot of things since that post including making YouTube Videos, publishing my own books and also spending a lot of time online writing in general. Writing stories, reviews, opinion pieces, basically almost everything you can think of.

I have written about films which were banned, new games, old games in fact but it all started with reviewing a Sega MegaDrive/Genesis game Alien Storm. A lot of people probably wonder why I picked this game, after all its not like it was one of those games that everyone is always talking about but that was exactly the reason I picked it, it was a game I had personally loved as a kid, which I didn't think got talked about enough. I wanted my review to stand out as opposed to it being lost in a sea of millions of reviews all saying the exact same thing about a game which everyone knew about but I also wanted to draw attention to the game itself. Well I have decided that as this is my 100th post on my new blog and my old blog is being taken down it was only right to take a look at my first blog post. in this case I guess I will sort of be reviewing my review.

''I remember when Alien storm first came out most people rather unfairly in my opinion referred to it as Golden Axe with aliens. On the surface Alien storm does share quiet a few similarity's with the Axe both made by Sega both basically of the old side scrolling beat em up mold, a choice of 3 different characters 1 of which is a lady.'' I still do remember Alien Storm being referred to as Golden Axe with aliens in it, in fact someone used this term not to long ago, pointing out the things both games had in common and brining in a game people would know is something I feel was a decent way to get people in to the review but when I see that I tried to be funky and referred to Golden Axe as ''the Axe'' ergh it makes me want to regurgitate what made me think that was a good idea?

''Golden Axe and a lot of games like it suffer from the repetitiveness of the genre. You kill identy-kit enemy after enemy then get to the odd boss who is basically a enemy who looks a bit different hits harder and has a longer health bar. Alien storm stood out at the time for me by trying to add some different styles of game play to the mix to reduce the repetitiveness. Firstly you have Operation Wolf (light gun) inspired bits were you go through TV shops and supermarkets blasting aliens and shooting energy and health to collect them. Then you have sections when you are running along and shooting at enemy's trying to reach the end of the level. For a beat em up it seems quite fast really with skilled players diving across the screen from side to side dodging the hordes'' I still feel that everything I noted here is true, Alien Storm really did try hard to throw a few curve-balls in to the mix to help keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, you can note that both this game and Golden Axe 2 came out in the same year and while this game basically tried new things Golden Axe 2 was a more of the same sequel that really didn't offer anything the first hadn't. Yet Golden Axe would go on to get a second sequel in Japan at least in the form of Golden Axe 3 and would eventually get a modern if poor sequel Golden Axe Beast Rider. In contrast Alien Storm had one original game which has to stand on its own. Is this a good or bad thing? Well if your one of those people who always complain when films which stood well on there own get needles sequels then you will probably think its fantastic and I cant help but feel glad that there wasn't a Alien Storm: Laser shooter sat down beside Golden Axe Beast Rider taking a double shit on my childhood. I however really would like to have seen a Alien Storm 2 back on the megadrive or on a handheld or live arcade store now built using the original Alien Storms engine.

''Its not inventive in every way its plot is basic Aliens are trying to invade earth and you have to stop them, you have your typical choice of 3 combatants in this case a Man a Woman and a Robot. There not bad they do the job but its the aliens that are truly worthy of praise there's a reasonable number of different types from little goblinesqe things that claw at you to sludgy things that scrape along the floor and try to swallow you whole but the real beauty of it is when you see them hiding in dustbins or dressed as civilians despite having a huge purple melon for a head. The game does have the cloned baddies who are the same as others in the game but different colours but it is not as bad for this as some games.'' Yes this game had a bit of a typical plot but it was awesome B movie cheese and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world, if anything the plot and graphics of this game have simply got under my skin even more and made me love them, I still have a huge amount of love for the Aliens trying to hide in dustbins or trying to pretend to be human, it adds a good pinch of humour to this game. As for the cloned and recoloured baddies issue, well I have actually seen far more modern games do this a hundred times more than Alien Storm did, so I almost feel as if I was nitpicking to even bring it up at all.

''The games style is a sort of what people in the 50s thought about space men and aliens your wearing a sort of shiny boiler suit with a short distance hand laser connected to a back pack fighting evil hideous aliens while objectives are shot up on the screen at the start of every level like ' SAVE THE PEOPLE' . The game comes across as incredibly camp but in a fun amusing way, its like golden axes kooky but cute younger sister you know she is not as well developed as the older one but she has a spark and a cheeky smile that's all her own.'' Again the style of the game is amazing and I love it all it layers of camp included but what the heck was I going on about with younger sisters and stuff? I must have read something which at the time I thought was all hip and cool and in your face and was trying to channel this in some kind of bid to be popular and win the internet. I guess it really is true the older you get the less you care about this kind of thing as I largly just write what pops into my head without over thinking it.

''The whole point of this review then is to help people decide if its worth downloading or hunting down a cart of Alien storm. My answer is a definite yes; simply put, on the face of it the Final Fight and Streets of Rage games may appear to have held up infinitely better than Alien Storm, what with there higher quality soundtracks and more serious tone. But this game has its own spark. It brakes up the action in interesting ways and in doing so tries to tackle some of the weakness's that caused the genres demise, it has a sense of humour and is different enough to the other games of its type to stand on its own and not be considered just another one of those final fight clone games. Is it a streets of rage beater? No is it better than golden axe? Well I guess that would depend on your choice of poison sci fi or fantasy but for me Alien Storm wins.'' The whole honest truth is that the point of this review was that I was commissioned to write something, this review was supposed to end up in print, there are a few occasions when I have nearly ended up writing for a well known site or getting paid for my review work and it has always fallen through, I started my original blog as I didn't want my work in this case to go to waste. I still do consider Alien Storm as a better game than Golden Axe but the honest truth is that there is plenty of room for both games to sit beside each other, as fun as top 10 games on this or that system list can be no one is ever likely to put a gun to your head and order you to decide which game you need to save and which will be burned at the steak.

''So how has the game aged ? To be honest the game has not aged badly at all its still very playable and the graphics and sound although basic to what is achievable now still have enough character to remain endearing. If  I was to give this game a rating out of 10 stars I would give it 7.5 Its interesting, its different and its fun it will make you smile while your playing it but when its finished and you walk away it wont have changed your life.'' Sod it I actually think it deserves an 8 or even a 9, this was years ago I was saying that it wouldn't change your life and yeah maybe Alien Storm is not going to give you some kind of religious epiphany but if I loved it as a kid and then felt drawn back to it again 6 years ago and now feel myself drawn back and playing and loving it yet again then it is clearly doing something tremendously right.

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