Name: Alien 3
Genre: Action Shooter
Region Reviewed: Pal
Year of Release: 1993 (uk)
I remember playing Alien 3 as a kid around my uncles (a man I reference often when it comes to MD games) when I was a kid and remember loving it. Solid gameplay, great graphics and decent music. A nice, simplistic but well-made action platformer for my beloved MegaDrive. Does it hold up to the vivid memories..?
There's only one way to find out! Slot in the cart and fire that badboy up!! My secondary first impressions are simple. It certainly looks as I remember!
It's always considered a rarity that you get a good licensed title. But perhaps this would be more suited to being an Aliens game as opposed to Alien 3. It dismisses the point of Finchers flick and delves into its own thing with resemblance to the film through Ripleys look. But who cares? Being armed with the likes of the flamethrower mowing down sneaky xenomorphs couldn't be more fun. Yet, if you just choose to do that - you're screwed, sir. Yes, screwed. Why? You gotz to get dem hostages! Coz if you dont do it in time and make it to the Exit - well - it's game over, man. Aliens bursting out of chests left right and center. Bad times. You don't want that. You wanna save the day. You're Ripley, dammit. She don't take no xeno-crapola!
The controls are fluid and fairly responsive. There are a few moments where you can get caught in sticky situations or have to go the leap of faith route, but its repeat plays, in that true classical gaming style, that makes your reruns worthwhile - racking up those big points. Coz the 16-bit era should be like Golf. You essentially play against yourself, while being allowed to improve at your leisure. Tutorials and contemporary QTE's are for wimps, afterall. Wouldn't get that in an arcade!
I've actually failed to make it to the Final Boss so far, which is the Queen - so I have that to look forward to (another run may be had after this review, yo')
So, is it the best game ever? Heh. No. Thats Sonic 2, you silly. But its easily one of the better Alien games out there, especially on home console form. I'd recommend to fans of the genre or the films. Or those simply wanting to bolster their MD library. It was ported to other systems, including Sega's 8-Bit masterpiece, the one and only Master System - but also had variations there of on the SNES of which I'm immediatly aware (that was LJN, Ive never played it). The MD version is Arena. As you can see by the boxart up top. I miss them.
So why should you go pick this up or give it a blast via emulation, well that's simple. It's just a solid fun game. Alien 3 is a perfect nod to the main visual and gameplay style of the 16-Bit era however that's not a bad thing if it works and in this situation it works perfectly.
So I come back to the fact that my first memory still kinda matches up to my impression now and that's another positive and a clear indication this is a game you absolutely should check out. So much retro ages badly however this title still feels very good, not great, not a stand-out classic but something that deserves a solid try.
Whilst Ripley in the game and the films may want to destroy all those pesky Aliens i'm pretty sure after playing this you will agree that nobody should ever kill of this slice of retro fun.
Verdict:- From the time where most movie tie-ins were flat out rubbish Alien 3 bucked the trend and although the SNES version was a superior title the Megadrive game is a solid piece of blasting fun.
It's pretty tough in places however so expect to die often but never so much you give up and move on, it's a challenge but a good one that pay's homage to it's source material but injects some fresh thinking that allows for more action based experience.
Second Opinion:- Transbot finds this game to be quite good in most cases however due to the very nature of being a movie tie-in it's stuck in the same dark dreary location for most of the game and this can be a bit dull.
The guns and animation of the Aliens are very good and can be quite scary at times for puny humans so be warned lesser creatures!
Transbot Scores:- 7 out of 10