OUT OF THE COLLECTION: ALIENS INFESTATION

ALIENS INFESTATION ON NINTENDO DS NEEDS MORE ATTENTION


aliensdscover
Growing up I dined on a large diet of 80s and 90s action/sci fi films. Aliens was one of my all time favourites. So back in 2011 when this game was quietly announced I was interested. I found out it’s game play style was like the classic 2D Metroid and Castlevania and was hooked.

I ordered it from a British online retailer as no-one in Australia seemed to be stocking it!

The DS game arrived a few weeks later. I started playing and found myself nowhere near as excited as I expected to be.  Frustrated, I put it down only an hour into gameplay and didn’t get back to it.

Fast forward to 2016. I found myself reconnecting with some of the older titles in my collection.  Aliens Infestation was one of the first. My time with it has been an incredibly different experience from the first 5 years ago.

Upon some reflection I realised that 3 main features of this game helped create the connection I originally longed for when acquiring this game:

  1. The visuals – the graphical style was reminiscent of Metroid fusion on the Gameboy Advance but with an Aliens flair and the character art had all been created by Chris Bachalo from X-Men/Generation X comics of the nineties. I’ve always enjoyed his art styles’ unique look and enjoyed his take on the aliens universe here.
  2. The sound – Wayforward Studios have clearly lifted the iconic weapon sounds among other audio pieces from the Aliens movie to give this game the atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in this world. Every time I hear the pulse rifle fire in game it takes back to the movie. 
  3. The gameplay – this ended up being the most important piece of the puzzle to my enjoyment of the game. Just not in a way you would normally expect.  At first I played this game as would have Metroid Fusion, trying my best to keep my team of four alive. I kept losing team mates between save points and would reload from an early save. Inevitably someone would die and I grew frustrated. What I should have remembered was not many of the cast in Aliens made it to the end of the movie and game was designed to be the same. Thankfully Wayforward studios had put in the game stranded Marines. They would only join your four man squad if there was a vacancy. Otherwise they would hold their piece of ground till their chance came to join your team.

The short story to this review is: if you enjoy either the Aliens or Metroid franchises, or want immersion in a sci-fi universe done right, then find this game!

Jono

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Jono loves big robots, Lego and games of all shapes and sizes. Get him started and he’ll talk pop culture for as long as you’ll let him!

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