Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39511)
Written on  :  Oct 27, 2005
Platform  :  SEGA Master System
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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Run around the spaceship, rescue your friends, and shoot the alien bastards

The Good

In Alien Syndrome, you play Ricky (or Mary if two players are present) as he/she needs to go around each of the spaceships and rescue hostages while destroying hordes of aliens with a variety of weapons. You must rescue the hostages in a certain time limit, or the ship explodes. After you rescued the hostages, you need to make your way to the exit where you defeat a boss to proceed to the next ship.

Alien Syndrome for the Sega Master System is what I like to call a “modified port”, in that the gameplay slightly differs from that of the original game. For instance, when you go left or right a screen, four of the same aliens will suddenly appear. Green faces on the ship's floor fire bullets at you, and the aliens regenerate a few seconds after you shoot them. These things were not present in the arcade game. Because it is modified, the game is slightly difficult, but other than this though, it retains the same gameplay and background music.

The variety of weapons include bullets, fireballs, and lasers. The flamethrower is missing from the original, but the weapons that you can pick up certainly pack a punch, particularly the fireballs, which are good for destroying the bosses. However, the last few bosses take quite a pounding, even with fireballs. The bosses also have several ways to destroy you.

Graphic-wise, the environment in which you walk through look terrific in each of the six ships, and the aliens, bosses, and hostages are well designed. The background music is worth listening to. It changes when you have freed hostages. I enjoyed listening to this piece.

The Bad

Unlike the original Alien Syndrome, there is no map that you can look at in all the ships, so you have no idea how the ship is laid out, where the hostages are, or where the exit is. It's easy to get lost if you do not memorize the area.

The background for the boss fights are plain black, and could have matched that of the original game.

The Bottom Line

Alien Syndrome SMS is a close port of the original version, but since it is modified, the game is slightly difficult. However, the SMS port retains the same gameplay and background music. When you rescue all the hostages, though, the music changes to indicate that you need to hurry along to the exit so that you can defeat the bosses. So in conclusion, great graphics and great music means that you should give the SMS version a try.