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The Video Game Critic
The shooting might seem shallow on the surface, but there are special weapons and secret rooms you can unlock by hitting strategic targets (like windows). As much as I loved the Playstation version, the Saturn rules when it comes to light gun accuracy, which makes puts this edition a cut above. Area 51 packs a few surprises, but even if it didn't, there's plenty of fun to be had. As icing on the cake, you can even team up with a friend.
The grainy illustrated graphics underuse the Saturn's abilities, but the chunky gore that accompanies every shot adds to the fun. Repetitive sounds will also disappoint gamers. Area 51's sizzling action easily overcomes it's sizable flaw. It's a must for die-hard shooters and a superb rental for everyone else.
All Game Guide
Overall, this game is extremely fun to play and even better when played with another person. Plenty of secret rooms, pathways, and hidden power-ups add to the depth and replay value. Simply put, blowing away some alien scum is always enjoyable.
If the guided-movement shoot-em-up action of Virtua Cop was to mesh with the undead inhabitants of Corpse Killer (one of many in a long line of Sega CD tragedies from Digital Pictures), the result would be something akin to Area 51, the Midway coin-op smash now available on the Saturn. The storyline is simple enough: Area 51, the top secret military facility 90 miles north of Las Vegas that supposedly conducted biological testing and experiments on alien visitors, has been overrun with mutating alien creatures. The job is to infiltrate the base and wipe out anything that isn't human.
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
The Virtua Cop games have nothing to fear from Area 51. Despite the occasional ride in a jeep or a helicopter, the shooting action never got me all that excited. There's not enough variety in the enemies or weapons power-ups, either. If you were really into the arcade game, however, Area 51 won't disappoint you. Although the prerendered graphics - which are mostly FMV sequences - are a little grainy, they're still pretty good. And the levels pack all the secret rooms of the arcade version, too (but the game's still too short). I only wish those STAAR Team members would help me out instead of getting in the way all the time!
This game brings absolutely nothing new to the genre and generally looks like crap. It is blessed by Revolution X's existence in that because of Aerosmith's shooter, Area 51 is no where near the worst shooter on the system. It is mediocre for a light gun shooter, but even worse when compared to everything else. Buy only if you demand more shooter in your life.