Alien³ (SNES)

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Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Apr 01, 2007
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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An "Aliens" Wolf In "Alien 3" Sheep's Clothing.

The Good

The game, despite what film in the series it is based on, is highly action-packed. Ripley as a video game character is in top form with her combination pulse rifle/flamethrower and grenades, blasting every stage of alien growth in sight. The game allows for a few breathers in pacing, but gives more than its fair share of close-quarter fire fights. For anyone who has wanted to blast apart countless aliens, this game is ideal.

Graphic and sounds are not a disappointment. The music is tense, fast-paced or dark and somber, which is appropriate for the wide expanses of the prison planet that Ripley must travel through. There is almost a "Super Metroid" feel to the environment, and the location choices are diverse and beautiful. Some of the outside areas were particularly impressive. Ripley herself animates well, as do the aliens exploding into goo and the firepower looking really nice.

The game also controls well, which is important for a game like this. Ripley has to climb, crawl, swing, shoot and run through numerous obstacles and enemies, and for the variety of missions (repair, blockades, rescue, hunting), this is necessary, and welcome that the game works as well as it does. The game is not all mindless shooting. Certain things must be done in order to progress to the next area.

The Bad

The game does suffer a little repetition in missions from time to time. While the game tries to keep things diverse, some of the missions seem a bit similar in content and overall feel.

The game completely excludes the source material of which it is based on. For the gameplay, this is likely for the best, but there's no opportunity for scenarios such as dog aliens, violent prisoners to contend with, losing impregnated prisioners to alien chestbursters, or even a race against time, as Ripley learns the truth about what has happened to her during her time in cryosleep. That point is referenced in the end, but it's presented as an "Oh, by the way" sort of moment. The only clues you get that you are playing a game based on the third movie are the opening and ending cut scenes.

The Bottom Line

"Alien 3" as a film would be exceedingly difficult to put together as a game. It lacked the cramped spaces of "Alien", and it lacked the countless xenomorphs of "Aliens", so the developers wisely chucked away the concept of "Alien 3" and gave it a style of gameplay, more befitting to the second film. Despite what movie in the series this game is based on, this is "Aliens". Pure and simple.

Fans of the series will notice that it bases the overall plot on the third movie. The levels look like locales from the penal colony, and even Ripley sports her shaved head. But that's where the similarities end.

As a Super Nintendo game, it's great action-adventure platformer, and one of Acclaim's better games. What is interesting/amusing about this title is that shortly after this games release, Acclaim began pumping out game after game based on this exact same engine and style of gameplay ("Judge Dredd" and "Stargate" come to mind). None of the following games were able to compare to or surpass the level of quality of this title.

A lot of "Alien 3" games were released at the time of the movie. This, however, was the best and most unique of the lot. "Alien" fans seeking a good xenomorph blaster or anyone seeking a good adventure game should not be disappointed with this title.