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Alien³ (SNES)

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79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37691)
Written on  :  Dec 10, 2005
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Summary

More than just rescuing prisoners

The Good

This is the SNES port of Alien3, and the game's story is consistent to that of the movie. Lt. Ellen Ripley is asleep in the cryogenic chamber on board her spaceship, known as the “Sulaco”. A fire breaks out in the chamber, and Ripley is automatically placed into an E.E.V. (Emergency Escape Vehicle) and jettisoned into space. Later, the E.E.V. Lands on Florina “Fury” 161, a planet that houses a maximum security prison, which happens to be overrun by aliens.

The SNES version of Alien3 is very different to it counterparts. You see, there are six stages, which consist of 6-8 missions each, and you do a lot more than releasing prisoners who are chained up. You also repair broken pipes, fuse boxes, and junction boxes; restore power to different areas; seal off areas; and destroy alien eggs and mother aliens. Each stage takes place in one of the six huge areas of the prison, and you have to enter doors, which means that you have to walk around the prison's corridors a lot and climb through air ducts to get from one corridor to the next. There are blueprints to help you get to where you need to go. These blueprints are a great help, because they can save you time since you know exactly where to go instead of just wasting a lot of time trying to find the room. A lot of the rooms require you to walk through other rooms. Even when a mission doesn't require you to do so, you can still search for irregularities while heading to your destination.

Once you have accomplished your mission, you hear a beeping noise, telling you to return to your terminal so that you can receive your next mission. Making the missions difficult are different species of aliens, which include face huggers, chest busters, warriors, bambi busters, and queens. Some of these aliens crawl on both the ceiling and floors. The best-looking alien is the queen, which is less harmful than others as she constantly jumps around all over the place. You have a variety of weapons that you can use to destroy them, including pulse rifles, grenade launchers, and flamethrowers. Some of these weapons are much efficient in getting rid of the tougher aliens. I think that nothing beats the trusty flamethrower, as it can destroy a group of aliens in one shot. Even if you manage to destroy every alien on screen, more and more aliens appear, and you will eventually find out that it is best just to jump over them.

The graphics consist of static and moving backdrops, which look amazing. They are also consistent with the room's name. For instance, the backdrops used for cell blocks consist of cells that are right next to each other, and on different levels. The waste areas consist of just that, waste, with acid rain falling from the sky. The surface areas has a huge sun and its moon next to it. The furnace areas consists of huge pots of lava that are about to be poured onto objects. These backdrops help you determine whether you are at the right place, providing that you know what they look like.

The game's high-quality music can be heard during the game, and it changes after each mission. What music will be played depend on what your current mission objective is. I enjoyed listening to some tunes, especially when you destroy eggs and repair junction boxes. The sound effects are quite nice. A cool reloading sound is heard whenever you get a new weapon or ammo, Ripley says “Ugh” when she jumps or is injured. I also like the way that the prisoners call for help.

The controls are simple to use. You use the most controls to fire your weapons, and these weapons can shoot diagonally. One button activates the motion tracker, which can be useful for detecting aliens and prisoners above you, behind you, or in front of you. Aliens show up as blue dots, while prisoners show up as red dots. The beeping sound of the tracker is what you not hear in other versions of Alien3.

The Bad

I found it rather difficult to get rid of the floor-based aliens. You have to crawl to deal with these. You can't just hold the down button for one second, but for five seconds. Doing this otherwise will only cause you to shoot diagonally downward. And speaking of shooting, you can fire in all directions. You can shoot up while jumping, but not down. It would have been nice if you did.

The Bottom Line

The SNES version may have the same story as its other counterparts, but the game is totally different, as it is mission-based, and you need to do more than rescue prisoners. Once you have accomplished all missions in one of the six stages, you move on to the next one. Most of these missions require you to do a lot of walking, both in corridors and through air ducts. The missions in each stage are similar to what you may did previously, but most of them are challenging. The missions gets rather difficult with aliens crawling around each area, but you can deal with them using a variety of weapons. With great graphics, as well as an excellent soundtrack, I recommend this version if any one is looking for a copy of Alien3 to play.