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It’s a shame, really. Alien Soldier deserves so much more recognition than it got upon its initial release, and it will never enjoy the same level of popularity as Gunstar Hero. But with this game added to the Virtual Console, gamers get to experience an awesome older game that they’ve probably never played. That said, this isn’t a game for the impatient; the insanely high difficulty level will result in countless deaths and Continues, if not the occasional broken controller. This game features some of the most grueling, badass boss fights ever seen in any game, and presents it in a seemingly never-ending gauntlet of challenges. Wii owners, stop searching through all the junk in the Virtual Console’s library and give Alien Soldier a shot. It certainly deserves one.
Assuming you've already anticipated the "it's really hectic and difficult if you're not into this sort of thing" disclaimer, Alien Soldier is rather great, actually, and I feel like a proper spoon for overlooking it last week. Spoony me.
The graphics, and in particular the animation, are some of the best you will see on the Megadrive. All the characters are rich in detail and some of the bosses are huge. The music is excellent and there are speech effects thrown in from time to time as well. The on-screen action is sometimes hectic and yet there isn't even the slightest trace of slowdown. The action is fast and furious, so if that sounds like your bag then this could be the game for you. Given the similarities to Treasure’s own Gunstar Heroes, however, Alien Soldier sort of falls short, mainly because the platforming elements are not as good. It is also frustratingly difficult at times as well, which may put off some gamers. Still, this is an enjoyable run n’ gun game in its own right and well worth a look for fans of the genre.
If you've already downloaded Gunstar and played it to death, put down the nine bucks to keep the action going with Alien Soldier. But if you still haven't commanded the Heroes in battle, put Solider on hold, try Gunstar first, and then come back here afterward to see if your brain is still intact enough to be able to handle yet more Treasure-brand madness.
The only real problem with Alien Soldier is that it takes time to click. You have to learn the controls, figure out what the weapons do, learn the patterns of the bosses, and figure out how to keep your ammo stocked. But once you learn how to make your way, things really do click and you start totally feeling what it must be like to be an army of one trading firepower with some of the universe's largest, most elaborate creatures. That's a great feeling.