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Written by  :  So Hai (371)
Written on  :  Mar 27, 2008
Platform  :  Wii
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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"Alien Soldier" is a very unusual breed of game.

The Good

Sure, this game is a run-and-gun type affair, but it's not so much as what the game is, the originality is in howit does it.

Firstly, I've never seen a better-looking Megadrive game - this thing is polished. The art direction is consistent (and although a little dated), it remains one of it's best qualities. Facing off with the many different bosses will just reinforce in the player's mind the great detail and effort that was put into the characterisations.

The game mechanic is quite original too. Instead of the "one-hit-and-you're-dead" mechanism that so many of the games employ, we have a good amount of "Energy", that, when the player collects dropped items, can be re-charged. But not only is your health fractional, so is your weapons' charge.

The Bad

When beginning a game, the player can select four from a choice of six weapon styles. Essentially, your genetically engineered protagonist carries four guns. You can switch at any time (with a pretty annoying in-game sub-menu system) to any of your weapons. In fact, this will become essential, as each gun has it's own supply of charge, and overcharging the gun sends Epsilon-Eagle to, well, the high-score screen really. (Yes, you've only one life!).

Technically speaking, this game is just a huge onslaught of boss attacks, broken up by quasi "intermission" style regular platformer action. I found these small in-between parts quite a treat, and I couldn't help but think what sort of game it would of been had it toned down it's set-piece boss encounters. I think the game is slightly unappealing in that it requires you to ceaselessly go up against things that are bigger, more powerful, and more intimidating than you. (I hate boss fights in games, you see.)

The Bottom Line

Anyway, this game really is a run-and-gun stand-out, and the continuity throughout the game (one long level filled with many mini-bosses) is either something to embrace or resent. Stick with it though, it's a monumental challenge.