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Aliens Blast: The Encounter never makes any pretense toward being anything other than it is, a simple straightforward shoot ‘em up extravaganza, and depending upon whether or not this is your cup of tea will be the major factor in your purchase decision. Players will have to decide for themselves whether or not they enjoy gunning down hordes of aliens for nostalgia’s sake, or whether downloading a copy of MAME and running their Galaga ROM is more than enough.
As I mentioned in the opening line that for those looking for an old school blast from the past type of game, then Alien Blast will probably do. There isn’t much to the game, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. For gamers looking for a quick fix of intense shooter action, then look no farther. But for gamers looking for a modern pack, full of variety, then steer clear of this game. In fact stay as far away as possible.
To be fair, Alien Blast could offer some diverting fun during your lunch break or some other time of day when you have nothing intentional to do. But then there's a whole world-- things like online puzzle games, clipping your nails, and having conversations with people (imaginary or otherwise)--that has much more potential for Good Times. If you are one of those anti-social types with no Internet connection (and somehow read this review!) and are still trudging along with, say, a Pentium II, then this might be your ticket. In other words, the market has moved beyond this kind of game.
The basics of Alien Blast's mechanics are simple; all you do is rotate around in 360 degrees and occasionally look up a little bit. Of course, you have to do this while fending off unrelenting alien masses that are hell bent on your destruction. Switching between weapons is as simple as a button press, but once you're out of ammo, it's back to the trusty machine gun to get things done.
Alien Blast also has a Multiplayer mode for up to four people to play simultaneously, but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who would want to spend time playing this game, much less own a copy of it. Despite all its attempts, Alien Blast ultimately fails. There isn't a single redeeming quality about this game. It's too hard to be fun, and even if it wasn't hard, the gameplay quickly grates the nerves. There is absolutely nothing to make you want to play this game for more than a couple of minutes. If you absolutely must have this game, at least wait for it to hit the bargain bins.
Across every category, Alien Blast defines itself as the very epitome of boredom. The action is dull, repetitive, and in some cases, a bit broken. The game's graphics are pretty much a sad, underdeveloped joke. Its sound is best left with the volume knob turned completely down. And despite the fact that it features multiplayer, the game's pretty much useless if no one is ever online to play with. Every single aspect of Alien Blast is just supremely uninspired, and as such, there's absolutely no reason to play it.
I don't think this style of game is necessarily dead in terms of datedness. It certainly isn't going to find a large audience, but there are a number of nostalgic gamers who would find a game in this genre to be pretty fun and exciting. Alien Blast, however, is neither fun nor exciting; it is an exercise in monotony and frustration. Featuring some truly lacking graphics, a soundtrack that is presumed missing, and gameplay that is can be ambiguously defined as being either horribly accurate or incredibly off, Alien Blast is simply not a game I could recommend to anyone who likes games. It defies mediocrity and is the embodiment of pure boredom.
What is it with the bargain bin PC games these days? Are developers even trying anymore? I hate to say it, but Alien Blast is yet another game that will be glanced at and tossed aside when looking for games, and rightfully so. It's about as complex as early Atari games, but with 3D graphics and absolutely none of the innovation that those Atari games had in their heyday. You might expect to play this game online with Flash or Java or something, not lay down twenty hard-earned bones for it. While it's slightly fun for maybe ten minutes, the boring gameplay, "pop-up" problems, and lack of variety in levels, AI, or weapons make Alien Blast one of those games that you can laugh about how bad it is. Best to be avoided, I'm sad to say.
Shooting things is fun. Blasting hordes of slimy alien attackers into space goo is fun with a purpose. Expanding on this corollary, Strategy First's new turret-based action shooter -- Alien Blast: The Encounter -- should be an absolute hoot. Sadly, it's not even close. In fact, Alien Blast is so decidedly unfun that there really should be a warning label on the box to alert unsuspecting PC gamers to this fact.