|By Andrew Raub||Friday, 4 Mar 2005|
Alien Hominid harkens back to the loose run-n-gun game play found in games such as Contra or Metal Slug. Sure, it’s derivative, but the cheap thrills it provides are something almost lost in the modern era of gaming. What started as a simple flash game found at newgrounds.com is now a full scale console action game.
The main draw of Alien Hominid is its wild and cartoony style. The graphics are in no way supposed to look realistic. In fact, the graphics do a pretty good job of looking just like an animated cartoon thanks to crisp sprites, fluid animation, and cel-shading.
The game play is fairly simple, but varied, keeping the action always exciting. The game is divided into three chapters involving the FBI, the Russians, and Area-51. Within these chapters are levels ranging from standard left-to-right kill anything that moves, to riding snowmobiles and trains, to piloting your spaceship. The bosses are huge and fairly difficult, but pattern based, providing an easy method of success. Power ups are spread all over the levels, and don’t worry about wasting the ammo, you’ll probably get another equally cool one before you run out. Grab a friend for some amazing 2-player excitement as well.
The controls aren’t innovative, but they work well. You can duck, jump, dig underground, roll, throw grenades, it even allows you to land on enemies’ heads and control them. There are still more abilities to use beyond these basics.
The music and sound are good, creating just the right mood for this style.
The game has it’s problems though. I often found myself getting frustrated over repeated deaths because the enemy bullets are hard to detect at times. And even though there is a short amount of invincibility after each death, the enemies are sometimes lined up just right so that it’s near impossible to avoid death. But, the game balances this out by it’s continue/save system. The game saves after every level you beat, and you can load any level you’ve unlocked. It also renews all continues when you load a level, so if you make it through three tough levels and get a game over, you can just load the last level you got to and have all of your continues back.
There are plenty of bonuses as well. There are tons of hats to collect and wear, and there are PDA minigames that provide decent challenge and fun.
It’s a simple and fun game that can provide tons of entertainment, and best of all, it’s a budget $30 title.