Alien Hominid Review
In this world of games that constantly push the 3D graphics envelope and provide you with action worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, some of you may feel the need to take a break and enjoy the simple pleasures of a 2D side-scroller. If you are one of these people, then you’ll want to check out Alien Hominid. It’s your basic story of alien meets spaceship, alien loses spaceship, alien finds spaceship again, with a lot of killing of FBI agents along the way. Just keep moving to the left, shooting at anything that tries to stop you and you’ll do just fine. If you can’t see yourself ever playing a side-scroller game, then more than likely Alien Hominid won’t change your opinion of these games. As far as side-scrollers go, though, the game is quirky, imaginative, and can definitely be fun to play.
In Alien Hominid, you play the alien in question. The FBI has shot you down and confiscated your spaceship, and you just want to get it back so you can be on your merry way. Rather than opt for the “befriend a local kid and build a subspace transmitter out of toys” approach, this ET is not shy about slaughtering anyone who gets in his way. Your basic weapon is the ubiquitous alien deathray which can fire little bolts of energy or be charged before firing for a stronger wallop. You also get a limited number of grenades which do the obvious blowing up of things. On occasion you’ll run into boosts that will temporarily change your weapon to a more powerful version, provide you with a shield to block enemy attacks, and restock your supply of grenades.
So far nothing out of the ordinary here, but Alien Hominid doesn’t stop there. Get nice and close to an enemy and you can slash him with your gun – apparently alien weapons are quite sharp as this has the effect of cleaving your target in two. You can also hop onto the back of an enemy and either bite his head off for a quick kill or throw him into another enemy and get two birds with one stone. The Alien Hominid is also a quick burrower, and you can send him underground to both stay out of harm’s way and to grab unsuspecting enemies. The enemies unfortunate enough to be pulled down by you are dispatched in a spurt of blood. You’ll need to use your imagination to determine just what good old AH does under the turf, but it is an effective attack. The game will also let you jump behind the wheel of any vehicles you come across, allowing you to mow down pedestrian attackers. It’s fun for variety’s sake, but it is basically not much more than another attack option.
With all of these attacks at your disposal you’d think that your Alien Hominid would be an unstoppable killing machine, but that’s not the case here. This game is hard – and I mean really hard – to the point that many gamers will find it pretty frustrating to play. You get a fixed number of lives each game as well as a few continues, but if the game didn’t let you start again from the last point that you reached few gamers would eve make it through to the end. There are just too many enemies coming at you from all directions on a short screen that does not give you much room to get out of the way. Pushing your way through the game and starting where you last ran out of continues, you’ll be able to finish the game in one extended session – so you can see that the game is not that long as far as its levels go. Its simple premise and action-focused gameplay does give it replay value though.
If you need a break from the regular game, you have a few options. The first is to find a friend and play your way through the game in co-op mode. There are also a variety of mini-games which range from a seriously old-school LCD-style platform game in which you must jump on bad guys while grabbing fruit to a very violent variant on basketball.
When creating a side-scroller it is easy to get lazy in the graphics department, but Alien Hominid did not fall into this trap. It has a very unique, underground comic look to it that makes the game almost as much fun to watch as to play. The juxtaposition of cartoon graphics with over-the-top violence works quite well in the game, in a weird sort of way. Even if you’re not into the whole side-scroller thing, you may want to rent the game just to check out its unique look.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 74%. Why phone home for help when you can massacre the locals instead?