Publishers must really be in a rut these days. It’s not enough that they’ve scavenged from every available movie, TV, and boardgame license, but now they’re cannibalizing web games. That’s right, those flash games we all love to play in our spare time (or during work) are making an appearance on consoles now. While some, such as those included in Xbox Live Arcade, haven’t been changed much, there are those that did get some serious fleshing out before making the move. That’s the case with Alien Hominid, a fun little shooter title that’s flown the web coop and made a splash on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Make no mistake about it, Alien Hominid is a pure and simple button mashing frenzy. The game puts you in the role of a homicidal yellow alien who’s crash-landed on Earth and is fighting his way through hordes of “men in black.” There’s not a whole lot of strategy here, as you just blast, detonate or knife your way through the bad guys, receiving random assistance from a backpack wearing kid who doles out power ups for your weapons. You’ve also got a cool burrowing “power” that lets you hide when the action gets a little too crazy, as is often the case.
For a simply designed side scroller, this is a seriously hard game. The action is very fast, the levels so small as to appear claustrophobic and the enemies relentless. You’ll be jumping, burrowing and blasting constantly. It’s old-school shooting action in the vein of Contra, that in the end suffers from tiresome monotony and a very short campaign. There are mini-games to be unlocked, but really, this game won’t hold your attention for long.
Visually, Alien Hominid is a stunner. It’s hand-drawn look and feel sucks you into the silly comic-book world of the game and won’t let you out. Motion is smooth, and weapon effects are suitably cartoony. This is no cell-shaded Zelda, but it’s definitely got a beauty of its own. Audio-wise, the game gets the job done, but isn’t a standout.
Alien Hominid is a game that might not appeal to everyone, but for those who like their Contra with a lot of humor, it’s worth picking up. It’s definitely worth the rental for some mindless shooting mayhem after this past year’s slew of story-rich titles.
- Gameplay: 7.5
- Arcade-styled run and gun gameplay with a few twists.
- Graphics: 8
- Like playing through a wonderfully drawn comic book world
- Sound: 6
- Nothing special, but nothing bad either
- Replay: 6
- Mini-games save the day for a game with a short campaign
- Overall: 7.5
- Fun, but frustratingly difficult at times