The game Alien Hominid has an amazing story behind it. Many of you probably played the Macromedia Flash-based game of the same name on Newgrounds.com years ago. Alien Hominid because a wildly popular web-based game and its popularity has allowed it to make the jump to the console arena via development group The Behemoth and O~3 Entertainment as the publisher.
Those who played the online game will know pretty much what this game entails: an alienâ€™s ship is shot down by the FBI and the alien goes on a rampage killing the feds in order to get back to his ship because thatâ€™s all he wants. What The Behemoth has done with the game is create an almost Metal Slug (feel free to read my Metal Slug 3 Review) kind of game. A 2D action side-scroller that is super hard. Alien Hominid does one extra step that Metal Slug 3 didnâ€™t do though, but Iâ€™ll get to that later. Letâ€™s get to the scores.
The graphics arenâ€™t spectacular and they can jump quite a bit, but Alien Hominid has its own kind of visual style. Think of it as a cross between Craig McCrackenâ€™s (Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack) animation and the LucasArts style in Sam and Max, Full Throttle, the Monkey Island games, etc. It has its own original style to it. The game is fast and frantic and the graphics do a good job of keeping up with the action on the screen. There are some funny parts here and there and the bosses at the end of the sub-levels are really brilliantly drawn and animated. Just makes you think about the old 2D side-scrolling goodness from the days of old.
It is interesting to note that the only person who has their name attached to the beginning of the game is Dan Paladin, who was the lead artist on the game. Usually names before the title means theyâ€™re the main person behind the game or theyâ€™ve endorsed the game (like American McGee Presents Scrapland for instance). Mr. Paladin certainly deserves a shout out for this game because of his visual flair. A lot of color is flooding the screen and everything is well drawn and animated.
There isnâ€™t any sort of special soundfield in Alien Hominid. The background music is nice and the explosions sound good, but you pretty much get the same types of sounds repeating themselves outside of the bosses. Is this bad for the game? Given the genre it is in and the games that have come before it Iâ€™d say it isnâ€™t bad, but it certainly canâ€™t stand up to modern day 3D action games. One of the cooler things in the sound department is that the different guns the alien picks up do have different sounds attached to them.
You canâ€™t get much simpler than 2D side-scrolling action games in the control department and Alien Hominid is no different. Square button fires your gun (it is not automatic, so get ready for your thumb to hurt as you repeatedly press it), X button makes the alien jump, Triangle button is used to get into things like cars and your spaceship in certain sections. The trigger buttons can be used to quickly roll the alien to the left or right which is most useful when you are being shot at from above and need to dodge a bullet. The alien is also able to jump up onto higher levels and duck in order to dodge a bullet.
The game begins with the alien being shot down by an FBI agent. The alien lands, the FBI takes his spaceship away and that pisses the alien off a bit. He pulls out his gun and starts firing and chomping his way through the FBI agents in order to get his spaceship back. The game comprises of 16 levels with a boss at the end of each one. You can liken Alien Hominid to the Metal Slug series quite a bit. They have the same type of gameplay with the â€œone shot and youâ€™re deadâ€ play, although Alien Hominid gives you more of a chance with the ability to pick up force fields while playing. This game also shares Metal Slugâ€™s difficulty level, however it goes one step farther than Metal Slug 3 did in that if you lose all your continues you are able to start over (with the same amount of lives and continues as when you started) on the level you were last on. With Metal Slug 3 it was either you got through in one shot or you were doomed to run through the game again. Granted, this doesnâ€™t make Alien Hominid a very long game, but it is a heck of a lot of fun.
Along with FBI agents, the middle section of the game will see the alien going against KGB agents and other people from Russia. In many ways this is a throwback to the 80s, which is funny because that is when the game Alien Hominid borrows the most from came out: Contra. Later on in the game the alien will face off against bigger bosses and eventuallyâ€¦well, weâ€™ll leave that for you to find out.
The game may be only a few hours long, but there is a lot of mini-games that you can play both by yourself and with friends. These added bonuses makes the game a better pick up than Metal Slug 3 if you have multiple consoles. Those of us that lived through the Atari and original Nintendo years will find this game to be a blast from the past, but you probably already knew that if you played the web game.
Simply put, Alien Hominid is a fun 2D side-scrolling action game, a dying breed in this day and age. The beauty is that this game went from a popular internet Flash game to the Playstation 2 and GameCube. This game has a lot of extras and just plowing through the game to see and battle the bosses is well worth it. I highly recommend this game if you are feeling the nostalgia bug.