Are you tired of fighting aliens in your typical side scroller? Are you afraid that your side scrollers are going to go to Hell aka 3D? This holiday season brings you the gaming goodness that is Alien Hominid. All next generation consoles receive this gem, so there is no excuse not to support such a great game. For all those wannabe game designers out there, and those that are designing “million-dollar” budget games the wrong way, take head. The aliens are here to kick some human police butt.
There are many ways to enjoy the aliens, indeed. Alien Hominid gives you many options. Within the main game, you can rename your character, give him thirty different hats or hairdos that range from a nurse hat to a nice lump of curls, turn the gore on and off, and play on three difficulties and a beginner’s mode. The secretive hats can be acquired through passing certain stages and conditions or bombing certain buildings. With the game’s gore turned off, your alien can still be cut in half, and enemies will die with instead a familiar bodily function’s sound. You can restart on the last level you attempted. There are sixteen areas altogether. The three scenarios involve a chase with the FBI, a run-in with the KGB, and a final showdown in the desert around Area 51.
The game begins with a crash landing of your alien and a quick cover-up job by the FBI. They assure everyone’s safety with a “There’s nothing to see here” sign. In the stages of Alien Hominid, you get to pass by several fun decals, like “Little Dick’s Storage,” “Hairy Mommy Daycare,” and “Meow Meow Road.” Comedy of decals aside, the game play is definitely the game’s biggest stronghold. Compared to the hottest side-scrolling shooters of today, Alien Hominid takes you to gaming Heaven and back. There are over six different shot upgrades (offered to you from the fat kids that befriend you, fall out from dead enemies, or lay in the waste of bombed buildings), force fields, bombs, a knife, and countless vehicles to aid you on your quest.
While the sprites can get repetitive, the fights will not. After defeating the first few bosses with your gun and on-ground dodging skills, you will have challenging bosses that require even more strategy to defeat. An early example is when you are battling from rooftop to rooftop on a highway of speeding cars. If you fall, you die. What do you do when the boss comes charging at you? You car-jack the human and watch them tumble down the road and see the boss skid over your head. Another boss requires you to board your spaceship and beam up enemy fire, only to toss it back at them. There are stages that do not steer too far from Alien Hominid‘s sexy formula; you take to air and space in some shooting levels. One of the few downsides of Alien Hominid is definitely exploited in these stages. The flying levels increase the difficulty to where you would be very hard-pressed to pass without losing a few lives.
Blame it on the bullets. Certainly you can say this about the regular stages. Depending on the background, the bland bullets can definitely blend into the flashier colors of the background, getting your boiling point high quickly. Alien Hominid offers a few remedies to a cluttered screen and a quick death. Your alien can bury underground and wait for an unsuspecting foe to stand above him, at which time you can reach and grab him, bringing him to a stealthy death. If you choose the high rode, your alien can mount atop an enemy’s shoulders and ride him in either direction. You can choose to either chomp down on your enemy’s face (yum) or use him to bowl down the other characters. Be warned! There are a few characters you cannot ride nor grab from below. Doing so will provide an explosive reaction!
No doubt Alien Hominid was paying homage to some of the greatest titles in its genre. The last boss of Alien Hominid is very reminiscent of the crazy bald warrior in a certain series that is set to go VERY sluggish with its impending 3D HORROR. Okay Metal Slug’s and other awesome 2D games’ demises with the onset of 3D game play aside, Alien Hominid takes you even further back with an old-school platform PDA game in the mini-games section. There are over 200 levels that can challenge you and three friends simultaneously. The game allows you to restart at every fifth level. Game play involves simple and sometimes timed movement; you can defeat enemies with a jump on the head or with a boulder rolled on top of them. If the 200+ levels do not satisfy you, the producers of Alien Hominid have included an editor to create your own platform stages. The four other mini-games have not caught this reviewer’s attention, but they are there for your enjoyment. Lastly, for those who are animation freaks, the game runs pretty smoothly. Alien Hominid originates from a FLASH! game, and the designers wanted it to stay close to its roots visually. The game takes off in several other areas creativity and earns your attention and dollars.
The music is mostly wonderfully composed. Thankfully, it is looped, as any game with that awkward silence between track loads is just awful. The sound effects, as described above, are very entertaining. You will laugh at the human’s screams, especially when they are set aflame. The best sound effect, arguably, is when your character dies in the PDA game. Even when the PDA game is aggravating you, just take a moment to enjoy the richness of this flatulence, err sound.
Alien Hominid offers you sleuth gamers some replay value in figuring out the conditions of unlocking the alien’s hats/hairdos. The sheer design and fun of Alien Hominid begs you to play it more than once. When you go and play all of these super sequel duds by big names that have almost completely abandoned 2D gaming, you come back to Alien Hominid and begin to appreciate it even more.
Alien Hominid is a bargain, at least twenty dollars cheaper than most of the games out this holiday season. If this review has not convinced you to go buy this game, then just go buy it anyway. Then come back to Mygamer and thank us for telling you to get it. The character design is precious enough to warm even the coldest Grinch. How fun is it to see two little alien heads driving off in a broke-down school bus? Damn good fun, for sure.