Saturday, September 5, 2015

Backlog Blitz: SNES, Week Two, "Good Games Are Alien to This Franchise."

Another weekend, another bunch of old games to talk about. It's been a busy week, what with all the students moving back onto campus, and professors scrambling to fix issues that they should have gotten fixed months ago (at least they're nice about it), and parents trying to get access to information that we legally can't give them, and all that jazz. So I'm falling a bit behind on writing. That and the fact that I'm moving into my apartment next weekend. 

Now this is a good licensed game. The music is jaunty and feels at home in the setting. The art style fits reasonably well with the movie. And most importantly, Aladdin feels like Aladdin. He’s acrobatic, for one, even if the controls are a titch stiff at first. Everything about this meshes very well. It feels…charming. Disneyesque. Fun.

Alien 3
I’m not usually a graphics snob. As long as something isn’t hideous, I’ll happily play it. But even I noticed the difference between backgrounds in Alien 3 and Ripley/the Aliens. The backgrounds are lush evocative screens, while the sprites are hideous. Ripley looks like a shaved monkey in a jumpsuit. Gameplay-wise, this is a massive improvement over the NES version of Alien 3. No time limits, better controls, missions which give you an idea of where to go—the method of accessing them and choosing your route is very Aliens-esque and fits well within the Aliens universe. This is a ton better. Not great, but solid. 

Alien Vs. Predator
Wow. I know that the AVP movies aren’t that great, but the potential for a good game is solid. You could make an FPS from the Predator or human perspective, a survival horror game from a human perspective (Alien: Isolation 2?), a stealth platformer where you play as an Alien, any number of cool things. Instead, you make…a sidescrolling beatemup featuring two creatures not known for their direct confrontations but rather their stealth? WHY? Please note that in my notes, my “why” is heavily underlined in all caps. I just want to make that clear. Seriously. You take away the Predator’s cool gear, reducing it to fisticuffs, and slap it in a clunky brawler? And it is clunky. So broken and stiff. Most attacks are slow as heck. And then there’s the slide attack, which is the only viable attack if you want to survive to the first boss. Slide constantly and you’ll never get scratched. It’s ridiculous. The graphics are…well. The first level is generic slimy sewers. Which is lame. The game is set in New Hong Kong! LET ME SEE NEON! The music is awful, fittingly. Awful music for an awful awful game.