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Alien Storm – Genesis

Alien Storm – Genesis

Platform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): Sometime in 1990 and 1991.

Genre: Beat ’em Up

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

I don’t have as much free time these days, so when I do have some, I really try to pick a game that will make great use of that precious time. Today is that day and right now is that time. There’s not enough time to go into the attic and pull out a classic game, so about 45 minutes ago I busted out Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for my PS3, a compilation disc with 48 classic Sega Genesis titles. Being a Sega fanboy and avid collector, this seemed like the perfect way to spend my afternoon! I inserted the disc, turned on my controller, booted up the main menu, then plopped down on the couch for some classic Genesis gaming, new-age style! As I perused the list of games, I stumbled upon Alien StormAlien Storm...? What in the hell is Alien Storm? I’ve known it was on here but I have never even tried it! It is described as a “shooter,” and I’m a BIG retro shooter, shoot-em-up, and run ‘n gun fan! With a thumb-press of the start button, I started my epic adventure to destroy the aliens and save earth…

… 30 minutes later I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat with my fingers pressed against the bridge of my nose and my eyes closed as the ending credits rolled across the screen. My body completely engulfed in confusion, frustration, annoyance, and a little bit of resentment. If I started playing this game 45 minutes ago, and it only took me 30 minutes to beat, what did I do with that other 15 minutes? True story… I have been staring at this computer screen for 15 minutes trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL I could say about Alien Storm and how I could write a full-length review. Because truthfully, folks, there’s not much to say. It’s a shit game and I just wasted my game-hour on THIS. Let’s dive deeper and, well, ugh I’m so mad right now.

Alien Storm is a very simple game for folks who like simple “pleasures.” You play as one of three characters (a muscly dude, a toight-figured woman, and a fucking robot), collectively known as the Alien Busters, and you run around the mean streets of who-knows-where beating up aliens. Done. Game over. Review over. Go home. But seriously, to call this game a “shooter” is a complete and utter slap in the face to all shooter developers. There are three variations of gameplay structure, with the biggest portion going to the side-scrolling walk-and-attack style. The two human busters have guns, but in those aforementioned traditional side-scrolling scenes, they don’t launch any projectiles, instead emitting a very short-range blast that functions more like a kick or a punch. One of the other gameplay variations is a first person shooting gallery (a la Area 51 on Arcade) in which you fire a continuous laser, and the third is a fast-paced auto-scrolling scene (where your character is running balls-out fast – on foot mind you – possibly upwards of 80 mph, no lie), you shoot more traditional single shot projectiles. WHAT?! Across 3 level types I am forced to use different attacks in each one even though I have the same weapon the whole time??

The graphics are decent for their time but they’re nothing to write home about. The music, while appropriate and fitting, lacks any depth or variety and feels entirely uninspired. But one thing is for certain in regards to this soundtrack… It feels very Sega-made. Moreover, the sound effects are pretty much on point. And if I’m noting positives, I might as well mention that the controls aren’t so bad either. You are equipped with a  standard attack button and a limited special attack button plus a weird move where you lunge and roll. That is the extent of the button scheme.

Again, I know that this is an older game and it pre-dates some of the more popular benchmark beat’em up games like Streets of Rage for example, but it’s still far too simplistic and basic to warrant anything other than a subpar Nerd Rating from yours truly. Early on in the game I noticed a couple of trash cans that looked a little out of place. I thought, “Hey, this is cool. I’ll go pick up that trash can and throw it.” But nope. There is absolutely no interaction with your environment. There are no platforms whatsoever. There’s no power-ups. Overall, the gameplay feels very primitive and flatout boring. Once you play through the first three missions, the level structures repeat. The enemies are the same throughout, their attacks are the same throughout, and even the bosses are the same throughout. Yes. You’ll play the same boss multiple times and he has the exact same moveset each time.

There is very little positive I can say about Alien Storm. POSITIVES: Technically it has a progression with a start, middle, and end. It does have somewhat decent graphics. The sound effects are slightly above-average. The soundtrack fits the theme of the game although it lacks in variety. The controls are possibly the best part of the game. NEGATIVES: Alien Storm. Just kidding. Although the game does have a progression, the story does not unfold as it progresses instead only displaying said story in the manual and again once you beat the game. And even though you can beat the game in about 30 minutes, it only takes about 5 minutes for monotony to set in. The absolute coolest level – ya know, that one where you’re running as fast as a racecar – lasts about 30 seconds, and you only do it two maybe three times throughout the whole game. Overall, the negatives outweigh the positives and there is no reason to ever play Alien Storm again. Ever.

Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry


What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

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