The Basics: Alien Syndrome is a sequel to the top-down, run & gun, alien-blasting arcade classic, now updated for the Wii with a funky new control scheme, lots of new weapons, and some light RPG elements.
What we think: Alien Syndrome isn't the first title that springs to mind when it comes to old games to bring back from the dead, but it's certainly a welcome one. Originally an arcade game ported to every console under the sun, including the NES but oddly not the Genesis, the last anyone heard of Alien Syndrome was as one of the highlights of the Sega Classics Collection for PS2. Now it's getting a sequel on the Wii (and PSP) that's looking to bring the series back to the spotlight, adding all sorts of new bits to supplement the shooting action.
Plot-wise, it's been 100 years since the original arcade game, and Aileen Harding is having alien problems. There's lots of them and they want her dead, for one thing, and once she's out of the way they're going to overrun the galaxy. That can't be good.
So it's off through 15 levels filled with bosses, sub-quests, and a huge pile of weapons. Lasers, flamethrowers, electric zappers, standard machine guns, shotguns, rifles, melee weapons, and a whole lot more are available as the game progresses, and their effectiveness only increases as Aileeen levels up. The most interesting part, though, comes in how they're used with the Wii remote.
The analog stick controls movement, same as usual, but aiming is handled by the remote's pointer function. This promises to allow quick, precise aiming to clear out the endless hordes dying to chow down on tasty human flesh. It's a new control method for top-down action, analogous to the mouse/keyboard setup some PC shooters use, and is looking like a lot of fun.
Alien Syndrome is shaping up to provide old-school blasting with a Wii twist, offering a whole lot of action to cover the barebones plot of woman vs. aliens. With lots of weapons, skill points to allocate for new abilities, and a control scheme that promises good things, it's got the potential to be one of the Wii's sleeper hits during the slow summer months.