Alien Hominid Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation 2
Release date:
November 16, 2004
The Behemoth
O~3 Entertainment
1 - 2

Alien Hominid

Welcome to the new age of run 'n gun shooters!

Review by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
January 3rd 2005

Evolution isn't just for multi-cellular organisms. Ever since the birth of videogames, there's been a gradual push towards greater complexity. More colors, more dimensions, more buttons on the controller... It's not surprising that some people feel a little lost. Flash games emerged to fill the void, offering simple fun that doesn't take a half hour tutorial to master. Though even they're not immune to evolution, now that the flashy Alien Hominid has been reborn as a console experience.

The style of AH reaches out of the TV and sticks a grenade down your shorts. Our yellow bug-like protagonist is bursting with personality, even without his personal boutique of unlockable headwear. His enemies scream, bleed, and even explode with flair, especially the massive bosses that lurk at the end of each stage. Though all of this hand-drawn high resolution animation comes at a price. It can sometimes obscure the action, hiding bullets and occasionally entire enemies in gouts of fire and bright red streams of gore. Bringing a buddy along to watch your back reduces the number of cheap deaths while increasing the fun, but you'll still occasionally go splat knowing it wasn't really your fault. This game also comes fully loaded with catchy tunes that will stick in your head long after you've put the controller down, while the way robots clank and enemies scream is music to my ears.

Our little hominid has more moves than a disco king. His standard laser has an infinite supply of death rays, can be charged up for a power shot, or boosted via a number of power-ups with limited ammo. He can chuck grenades, roll left and right, and even hide underground to surprise an unwary foe. Riding on an enemy's shoulders makes a great party trick, especially following it up with biting off their heads or tossing them back at their pals. It's a shame that the pace is so frantic with the enemies pouring in from both sides endlessly that most of these moves seem superfluous. The exception are the vehicles, which allow you to rush through a level at high speeds while your steel death machine absorbs most of the enemy fire before it catches on fire, though sadly chances for a sweet ride become rare as the game progresses.

Normal enemies are just complimentary rolls to sate your hunger while you wait for the main course. While a few sub-bosses are like soup that's been left simmering for a month or so, many of the screen-filling bosses are T-bone steaks, cooked up with plenty of well animated side dishes. Though you'll sometimes find yourself stuffed while there's food still left on your plate. The life bars of these crazy contraptions are long, and even your best attacks will only chip away a little at a time. It would have been better if they came in slightly smaller portions.

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