Rating

A-

Specific Ratings

GameplayA-
GraphicsB+
Learning CurveB-
Replay ValueA-
SoundC

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great levels, tons of variety!
  • Awesome bosses!
  • Fluid, stylized graphics
  • Tons of extras and a magnificent "PDA" game
  • Challenging
  • Coop rocks
Cons
  • Cheap deaths galore
  • Small enemy bullets suck

Alien Hominid (GameCube)

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Summary

Sleeper defined.

Images


Description

Based on a very popular flash game, Alien Hominid is a stew of Metal Slug gameplay, X-Files universe concepts and cartoon style graphics. The game is a difficult, varied shooter that demands patience, attention and a meager $29.99 in order to purchase it.

The game excels because of a simplicity that reminds one of old-school gems (Metal Slug etc). Giving the characters straightforward levels are comprised of side-scrolling bits that never get convoluted, just frantic. The levels themselves range from riding snowmobiles, jumping from vehicle to vehicle on a highway, flying Hominid's spaceship and many other variations. Each of the 13 levels of the game provides an ending boss that is unique, difficult and almost guaranteed to be towering over our charming alien hero. One problem that occurs, however, with these monstrous bosses is that due to their size, our little alien heroes get lost amidst the colorful sprite explosion.

Alien Hominid has a variety of moves, as well. From power shots akin to Mega Man, to digging into the ground to snatch up FBI agents, or biting/slicing enemies into bloody pulp with his sword and teeth. Along with many slightly upgradeable (but limited weapons), Hominid uses many diverse and equally dangerous vehicles. Some of the game's most satisfying moments occur when bulldozing through the swarms of FBI agents.

Next to the main game lies a slew of extras (unlockable minigames and gimmicky cool hats) and a boisterous mini-game that reminds one of Lode Runner. Up to 4 players can partake in this simple, but very well executed puzzle. Over 200 levels are to be found in this mode, and on top of this is a level editor that allows for inifinite replay value. It's important to note that when played with 4 players, this mode changes drastically. With this change, it becomes infinitely deeper, more strategic and ultimately more satisfying.

In terms of sights and sounds, Alien Hominid uses a wonderful palette to convey its unique art style and offers a wide range of charmingly gory things to look at. Sound-wise, the music (beyond the mini-game's somehow infectious riff) is nondescript and forgotten similarly to the sounds. Suffice to say, the game is about twitching and visuals, and the sound plays second fiddle to them.

The only major flaws I can level at Alien Hominid are the clutter of onscreen action, the cheap deaths (which are to be expected in 2D shooters on any kind), and the short nature of the main game. Despite these issues, the game screams for replay and offers many different modes and variants to try. Overall, the title is near AAA quality for $29.99, and will impress with 1 to 4 players of all ages. Don't hesitate to pick this one up before it becomes an eBay baby.

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