Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement... it's Sega-Day Night... so lets play and review Alien Storm!
Initially when I started playing it, I didn't think I played the game before... but as it went on, it did seem very familiar to me, so I can't say for sure this was my first time playing it... but I can say it was the first time playing it on a PC with a modern controller.
That said, this game was released in 1990 in the arcades, something I was wondering during the recording of the game play footage, which was later ported to the Sega Genesis / MegaDrive and some other consoles. The players play as (according to Wikipedia) 'Alien Busters'. It's a standard side-scrolling beat 'em up, with some other elements (like a first person shooter and a sprint stage) thrown in for variety.
There are three characters to choose from, Scooter, a robot / android, Karen, who thanks to being a brunette and wearing yellow reminded me of April O'Neil, and Garth, who would've partied on if the game did not freeze on me. Each of these characters have their own unique attacks based around a whip, Scooter being more melee focused, Garth having a nice well rounded with a decent range electric weapon, and Karen whose flame thrower has the weirdest hit detection learning curve I have ever seen. They all have special attacks to take out all enemies on screen, such as Scooter blowing up his body, Karen calling down a tactical nuke and Garth (PARTY ON!) calling for a ballistic mission strike. These all take energy to use, which you can earn during the first person shooter stages
The controls are very responsible, and since this was original an arcade the game, the analog stick makes moving incredibly smooth, and the buttons for the attacks (in my case it's A for Special Move, B for standard attack and RB for 'roll / lunge') are really straight forward.
The levels themselves are pretty straight forward, you go right and wipe out the bad guys, who all have the basic strategy that is common in most arcade games... to 'swarm' the player and overwhelm them. You get four lives, with no clear indication of how to get more... and the same applies to health pick ups. As I mention before, the FPS stages is where you get more energy to use the characters special attacks... but as I played the game, I've only seen health picks up in the first and second shooter stage and done during the normal game play.
That minor nitpick aside, this game is a lot of fun, and in comparison to Alien Soldier from last week, this game is complete and feels natural. There's more of a focus on playing the game than just getting to 'boss battles' as I only encountered two in the game (and couldn't get past the second one).
So my verdict on Alien Storm is this: It's an decent old-school arcade port, a pure button masher that is good for a nice stint of mindless action.