Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Ripley’s back and her cuddly, adorable Aliens are close behind! She’s crash-landed on a prison planet and once again she’s menaced by the dreaded Aliens. This time they’ve spawned a young un’ inside Ripley herself! To her horror, it breeds faster than a randy rat and no time prisoners and wardens alike are showing their innards to all and sundry!
Scared sh... er, witless, Ripley sets about destroying the messy menace (or good. Which is where you come in! You guide Ripley through countless levels of the prison, freeing captured humans and wiping out as many Aliens as possible.
A variety of weapons are at your disposal, such as machine guns, flame throwers and grenades. A radar-like device detects lifeforms, both human and alien.
The object of each level’s to rescue the stated amount of prisoners before time runs out — or before you become a mid-morning snack. Each successive level is longer, with more prisoners to rescue. Complete them all and it’s off to the final confrontation with the bad momma herself.
Don’t expect any thanks, though — we never asked you to save the Earth, you just kinda volunteered!
Aye up! Where did this come from? MS Alien³ snook in through the back door. It wasn’t sent to us by Acclaim; you can go out and get this one from your local computer shop — now! All in all, the Master System conversion’s not a bad blaster. I often wonder whether great games like MD Alien³ should be converted to 8-bit. More often than not, all the glitz and gameplay of the 16-bit carts are lost in the crossover.
For an MS game, Alien³ is well above average. The graphics still have that atmospheric feel to them. The main sprite’s not as large and as detailed as MD Ripley but she moves pretty quickly.
The Alien sprites shouldn’t be sniffed at: they’re fair representations of the 16-bit critters. The backdrops are nicely detailed and shaded and scrolling’s pretty smooth.
In the sound department, there’s a good intro tune, a few spot FX and a couple of fanfares from time to time. Presentation-wise there’s a good title screen, plus some nice static shots in between levels, when you lose a life and when time runs out. Jumping platforms and climbing up and down ladders is a touch tricky at times. On the whole, MS Alien³ offers the same challenge as the MD version. Mappers will love it. And now you can play Alien³ with a friend — there’s a two-player option, lacking in the Mega Drive game. Not a bad effort.
I once thought I’d been visited by a creature from another planet... but It was only a Jehovah’s Witness trying to flog me a Bible! So the MS gets its own Alien³. How does it compare to the MD? Are all the gameplay elements there? And is Ripley still as bald as a coot?! (‘Fraid so! —Prod Ed.)
The good news is Alien³’s made a very smooth passage from 16- to 8-bit. It plays the same and graphically it’s very good. The map’s the same as on the MD so it’s tough to complete. Mat can’t get as far on this conversion so perhaps its tougher?
Going back to the graphics, the intros and between-level pics are highly detailed and clear. They’ll make any MS owner very proud! The sound’s also good, a tense tune played in the background with good, appropriate FX dubbed over the top.
Alien³’s only flaw is it gets very samey. Having the same task each level means boredom eventually sets in.
Of course, if you love this type of game you’ll probably be enthralled, but be warned: variety isn’t this game’s strongest asset!
Excellent conversion of the great alien romp!