Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
All the human race was trying to do was coexist in peace and harmony and enjoy their lives to the full, and they would have got away with it if it wasn't for those meddling aliens.
Starships loaded with said contemptuous slimy extraterrestrials have landed and the ghastly inhabitants have taken over, terrorising the populace and generally disporting themselves in a yobbo-esque fashion.
Fortunately there are two brave survivors still willing to fight for the human cause. They are Gordon the Hamburger Stand Man and Scooter his robot assistant who have decided to take on the entire alien fleet and give their asses the kicking they so truly deserve.
Alien Storm is a conversion of Sega's popular arcade game. The action is seen in a three-quarters side view, giving the screen "depth" that the players cam move in and out. Blasting aliens whilst keeping a careful eye on your life and energy gauges is the order of the day here, so get your special "blasting aliens whilst keeping an eye on my life and energy gauges" trousers on add get slaughtering!
Once per level, the heroes enter an alien-infested shop to participate in a 3D Operation Wolf style feast of gratuitous violence. The object is simply to blast everything in sight, including the shop fittings which sometimes contain energy and weapon power-ups. Wahoo!
If you're fond of shooting your weapon off all over the place with gay abandon, Alien Storm has a shock in store for you. Y'see, your weapon is powered by batteries, and its death dealin' lasers gobble up their juice quicker than Oz sucks up a Macdonalds milk shake on a hot summer's day. Fear not though, for extra energy can be found by shooting the scenery in the 3D gunsight sequences, or by killing certain aliens who then turn into giant power cells just ripe for bunging in your laser.
Another change tn the action is heralded twice during the game. This time, we see our heroes legging it along the screen as usual, but at enormous speeds more befitting Sonic the Hedgehog! During this level, our heroes' long-range weapons become activated and the game becomes more of a horizontally scrolling shoot ’em up.
In keeping with your average hamburger salesmen, Gordon and Scooter are not only tooled-up with their private arsenals of weaponry such as laser rifles, electro-whips and handguns, but can also summon attacks capable of clearing a whole screen of aliens. Scooter is able to explode his body, showering other-worlders with deadly hot shrapnel, and then call on another headless Scooter to replace the shattered shell. Gordon, on the other hand, is capable of requesting a huge nuclear missile to eradicate the scum. Far from destroying a hundred square mites of scenery around the detonation area, this is a rather selective missile which kills only alien things!
Scooter the android in action. This Terminator-like machine has many incredible weapons built into his hyper alloy body, Including this amazing finger blaster. Cor!
Blast, blast, and blast some more to get the most points out of these horizontally scrolling levels!
Here, Gordon is surrounded by nasty aliens,
Gordon's mega-destructive short-range laser cannon is just the job for taking on slimy aliens like this one. He also carries laser pistols to get the job done.
I can only express deep disappointment at this shoddy conversion. It’s an instant downer as soon as you boot it up - the graphics are very poor, with small, blocky and poorly-animated sprites. The aliens are particularly bad, looking nothing like their grisly arcade counterparts. The sound is even worse, with a vile, grating, screeching tune that has you reaching for the volume knob in seconds. But worst of all is the playability. Even with its cock-eyed collision detection and unresponsive controls you can finish the game within a couple of sessions - Alien Breeze would ba a more befitting title for this game!
Bearing in mind the excellent conversion job made of the Megadrlve version of Alien Storm (except for the difficulty level) it would have been nice to think that Sega could pull a similar conversion rabbit out of the hat when it came to the Master System version. Sadly ’tis not to be. Alien Storm is lacking in three areas: graphics, sound and playability. The sprites are small, blocky, poorly animated and few of the aliens resemble their arcade counterparts in any way. The sound is dreadful, with one or two barely audible "effects" and what must be the worst Master System tune ever, it sounds like the Tone Deaf Memorial Quartet on their kazoos and Muppet keyboards. The final nails in the coffin are the unresponsive controls and poor collision detection. It’s difficult to make your character shoot accurately due to the poor 3D, and aliens who should rightly be about six feet away from you suddenly kill you. Quite simply, Alien Storm is very unsuccessful conversion that fails to deliver any of the thrills and spills of the original coin-op.