|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Totally Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 24, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
May 2, 2007 - Nearly 20 years ago, a cult favorite was born. Alien Syndrome first appeared on the Sega master system to some success. However, over the years, the vintage game's cult following has garnered enough support to earn itself an update on the Wii. This update will feature an all-new storyline and characters, but will retain the some of the original's visualizations and spirit.
Of primary concern to most fans of the series is the story. Even though the main storyline and characters are all-new, the new Alien Syndrome does have ties to its roots. The new storyline happens 100 years after the events in the first game and revolve around Aileen Harding, one of the best Earth Command soldiers in the galaxy who has been charged with getting rid of the Alien Syndrome that has popped up on an unlucky space station. One of the major differences that game developers have consciously made is to make the newest version of the story more character based. As you go through the game, blasting and blowing up various alien life forms, you'll learn a little about Aileen's personality and events in her past that have affected who she is today. Then you'll get back to the blasting.
And as you progress in the game, so will your blasting! Another big difference between this Alien Syndrome and the original is that Aileen is very customizable and upgradeable. As you progress through the different levels you'll unlock different skills and abilities (RPG style) that you can learn as your level increases. You can also customize Aileen's A.I. robot, who is there primarily to hold your weapons, but can also offer a little bit of extra firepower in times of trouble.
One thing that will still carry over from the original is the game's signature top-down bird-eye view shooter. Instead of placing yourself in the shoes of your main character or directly behind like most modern shooters, Alien Syndrome places the camera directly above the action so that the player can get a feel for oncoming enemies from all directions. Although, this may feel a little awkward at first, it adds to the overall feel of the game and shouldn't be hard to get used to.
One of the main features of this game has to be its vast array of weaponry. An early video showcases just how many types and magnitudes of weaponry will be at your disposal. You've got everything from laser guns to flamethrowers to missile launchers, and it adds up to be all the heat you'll need to dispose of the alien threat quickly and not-so-discreetly. The game promises over 80 different available firearms, so there will never be a dull moment when you're picking your weapon of mass destruction,
Controls will utilize both the Wii's Nunchuk to move around and the Wii-mote for shooting. Players will have to aim by pointing the Wii-mote at their desired target and the letting loose with the A button. The Wii-mote will also be used for scrolling though menus, and adjusting other various in-game controls.
In addition to the one-player mode, there will also be a co-op mode where you can play with up to four people. It's unclear whether the co-op mode will feature the same levels from the story mode, or whether they'll be exclusive to the co-op mode, so we'll just have to wait and see for that little detail. Suffice to say that the multiplayer mode will help boost the games replayability for those who enjoy group gaming.
Visually, screens right now don't look all that great. However, sources have revealed that a graphical upgrade will be made before the game's summer release on July 10th. Good news for those who (like myself) were a little bit worried by what they saw now.
Hopefully, fans of the old Alien Syndrome will enjoy all the new bells and whistles added to the updated Wii version of the game. One can only hope that the game retains most of its vintage charm in its transition into the newest generation of games. p>
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer