Tuesday, July 15, 2014

VGR Alien vs Predator (SNES)

The battle of the deadliest species -

- takes place in 16-bit colors!

VGR: Alien vs Predator aka Alien vs Predator (1993) or simply AVP (SNES) and also alternatively known as Aliens vs. Predator in Japan
From Jorudan/Activision
Played on Super Nintendo
Also available on /

Sidescrolling Beat 'em all 
Year 1993

Long before the famous 1994 Capcom Alien vs. Predator arcade game and even more cult Atari Jaguar FPS Aliens versus Predator which eventually led into the Rebellion/Fox Interactive's PC game series there first was another title...

A little game in the form of the SNES Alien vs Predator game developed by Activision, lightly based on the comic book series which would eventually be responsible for launching the following games.

Despite also being a beat 'em all game, this is not the same game as the later AVP arcade game. It's a rather more simplistic crude game, at least nowhere near as good as the later title. But it served as an inspiration behind it.

This Alien vs Predator (aka "Aliens vs Predator" in Japan) is a 1993 sidescroller exclusively produced for Nintendo's 16-bit system. It's not a particularly long game. It's not a particularly good game either.

But, hey, it's an effective sufficient "little" game.

Surprisingly, there's a lot of story for a 1990s beat 'em all video game, here! The game is cut by several little "cut scenes" here and there, including a fairly long introduction. It's mostly text and static (impressive) pictures. But it does the job well enough.

Our "story" takes place in the 25th century, on the planet Vega 4.

By that time mankind colonized most of the known space. It all began in the city of New Shanghai.

While digging a new subway tunnel, people uncovered some Xenomorph eggs beneath the colony... and you know nothing good ever comes from it..

Quickly the place was overrun by the creatures. They sent a distress signal to call some help from Earth.

A cloaked Predator ship that was looking for a big hunting game - hoping to go after humans no doubt - intercepted the message. Seeing this "accident" as a chance to grab some trophies from worthy opponents decided to land there for this much bigger challenge.

YOU are this Predator, ready for the big hunt.

The Predator will put a stop to this infestation and locate the source where the creatures came from. After a final fight against the Queen, the Pred will head away to the stars, looking for new challenges...

Saving the day despite the initial intentions...

Alien vs Predator (1993) is a fun if forgettable little game.

The gameplay is pretty basic for a side-scrolling beat 'em up.

The objective is to simply fight your way through hordes of Alien drones, chestbusters and facehuggers.

To do so your Pred' can attack and jump. By using the trigger buttons you can also quick-slide left and right.

Also you can use your shoulder cannon, which needs to be charged up to fire. Strangely enough it is infinite and doesn't have any real handicap. So abuse it to survive!

Finally there's also a special attack which requires you to fully load the shoulder cannon's energy, but that one drains some of your health.

The game is about six levels-long. Some of those are split into shorter 2-3 acts and they always end up with one giant-ass Alien boss creature at the end.

The game starts in the city streets of New Shanghai to the sewers below, infested with Aliens. You then go to the nearby forest leading into an hive beneath a waterfall. The final act takes you to a spaceport where the Pred will locate an automated spaceship making way back and forth an unknown destination. This will take you to the Orion Nebula after an infested ship level until arrives to its set destination. There after some trouble on the surface you will finally get into the much larger bigger "mother" hive....

The Alien enemies come in several types, of all sorts and shapes depending on the environments.

Fun little fact, all these Aliens were mostly inspired by the Kenner Alien figurines line. Such as the Gorilla Alien, the Flying Alien and even the Snake Alien!

To help you fight those, foes will drop various objects.

You can pick up power-ups, health, trophies (for the score) and the usual additional weapons. It's the usual spear, disc and camouflage power-up.

You can only find these dropped weapons to be able to select them. They're just temporary weapons, so if you want to pick your favorite save yourself for the better items since you can't pick up items anymore once equipped with something in hand. Or waste the remaining discs/spears quickly before moving on.

The boss at the end of most levels are always huge. There's a random chestbuster-survival area at the end of a stage.

Lots of attention and little details were put into the game even though it's not that great to play. Such as having the host bodies seen in the prior backgrounds leading to the boss fights. Usually dead and cocooned carcasses such as a shark in the sewers, a gorilla, a bat, a snake, etc. Fun fact you can also see some cocooned humans as the deleted scene from the original Alien's Director's Cut!

Sure, there's so much better titles out there in terms of 16-bit beat 'em all action. But it's still a pretty decent if simple and boring game.

The music is fun enough but nothing to write home about really. Except maybe the pretty fun opening theme song which contains fun 16-bit riffs and is mixed with Alan Silvestri's actual Predator theme!! But the rest is pretty mediocre and forgettable to be honest.

Overall, it's... an okay game. Give it a try!

A beat 'em all were you get to play as the Predator, what's more to ask?

The Japanese version, titled in the plural form as "Aliens vs. Predator" features some gameplay differences from the international version.  First there's some minor light gameplay changes. In the Japanese game to dash you need to press the direction twice quickly, while you're just always running in the other international versions. There's no access to the quick L/R shortcut buttons. Weapons can only be thrown once, on the other hand cloaking lasts much longer. The Pred also has a different skin coloring (way more green like in the cutscenes). And the BGM is a bit different here and there. The 3rd stage received completely different sprites, much worse, which basically recycles elements from a later level (basically the waterfall was changed into another spaceport). The main biggest change being the addition of a 2 Player mode that sees the other player controlling an Alien in a Vs. Mode!!

This game is often confused to be a port of the better more interesting Capcom Alien vs Predator game, despite actually being a later title. This 1994 Capcom arcade game while much shorter was actually indeed much better. It featured a true 2P mode, offered the control of 4 different characters, you could play as the human Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa, a robotic android Dutch (featuring robot arm canons!), Predator 1's "hunter Predator" antagonist and Predator 2's "warrior Predator" as both were called in this game. The story took place in a much farther future, in the city of San Drad, California (haha! I see what they did here!) overrun once more by - you guessed it! - Aliens!  

I give it:
2 / 3 Pacmans!

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