After a white hot preview in the July issue U.S. Gold are at last sorting out the little niggles in this, their latest release. After seeing the test copies the Crew could not wait to get their suckers on the finished product and as predicted in ish. 113 monster mashing has never been so much fun!
The beast busting takes place on Earth as the marauding aliens have come down from their orbiting mother ship to colonize our planet after using their own as a toxic waste bin. However the Earthlings still have one hope, the Alien Busters, three self-appointed UFO look-outs who staff an alien combat force based in the local Burger Cafe.
Structurally the game is good news for Speccy owners as it's format is almost identical to the coin-op. You can choose between the three rebels Gordon, Carlo and Scooter. Each repel the scum suckers in their own special way and all have their own weapons and animation. For instance Scooter, the robot, has a bazooka in his leg and his wrists incorporate a machine gun. Which weapon is used is decided by how close you are to the enemy. Prototype type plasma rifles and neutron bombs come as standard, the bombs are particularly useful as they clear the whole screen, but they must be used with caution as they seriously deplete your energy supply and if this is reduced to zero you'll be using your gun butt or bare hands!
A life meter monitors your health and extra top-ups are available through out the six levels. Blood thirsty gamesters are well catered for as each of these are separated by stages and are inhabited with hordes of varying slime.
Ranging from giant ant-like creatures to undulating Maryland Cookies the man eaters pursue you through cities, houses, shops and mother ship over arcade beat 'em up levels to Op. Wolf style sections. Some of the blighters even hide out in normal objects such as oil drums and spring out on you as they approach! All this is great fun, frying uglies and watching their tentacles flay around in fright, but the real adrenaline grabber lays in the simultaneous two player option. Although you can only use the same players in 48k mode, all you 128k smug mugs can choose between the three main sprites to maximize the genocide.
Alien Storm mixes fab animation and graphics with futuristic blast 'em up arcade mayhem and the lack of on screen colour adds to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it. The main sprites are a little "stiff" and sound is unfortunately sparse, but there's loads of fun to be found in the program. Just alien bustin' fab!
Label: US Gold Memory: 48K/128K Price: £11.99 Tape, £16.99 Disk Reviewer: Steve Keen
Crisp, clean, sprite definition and animation. The game could have easily appeared cluttered with all that's going on, but justice to a classic coin-op has been done.