Alien vs Predator (Arcade) Review
The beat em up genre in the arcades can often be thought of as bland or repetitive. This is often based upon simple controls, having extremely light mechanics or lack of differences in characters. A few that come to mind are The Simpsons Arcade, double dragon, heck even the turtles in time suffers from this. Alien vs. Predator takes that theory and not only breaks it but smashes that to smithereens.
Alien vs predator was brought to you by Capcom in 1994 and uses the CPS-2 arcade hardware that a ton of great games were released on like X-Men vs Street Fighter, Super Turbo, ProGear and the dungeons and dragons beat em ups to name a few. When you have a powerhouse of titles using the hardware you’d hope that Alien vs Predator shares the same fate.
The gameplay throws you into a typical beat em up fashion. You go up against hordes of enemies and well, beat them up to progress. What separates Alien vs Predator from the rest is the amount of enemies on screen at any given time. Just look at the footage and see how many things are moving around with no noticeable slowdown. You can also pick up knives, an assortment of guns, grenades, flame throwers and even grenade launchers.
You’ll get to play as one of four characters,
the predator warrior who is the most well balanced of the bunch. He’s got an extendable-retractable spear as his main weapon and can use his shoulder-mounted energy weapon.
The Predator Hunter who plays similarly to the Warrior, but lacks the quick recovery and high priority in many of his attacks. However, he compensates with having a more damaging jumping dive attack.
We have Major Dutch who is named after and based on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from the Predator movie. He’s a human cyborg and has a cybernetic arm with a smart gun mounted on it. His attacks are powerful but slow, It kind of reminds me of Haggar from the Final Fight games.
Then we have Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa who uses a handgun and katana as weapons and can execute several martial arts attacks. She is faster and more agile than Dutch, but is less powerful.
You can play from anywhere of one to three players at the same time. Button 1 is used to attack, Button two is used for motion and button three is how you can use your weapon.
But beyond the character stats, each of the characters just plays so differently with a different melee weapon, differences in range and move sets so there’s a ton of replay ability in alien vs predator.
The sprites are big and colorful, with a bunch of different pixel art to feast your eyes. The backgrounds fit the dark and sci-fi theme well. As you make your way through the seven stages of the game, you’ll be immediately thrown into the mix of hordes of alien grunts. Each of the levels get more and more crazy as you make your way through each of the stages. This leads up until the final go with the alien queen, just watch her rip this guy in half. Ouch!
Check out the mad predator that has some interesting things going on that is extremely tricky and provides some cool looking animations. It gives me the sense of Rolento from the final fight arcade game where he stands on the ledge and throws grenades at you.
This game also has a great sense of pacing to go ahead with the visuals, sound and gameplay. I never felts that any of the bosses dragged on or levels gave you the sense that you’ll never progress.
I skipped a lot of the dialog during the playthrough, just be careful if any dialog comes up and you want to see what’s happening in between stages. To sum it up, A place in California was overrun by aliens then the cyborg crew is abandoned by their team and are cornered by alien drones. Before they get killed, the two predators show up and destroy the aliens then team up with the cyborgs. They then set out to kill off the Alien Hive they find out that the Aliens are on the earth. In the end the alien hive on earth is destroyed by a military ship set on a course that causes it to crash, destroying the alien threat along with a giant portion of the western united states. Talk about a sad storyline for humanity but yeah, it’s a beat em up and most of them aren’t really played for the storyline. This isn’t chrono trigger it’s alien vs predator for crying out loud.
Did you know that the original Alien vs Predator arcade was one of the first video games to combine elements from two separate non related film franchises into a single game?
I will also say that this is one of the best if not the top beat em ups on the arcade all thanks to Capcom’s genius design, great controls and amazing gameplay. It’s just too bad that this is still only available on the Arcade as it’s never been ported to any home consoles. Come on Capcom, give us something, put it on the PS5, Steam, Xbox, I’ll take anything at this point. There are always unofficial ways to play this with friend like Fight Cade but yeah I would prefer having an official way to grab a copy.
So If you haven’t yet given Alien vs Predator a go, what are you waiting for?
If you like beat em ups, check out The Top 15 beat em ups on the SNES!