A Fun, Old-School Side-Scrolling Plat-former That Sticks Faithfully To Aliens Lore, and History Very Well

User Rating: 7 | Aliens: Infestation DS
I came across Aliens: Infestation when crawling through a bargain bucket when on holiday in Canada, and came across it for just $5 with an old DS protective case thrown in for the price. For it's price I feared it was a flop, and it was so cheap for that very reason. But once I was able to check Gamespot, and other gaming sites I found that the game had received quite a conclusive high score rating. So I gave it a try, and soon enough the story and plot made sense - as it followed off immediately after the Aliens film ended.

You were part of a 19-man platoon of Colonial Marines sent to check-up on the U.S.S. Sulaco and the infamous planet LV-426, for signs of what had happened to the character and crew of Aliens. Soon enough, you're thrown into the side-scrolling action and combat of classic games from the 1990's battling programmed security robots, and eventually discovering the existence of the Aliens who have wiped out any humans they came across, or harvested them for breeding more of their species.

As for graphics, Infestation takes on the classic, side-scrolling style of classics from the 1990's such as Contra, and even Metal Slug series. You simply move back and forth along the map of the mission, collecting key-cards and such to get past obstacles, using elevators and computers. Infestation reminds me of the fun classics from the 1990's in arcades, and those we were able to play on hand-held consoles.

Game-play is smooth as to be expected with the level of graphics, the frame rate holds up well, even as enemies swarm the screen, it does not become unstable to the point of disappointing you. As a side-scrolling platform game, you traverse the map using elevators, and jumping from landings and balconies to access parts of the ship, or base you're infiltrating. This is all done easily, as controls aren't clunky or slow to their functions.

You are given quite an arsenal of weapons to use, that you use your stylus to switch between on the lower screen of the DS - everything from grenades to flamethrowers, and even the iconic Pulse Rifle from the films. These weapons handle themselves very well, even using authentic sound effects of the actual weapons from the films - making you feel like you're in the world of the Aliens franchise, and actually playing as Colonial Marine.

There are some genuine scares, as you move around empty ships and bases only to be ambushed by aliens who drop from the ceilings, or fall through vents above you. These can scare you, even make you jump and risking dropping the DS to the floor in fear. Even after coming face to face with a room full of eggs, hatching face huggers as you enter - aliens coming out from nowhere in later missions still scare you, as you never know when they'll come for you.

Musically there isn't much of a score to Infestation, other than tense music that plays as you transverse the game world, and when aliens do ambush you a hectic-heart pumping background music plays, as you scramble to fight off the aliens.

The Good:

- A good, strong follow up story and plot to the famous Aliens franchise and for fans this is a must.
- Graphics almost pay homage to classic action, side-scrolling platform gems from the 1990's such as Contra and Metal slug.
- The platform elements are easy to get the hang of, from climbing into vents, onto platforms above you, and using elevators require only one button to initiate.
- A wide variety of enemies to fight, from aliens to enemy robots and even human assassins, terrorists or government agents.
- A big arsenal of weapons to use, from simple pistols to iconic Pulse Rifles from the films.
- Some genuine heart-pounding, scare moments of when aliens ambush you from vents, crawling along walls and ceilings to get to you.

The Bad:

- Graphics are dated, even if they are paying homage to a classic gaming style and design.

Aliens: Infestation I would say for fans of the franchise, is a must-have gem especially as it pays homage to lore of the franchise very faithfully, and for fans of side-scrolling classic gaming it's just a game worth picking up and giving a try of. Finding it for so cheap in Canada, I can assume you can get it for as equally cheap here in the UK, if you go searching for it.



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