This game offers everything you could want in an action game...except a US publisher.
A little while back, the folks over at O3 Entertainment decided to take a chance on a Behemoth-led conversion of their hit Flash game, Alien Hominid, for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube, and gave the game a distribution in which many gamers caught up on its simply designed yet completely-off-the-charts-in-action gameplay. Now, the title can be found anywhere for a budget price (around $15-20), and is worth every penny. But did you know that a GBA version has surfaced as well?
Well, not here. Unfortunately, D3 nor any other US publisher has yet to pick up on the rights for the Game Boy Advance edition of Alien Hominid, so I did things the old fashioned way and ordered myself an import copy, since I was such a big fan of the original Flash game and the GameCube edition. And lo and behold if I didn't discover that the handheld version holds up surprisingly well. In fact, it's one of the best games on the Game Boy Advance right now, just as manic and impressive as its console brethren.
The game puts you in control of a cute yet dangerous little yellow alien as he crashlands on Earth. Federal agents show up and snatch his ship, but somehow miss picking him up and take off, trying to brush away the incident. The critter awakens to find his ship missing and draws out his blaster gun, determined to get it back by any means necessary. His journey will take him from the mean streets of the city to the other side of the world, where Russian soldiers and large bosses await him and try to prevent him from returning to outer space.
The Hominid himself has play techniques similar to that of Contra, where he runs and guns with a number of weapons such as the freeze gun, the shotgun, and the spread blaster. Each of these have a great effect on enemies, either slicing them to bloody pulps, burning them to a crisp, or freezing them and letting their bodies shatter. Hominid can also score some up-close slicing attacks, can hide in the ground and kill enemies above him, and can also gain access to vehicles, ranging from tanks to cars to a flying saucer with capturing ability. In fact, one boss stage has you controlling such a saucer, trying to grab cannonballs fired from a tank and dropping them back on him, all while grabbing enemy agents and dumping them into a shredder.
It's gameplay like this that makes Alien Hominid so oustanding. Like the previous versions, its gameplay is challenging, kinetic, and old-school, all at the same time, and it's a complete blast to play. There's no two-player option here, which is a slight let-down, but the game still plays marvelously, and has plenty of battles to complete. The boss fights are the same as the console edition's, so you can pretty much use the same tactics here to survive, but they're emulated very well, right down to the kooky animations that follow with their destruction.
The game looks superb, with multi-scrolling backgrounds, solid animation, blood effects, and so much more. The music is also worthy of listening to, and the sound effects, from the "shink!" of your blade to the groans of those you wasted, are awesome. There's a number of difficulty settings available, as well as unlockable mini-games and bonus forms that allow you to decorate your Hominid a little bit for further play-throughs.
If any publisher out there is smart and wants to make good money on a budget title, they'll wisely pick up on Alien Hominid for the Game Boy Advance. It's just as good as the console and Flash versions and should make any fan feel right at home taking apart a government just for the sake of transportation. Even if you have to import, it's worth it.
What's Hot: Excellent gameplay; wonderful design; a huge amount of extras.
What's Not: Doesn't have any kind of US publisher; costly to import ($50).