A must own for any Mega Drive fan
Treasure is a studio all Mega Drive fans should know well. Why exactly? For their games of course, but barring that it’s the quality of their games specifically. These guys were THE studio if you wanted to experience some high octane action. Speed is what Sonic is known for, so it’d make sense that high energy games would be on the Mega Drive mostly, that was kind of the basis of their entire marketing strategy back in the 90s.
Dynamite Headdy, Gunstar Heroes, those are a few of their classic games that gave kids back in the Mega Drive era twitching thumbs. Rollercoasters of games, one game that sometimes gets overlooked in their library is Alien Soldier. What is Alien Soldier? It’s one of their older games, released 2 years after Gunstar Heroes and Headdy, it’s easily one of the best games you can play on the system with ‘blast processing’.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Alien Soldier!
First thing you need to know about Alien Soldier, it’s for the skilled gamer. If you want to give yourself a serious test in difficulty, then look no further than this game. We mean that, don’t think you’ll be breezing past Alien Soldier so easily, get prepared for one of the most insane technical masterpieces ever put onto a cartrdige. Treasure took what they built with Gunstar Heroes and cranked the dial up to 11.
How so? The game is pretty much a massive boss rush. You get some areas full of standard enemies, but overall you’ll be tasked with taking a big bad. We do mean BIG bad most of the time, if anyone remembers the insanity of Gunstar Heroes’ bosses, then you’ll be in for a time with Alien Soldier. How much exactly? 28 proper bosses and mini bosses await you in the 24 stages you’ll be tasked with beating. Yeah, you read that right. 24 stages with 28 bosses to face.
You’ll be put into the shoes of a creature called Epsilon Eagle, which is such a metal name that only the Japanese could have come up with it. It just sounds cool. Only comparable to that of Max Power. Good ol’ EE is a bird like human hybrid fighting against the evil forces of Xi-Tiger, because… EVIL PEOPLE NEED TO GET SHOT! Video game logic. The control scheme is similar to Gunstar Heroes too, as you get to either used a shooting style that is locked in place or full free form aiming.
Multiple weapons will be at your disposal as well, six in total to be exact. You can switch between your preferred method at will by using the A button. You can also switch your position in gravity, so you want to battle on the ceiling, then go right ahead. One of the best parts of the game is the teleport ability they give you, called Zero Teleport. This lets you dash around the battlefield with ease for added mobility. The best part about Zero Teleport is what you get to do once you have full energy. Epsilon Eagle will turn into a Pheonix that obliterates everything on the screen. It’s pretty impressive, to say the least.
Some other features to gameplay include a neat counter mechanic, where you absorb projectiles by double tapping the B button. This is a good method for charging that Phoenix attack we mentioned earlier. The major thing to note is that for a Mega Drive game, we’ve kind of explained a lot of mechanics. You have to keep in mind, back in the day we didn’t have these shoulder buttons and or clickable analogue sticks. No no, to say that a game had this much going on meant there would be a bit of a learning curve.
You can choose between two difficulty options, Supereasy and Superhard. Supereasy lets you slow down the game at the press of a button, but that is about it. Most people agree that it makes no difference and you’d be better off just going with Superhard and getting used to the game. Being a Megadrive game as well, you can expect a password system to be in play. So get that notepad ready in case you fear death! Chances are you’ll need to use the passwords quite a bit.
Sound design is done quite well, considering a number of sound effects being played on screen it’s amazing how much detail they managed to get going with Alien Soldier. Tone wise, Alien Soldier feels like a battle. An all our war, even. Gunstar Heroes, for example, had these moments of calm or comedy during some encounters, but Alien Soldier rarely gets moments like that, and you often feel like the battle will never end thanks to the tremendous music Treasure has given to the game.
Lastly, of course, the visuals are on point. The guys at Treasure are experts at making games look jaw-dropping at insane speeds. Loads of parallax sprites being thrown around, it starts to feel a bit like ActRaiser on crack really, it’s a real treat to behold. There are very little scaling issues with the sprites, everything just works. You’d think due to the large nature of the sprites, there would be a bit of eye strain, but no way.
The bosses, the levels, everything in the game just works graphically! Typical Treasure fare here, and it’s darn good.
So with all of this in mind, why pass up Alien Soldier? There is no good reason, you need to experience this game. Simple as. It’s one of the best Mega Drive games ever made, clear contenter for best action game, hands down. It’s a massive in your face adrenaline fest that just does not stop no matter what you do. Once you really get it down, it feels like the perfect game. Fail a few times, pick yourself back up and keep going until you know the levels and bosses like the back of your hand.
Trust us, the feeling of beating Alien Soldier is an achievement like no other. If you didn’t buy Alien Soldier at the release, go out and get it. It’s easily worth every pence.
If you are curious about Alien Soldier or Treasure games, you can play a bunch of them on our Android Handhelds! We’ve got a wide selection for any budget if you want to play all your classic Retro games, just click here to check out our options and start gaming today!
Are you a fan of games made by Treasure? Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments down below!