Alien vs. Predator (arcade game)

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Alien vs. Predator
Alien Predator arcade.jpg
Arcade flyer
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Composer(s) Hideki Okugawa[1]
Series Alien vs. Predator
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) May 20, 1994[1]
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Up to 3 players simultaneously
Cabinet Standard
Arcade system CPS-2 - JAMMA
CPU Motorola 68000 (16 MHz)
Sound Q-Sound (4 MHz)
Display Raster, 384 x 224 pixels (horizontal), 4096 colors

Alien vs. Predator is a beat 'em up video game developed and released by Capcom for the CPS-2 arcade game system in 1994. In the game, the players take control of up to three human and Predator characters in a battle against the Alien hordes and rogue human soldiers. The game was very well received by fans and media publications, becoming a classic title for many fans of the beat 'em up genre, but was never ported to any home system.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot

Alien vs. Predator uses a control setup with an eight-directional joystick and three buttons: one to attack, one to jump, and one to shoot. The default cabinet for the game allows as many as three players to play simultaneously, although some smaller cabinets only accommodate two players. Four characters are available for the players' use: two cyborg soldiers, Major Dutch Schaefer and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa; and two Predators, a Hunter and a Warrior.

Three of the four characters are equipped with a melee weapon: a katana for Linn, a bladed staff for the Hunter, and an extendable-retractable spear/staff for the Warrior. Dutch has no such weapon, but can hit enemies with his cybernetic arm; in addition, he can hold and swing any melee weapon dropped by another character, instead of throwing it as the other playable characters do.

Each character is also equipped with a projectile weapon for ranged attacks. Linn uses a rapid-firing handgun, Dutch has a smart gun in his cybernetic arm, and the Predators both use shoulder-mounted energy weapons. Ammunition is represented by a meter near the bottom of the screen; when the meter is depleted, the character is unable to fire until it refills. Linn's ammunition refills fastest and allows the most shots, but she is completely defenseless while she reloads. Dutch and the Predators can move and fight while waiting for their ammunition to refill, and unlike Linn's pistol, their meters will gradually refill when not firing.

Assorted weapons such as grenade launchers and flamethrowers can be found or taken from fallen enemies, but these have a limited ammunition supply. The player can also find jewels for bonus points, or food and medicine to restore lost health.

Plot[edit]

San Drad, California, has been overrun by the Aliens, and the cybernetically-enhanced Major Dutch Schaefer and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa have been abandoned by their superiors and are cornered by a swarm of the Alien drones. Before they can be killed, a pair of the Predators appear and destroy the Aliens. The Predators offer an alliance with the two humans in order to stop the Alien infestation.

The players take control of up to three of four characters: Dutch, Linn, a Predator hunter, and a Predator warrior, and battle the Aliens through several environments. In the process, the characters discover that the Alien presence on Earth is the result of an experiment headed by a renegade General Bush of the U.S. Colonial Marines in conjunction with the Weyland-Yutani corporation. They destroy the Alien hive by crashing a military ship into San Drad, causing a huge explosion. The Predator warrior then gives his wrist blades to Dutch and Linn in recognition of their skills as warriors, before the Predators depart back into space.

Characters[edit]

Character select screen

The game features four characters: two Colonial Marines that ally with a pair of Predators. Each character has varying levels of speed, strength and agility, and different attacks.

  • Predator Warrior — The older of the two Predators, the Warrior is a well-balanced and powerful character with no weaknesses; he boasts excellent reach, damage, and priority in all of his attacks.
  • Predator Hunter — The Hunter is the younger of the two Predators. He 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.
  • Major Dutch Schaefer — Dutch is named after and roughly based on Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the original Predator film.[2] He is a human cyborg and has a cybernetic arm with a smart gun mounted on it. His attacks are powerful but slow, and he dashes forward instead of jumping. Dutch is able to powerbomb enemies for massive damage. ScrewAttack included him on their 2011 list of top ten space marines in video games.[3]
  • Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa — Linn is a human cyborg 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 and has a shorter reach with her regular combo. Linn has many special techniques in her arsenal, but requires more skill and experience than the other characters to use effectively. According to Sebastien Hock-koon of Gamasutra, "when a skilled player combines ammunition and movement management, Linn’s gun truly becomes the most powerful weapon of the game."[4]

Development and release[edit]

The game was based on an early draft of a script for a film adaptation of the Alien vs. Predator comic book series and was intended to have been a tie-in to the movie. Although the draft was later rejected in favor of a different script, Capcom had already completed the game intending for the film to be released around the time of the game's completion.[5] The Alien vs. Predator film was not released until 2004 and was based on a very different story, and so the arcade game was released in 1994 as a stand-alone storyline to the series.

Its port for the Sega 32X was announced for a planned 1995 release, but it was never released.[6] There is also an unrelated Alien vs. Predator beat 'em up game for the SNES, which was developed by Jorudan and published by Activision, and is sometimes being mistaken for a home version of the arcade game.

Reception[edit]

Alien vs. Predator was very well received by critics and fans alike. According to GameSpot, the game featured "gorgeous graphics and special effects" and "was quite an adventure and one hell of a coin cruncher."[7] In 2012, WatchMojo.com rated it as the fifth top 2D beat'em up game.[8] In 2013, it was ranked as the 12th top beat 'em up video game of all time by Heavy.com[9] and included among the best looking beat 'em up games from the 16-bit era by Kotaku.[10] That same year, Arcade Sushi ranked it as the second best retro game in the genre, stating that "without a doubt, this is one of the greatest looking (and greatest playing), arcade beat 'em ups of all time."[11]

According to Destructoid in 2009, Alien vs. Predator is an "arcade classic still fondly remembered by many today."[5] Retro Gamer called it an "excellent game" and "an unconverted classic, which, in our opinion, stands tall as one of the very best examples of licence mash-up ever seen in a video game."[12] In 2013, Capcom revealed that more fans have been asking for it to receive a HD remake than for any other of Capcom's many beat'em games.[13]

Legacy[edit]

Lt. Kurosawa (described by Retro Gamer as "a Jill Valentine-resembling heroine with ninja reflexed and attacks"[12]) has made cameo appearances in some later Capcom games, namely Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter III: New Generation and Namco × Capcom.[14] Much of her design was also re-used for the Street Fighter series' popular character Ibuki (who, incidentally, has a fellow ninja classmate and friend named Sarai Kurosawa) and she also resembles Simone from Capcom's and Psikyo's Cannon Spike.[15] According to former Treasure designer Tetsuhiko "Han" Kikuchi, Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force and Alien VS. Predator were the main inspirations for his video game Guardian Heroes.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alien vs. Predator Tech Info on Arcade Games". GameSpot.com. 1994-05-20. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Alien Vs. Predator Characters and Enemies". Gngseries.retrogames.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  3. ^ "ScrewAttack Video Game, Top 10: Space Marines". GameTrailers.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  4. ^ "Sebastien Hock-koon's Blog - Press a Button to Fire: Elliptical Learning Applied to Game Design". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  5. ^ a b "A brief and bloody history of Aliens videogames". Destructoid. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  6. ^ "The Ones that Got Away: 32X Games". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  7. ^ "History of Movie Monster Games". Web.archive.org. 2005-08-16. Archived from the original on 2005-08-16. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Top 10: 2D Beat ‘Em Ups". WatchMojo.com. March 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  9. ^ "The Top 25 Beat 'Em Up Video Games - Part 2". HEAVY. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  10. ^ "The Best Looking Beat ‘em Up Games From The 16-Bit Era | Kotaku Australia". Kotaku.com.au. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  11. ^ "10 Best Retro Beat ‘Em Ups". Arcadesushi.com. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  12. ^ a b Retro Gamer 78, page 56.
  13. ^ "Capcom Open To More Retro Remakes, Reveals Fan Demand For Aliens vs. Predator". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Capcom Beat-em-ups". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  15. ^ games™ Team (2011-04-06). "Worlds Collide: The History Of Videogame Crossovers | gamesTM - Official Website - Part 13". gamesTM. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  16. ^ November 2012 issue of Nintendo Power magazine.

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