Alien Storm

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Alien Storm
Alien Storm Cover.jpg
Genesis cover art
Developer(s)Sega (AM1) (arcade version)
Sega (AM7) (MD/Genesis)
Tiertex (home computers)
Publisher(s)Sega
U.S. Gold (home computers)
Composer(s)Keisuke Tsukahara
Platform(s)Arcade, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Virtual Console
ReleaseArcade
Mega Drive/Genesis
  • JP: June 28, 1991
  • NA: July 24, 1991[2]
  • EU: 1991
Master System
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, Multiplayer

Alien Storm (エイリアンストーム) is a 1990 beat 'em up shooter arcade game by Sega.[3] It was later ported to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System. The Mega Drive version was released on Wii's Virtual Console in 2007 and was also included on Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

A homicidal alien race is invading Earth, and the only thing that stands between them and world domination are a special forces team known as the "Alien Busters", composed of Karen (absent in the Master System version, named "Karla" in some versions), Garth (named "Gordon" in some versions) and Scooter (the robot, named "Slammer" in Master System and PAL versions).

Gameplay[edit]

Alien Storm is a side-scrolling beat 'em up.[4] The game resembles Golden Axe, with a similar artistic style, three playable characters (a man, a woman, and a novelty character) and pick-up or power-up special attacks. The player (one player only on the Master System version, up to two players on the Mega Drive version, three on the arcade version) selects from the three different characters to embark upon a quest to save the Earth from an alien invasion.

All of the Busters are playable from the beginning of the game. There are six missions to complete (eight in the Mega Drive version) with several stages, and each mission has the player blasting aliens, from the streets to the mother ship, where the mother of all aliens can be found. This task becomes increasingly difficult with each new mission, and the aliens are capable of hiding inside objects such as plants, post boxes, trash cans, drums, and other items. Each mission has an objective such as rescuing people or destroying a UFO.

After defeating certain aliens, flying skulls will appear, which can be shot to collect life or energy. Energy is used specifically to power the energy-based attacks of the player's weapon (such as flames or electricity) and to use the much more powerful special weapons.

In a similar format as other early Sega arcade games, each character has unlimited usage of various short-range attacks, i.e. punches, kicks. Along with these standard attacks, each character has their own individual weapon (Garth's weapon that shoots lightning is replaced with a flame weapon in the Master System version). Special attacks are also included, and vary depending on the character chosen at the start of the game. For instance, Garth summons a U.S. Air Force starship that drops bombs across the street (in the Master System version he has Karen's special, a ballistic missile strike). Scooter will teleport out of his present location and leave a series of bombs that will blow up on the appearance of aliens, after which he will re-appear (in the Mega Drive and arcade versions he just explodes, leaving his head, which his new body returns to retrieve). Karen calls down a nuclear missile, which incinerates every foe on the screen. However, a large amount of energy is depleted by using each character's special attack, and cannot be used if the energy of the player's character is too low.

There are few bosses in the game. The arcade original features an alien spaceship, an alien brain and a single boss in the middle of the game that has three distinct forms. This boss is repeated as a common enemy near the end of the last mission. The Mega Drive port has two of these forms as three separate bosses. At the end of each mission, the side-scrolling gameplay shifts to either a shooting gallery perspective where the player must take out the aliens that pop out of various locations, similar to the bonus stages of Shinobi and Shadow Dancer, both by Sega, or a running section that is similar to the side-scrolling mode but plays like a horizontal shooter instead with projectile weapons.

Release[edit]

In October 1993,[5] Atari Corporation filed a lawsuit against Sega for an alleged infringement of a patent originally created by Atari Corp. in the 1980s,[6] with the former seeking a preliminary injunction to stop manufacturing, usage and sales of hardware and software for both Sega Genesis and Game Gear.[7] On September 28, 1994,[8][9][10][11][12][13][14] both parties reached a settlement in which it involved a cross-licensing agreement to publish up to five titles each year across their systems until 2001.[15][16][17][18][19][20] The Master System version of Alien Storm was one of the first five titles approved from the deal by Sega in order to be converted for the Atari Jaguar,[7] but it was never released.

Reception[edit]

In Japan, Game Machine listed Alien Storm on their June 15, 1990 issue as being the most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[28] Megatech reviewed the Sega Genesis version and gave an overall score of 78%, they praised the game for being an outstanding conversion of the arcade version and praised the graphics and saying the gameplay is highly enjoyable. The only criticism they had was the game being too easy.[29] Mega Play's four reviewers gave above average reviews and praising the game’s graphics, animation and felt the game was a near perfect port from the arcade version and being similar to Golden Axe. The criticisms they had was the gameplay being too easy and repetitive.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Machine Catalog: Video Games". RePlay. Vol. 16, no. 1. October 1990. pp. 78–85.
  2. ^ "Review Of Alien Storm For Sega Mega Drive/Genesis". Google Groups.
  3. ^ "Alien Storm". The International Arcade Museum. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013.
  4. ^ "Alien Storm". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013.
  5. ^ "Atari Corp. v. Sega of America, Inc., 869 F. Supp. 783 (N.D. Cal. 1994)". justia.com. August 12, 1994. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  6. ^ "ProNews: Atari Sues Sega". GamePro. No. 54. IDG. January 1994. p. 258. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ a b CRV (August 6, 2017). "Blog:Legal Brief: Atari vs. Sega". gdri.smspower.org. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  8. ^ Tramiel, Garry (September 28, 1994). "To Our Valued Customer". atari-history.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2000. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  9. ^ "Sega And Atari Announce Long-Term Licensing Agreements, Equity Investment, and Resolution of Disputes". atari-history.com. September 28, 1994. Archived from the original on September 19, 2000. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  10. ^ "Overseas Readers Column - Atari Drops Sega Charges For $90M". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 483. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 November 1994. p. 26.
  11. ^ "The Enter*Active File - Entertainment Industry News Of Info Systems, Video Games & Retail-Tech Media". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 49. Lynne Segall. December 3, 1994. p. 82.
  12. ^ "ProNews: Sega, Atari Settle Differences". GamePro. No. 65. IDG. December 1994. p. 282. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  13. ^ Peers, Nick (December 1994). "The News - The Latest News - Atari Vs Sega". ST Format. No. 65. Future plc. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  14. ^ "Ultimate Update - A legal battle over..." Ultimate Future Games. No. 1. Future Publishing. December 1994. p. 20. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  15. ^ "Reportage - Le Japon En Direct - Jaguar: Coup De Griffe Sur Le Japon! - Atari Et Sega". Consoles + (in French). No. 39. M.E.R.7. January 1995. p. 26. Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  16. ^ "News - Front Page - Sega buys into Atari". Game Players. No. 68. Signal Research. February 1995. p. 14.
  17. ^ "Special - Atari: from boom to bust and back again". Edge. No. 18. Future plc. March 1995. pp. 58–65. Archived from the original on 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  18. ^ "Special - Atari: from boom to bust and back again". Next Generation. No. 4. Imagine Media. April 1995. pp. 34–41.
  19. ^ "CVG News - Atari's Cat Gets The CD Cream - Big Cat Claws EA Deal". Computer and Video Games. No. 163. Future Publishing. June 1995. pp. 12–13. Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  20. ^ "At Last, Atari". Ultimate Gamer. No. 4. Larry Flynt Publications. November 1995. pp. 34–37.
  21. ^ "Alien Storm review score". Archived from the original on 2019-05-03.
  22. ^ "Software A-Z: Master System". Console XS. No. 1 (June/July 1992). United Kingdom: Paragon Publishing. 23 April 1992. pp. 137–47.
  23. ^ "Sega Master Force Issue 3" (3). October 1993: 48. Archived from the original on 2015-12-12. Retrieved December 4, 2015. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ "Alien Storm Sega Genesis Sega-16 review".
  25. ^ "Alien Storm Megatech Review". Megatech. United Kingdom: Emap (1): 76. December 1991. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  26. ^ "Mega Reviews". Mega Play: 61. July–August 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)
  27. ^ "Software A-Z: Master System". Console XS. No. 1 (June/July 1992). United Kingdom: Paragon Publishing. 23 April 1992. pp. 137–47.
  28. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 382. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 June 1990. p. 25.
  29. ^ "Alien Storm Megatech Review". Megatech. United Kingdom: Emap (1): 76. December 1991. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  30. ^ "Mega Reviews". Mega Play: 61. July–August 1991. Retrieved March 6, 2022.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)

External links[edit]