Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Alien Hominid HD

Alien Hominid seems to prefer you have no fun at all. Beneath the walk right flash pastels is a series of decisions finely tuned to infuriate. Alien Hominid is a scrolling 2D shooter, very much in the Metal Slug mold. These sort of games are usually built on an idea of precision, the player is repeatedly assaulted by an endless stream of towering unmentionables with only their quick reflexes on which to rely. Said player gets to feel masterful by correctly judging what is, and what isn't immediately lethal and adjusting their movement accordingly. It is important that these games feel 'fair'. There should be no cheap shots to simply steal your lives; players should understand it is their own shortcomings that have lost them tries. Alien Hominid largely dispenses with any such notions. Your powered-up ice cream shots look exactly like everything being fired at you, making bullets almost untrackable. Enemies enjoy infrequent super-states that go more or less unsignposted. The screen repeatedly abandons your little vulnerable yellow thing to have a look what's going on off-screen. Rest assured that while you have no way of knowing where you enemies are, you will still be attacked. Boss battles are iron-man contests, with your alien set to a one-hit death, while your metal foes enjoy satirically long lifebars. The effect is utterly punishing. Alien Hominid doesn't feel fair. It feels like a complete waste of time.

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