Rewind Review: Alien Hominid HD (XBLA)
Alien Hominid HD was developed by The Behemoth and published by Newgrounds. It was released February 27, 2007 for 800MSP.
Alien Hominid HD follows the adventures of a kind alien who was forced to crash-land on Earth. When secret agent earthlings steal his ship, the alien goes on a grand adventure to find his ship and off this planet. Players venture through fifteen levels across three areas in this arcade-style shooter. Although this game is overshadowed by little brother Castle Crashers, it is a fun and creative game that deserves its own spotlight.
Here’s what we liked:
Arcade style gameplay – The game plays like an old-fashioned arcade game. You play through this sidescroller shooting and throwing grenades at the large group of enemies onscreen. Power-ups are scattered throughout each level, each one granting a shield and one of many varieties of enhanced ammunition. Everyone is one-hit kill, including you. Fortunately, the game utilizes a life counter and continue system, so you can die a few times before you have to start the level over.
The game is chock full of boss battles, usually two per level and everyone crazier than the last. Every boss has a pattern and becomes increasingly difficult. The game has three difficulty modes, but even easy can be tough at first. The game supports two-player co-op, so you and a friend can tackle the challenge together, without being frustrating or overcrowded. Co-op players will have their own separate bank of lives and ammo. Controls are simple and precise. The game does everything but take your quarters in order to feel classic yet new.
Cartoony graphics – The game features completely hand-drawn graphics from artist Dan Paladin. The game feels fresh, cartoony, and beautifully colorful from beginning to end. Jokes were added throughout the game, most notably the ridiculous names of the buildings. Humans have hilarious and bloody death animations. The violence can be turned off in the options menu to make the game friendlier, causing blood to turn into flowers and taking out some more graphic animations. In said menu you can also outfit your alien with one of 31 hats, adding more fun to the already crazy style.
Mini-games – The game features a number of mini-games, which unlock as you progress through the game. Most are survival type games where you play as your alien, but there are also some unexpectedly great games. There is the silly button-mashing All You Can Eat game, the addicting Super Soviet Missile Mastar, where you guide a missile around obstacles and into the target, and then, there’s the PDA games. PDA games are simple 2-D platforming levels, where up to four players play as stick figures trying to reach the door at the other side of the screen. The mini-games add loads of playtime to Alien Hominid, especially because the best ones play nothing like the main game.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Length – The main game only has 15 levels and could easily be beaten in one sitting. When you put into consideration the PDA mini-game has 100 levels and is likely to take you longer to finish than the main game, it makes the game as a whole feel off-balanced.
Alien Hominid HD is a great experience, whether it is played alone or with a friend. The game is filled to the brim with charm, chock full of creative material, oozes with replayability, and plays like a great classic arcade game. The game doesn’t need a review; it is just pure fun in a way that cannot be described.
Score: Buy It!!