Alien 3 is a side-scrolling platform shooter based on the 1992 film of the same name. The game was released for the Sega Genesis and Amiga in 1992. Additional versions were released in 1993, for the Commodore 64, Game Boy, Game Gear, Nintendo Entertainment System (1992), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and Sega Master System (1993).
STORY / GAMEPLAY The main hero of the game is the beautiful and redneck Lt Ellen Ripley (played in the movie by Sigourney Weaver). Ripley wakes up after being forced into cryo-sleep, at a scientific base situated in Sulaco. Two alien monsters have stowed away, so the nightmare is still on. Lt Ripley must fight her way to destroy the menacing breed once and for all and save the humans that are kept hostages by the Aliens for experimental purposes. You, as Ripley, must find and free the hostages and also conserve your ammunition since there will be many times where you'll be left with no bullets at all (an issue that will make things even tougher).
The control of your character is quite good, though a bit odd when you try to land after jumping. The NES version obviously doesn't pack enough power to match the 16bits special effects. However, the particularly challenging gameplay and the vast environments, add to the game more punch than an average NES fare.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Technically the game pushes the Master System into its limits. The Master System version looks quite similar to the Genesis version, offering great graphics and sound and it is much superior to the NES rival (which also looks great) I think. The sprite animations are smooth (note that the number of on-screen sprites is quite limited so that it does not cause flickering or slowdown issues) and it is always fun to watch the aliens explode into pulpy fragments. The levels are vast and well detailed, resembling enough the dark and horrifying atmosphere of the movie. The background music consists of multiple layers of synthesized riffs, while the sound FX add some extra, eerie atmosphere to the game.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A at 3.546893 MHz for PAL/SECAM, 3.579545 MHz for NTSC MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918A Up to 32 colors on screen (one 16-color palette for sprites or background, an additional 16-color palette for background only) from a palette of 64 (can also show 64 simultaneous colors using programming tricks) Screen resolutions 256x192 and 256x224. PAL/SECAM also supports 256x240 8x8 pixel characters, max 463 (due to VRAM space limitation) 8x8 or 8×16 pixel sprites, max 64 Horizontal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling SOUND: Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 channel mono sound Yamaha YM2413, mono FM synthesis