When you think of horror-themed video games from yesteryear, titles like Splatterhouse, Castlevania, and Clock Tower probably come to mind. Demons, vampires, and serial killers are scary, but they’re nothing compared to the nightmarish beings from Alien Storm.
For those of you who have spent time with Sega’s action game (it’s on Wii’s Virtual Console and part of Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection), you know how disturbing Alien Storm is. If you’ve never played it, well, let me walk you through it.
It’s another sunny day in Segatown, and a high-tech hot dog wagon (inexplicably named “Alien Burgers”) once again blocks traffic to serve customers, which consist mostly of twins and wandering orphans.
Suddenly, the fast food dealers receive an emergency call — aliens are attacking the city! The guys from Alien Burgers turn out to be professional extraterrestrial-killers called Alien Busters. Did you see that coming? I sure didn’t.
Meet the fearless Alien Busters: wiener-handlers by day, eradicators of foreign species also by day.
Weapons: Composite beam, rocket launcher, fragmentation grenade
Special attack: Air strike
Likes: Elvis Presley
Hates: Public bathrooms
Favorite quote: “You’re toast, dude.”
Weapons: Flamethrower, handgun, combat knife
Special attack: Ballistic missile
Likes: Brown shadows
Favorite quote: “Eat lead, alien scum!”
Weapons: Electric whip, arm cannon, leg bazooka
Special attack: Suicide
Likes: Honey Boo Boo Child
Hates: John Connor
Favorite quote: “I do rodeo!”
The galactic travelers’ plan to conquer Earth is clever: They disguise themselves as everyday objects like garbage cans, phone booths, oil drums, and vending machines. Brilliant — except they do a piss-poor job executing it.
They even attempt to cover up their hideousness by dressing as humans and … other aliens. You’re doing it wrong, guys.
Judging by their physical appearance, I assume the otherworldly invaders came all the way from Uranus. Since the game’s instruction manual doesn’t reveal much information on these creatures, I will give them names according to their looks and behavior.
A. Flapjack: The lowest-ranked soldier of the alien army. Flapjack is as useless as a blind guide dog.
B. Clam E. Diaz: Cursed with having every venereal disease in the known universe, Clam lets off steam by wrapping his slippery tentacles around humans and rubbing them all over his puss-filled orifices. He also suffers from terrible rotten-egg burps.
C. Si and Am: Ill-tempered conjoined twins attached by the ass. No need to ask why they’re so cranky.
D. Flaccid Frank: Basically a pile of excrement with a sentient, dangling tongue. Hang in there, buddy!
E. Deplorable Derek: His commanding officer filled him with irresistible power-ups that only humans can use. Why?
F. Randy “The Ram” Robinson: Once an acclaimed wrestler in planet Suplexia, Randy is now sick, tired, funny-looking, and expendable.
G. Emeto Phil: His main attack is throwing projectile vomit at his victims. If that doesn’t work, he’ll literally hump you to death.
H. Gassy Gary: Part plant, part fire hydrant, all methane. Gary’s only offensive maneuver is ripping farts through his mouth and appendages. Or maybe those are anuses? Alien physiology is not my forte.
Alien Storm fuses three playing styles (beat-em-up, first-person shooter, and side-scrolling shooter), marketed as “Action. Destroy. Run. Triplicated fun!” by Sega.
The three daring heroes take care of business in front of a prestigious hotel. Monsters check in, but they don’t check out.
First-person shooting levels provide a nice change of pace. These freaking aliens love hiding in convenience stores, car dealers, and warehouses.
In the electronics outlet stage, some of the TVs on sale display images of previous Sega titles like Golden Axe, Crack Down, Shinobi, and Columns. Wait, that’s Tetris. Odd. …
High-speed, side-scrolling shooting segments make me suspect that Gordon and Karla may not be entirely human. Even Sonic the Hedgehog would be envious of their ridiculous velocity.
Midway through their killing spree, the courageous trio encounters a high-ranking general of the alien army that looks like a witch-faced jellyfish with fingers protruding from its body. A few dozens hits later, the beast morphs into some sort of bipedal behemoth with an insatiable hunger for human viscera. Finally, when angered enough, the boss transforms into a massive, pulsating, fire-spewing, multieyed dreidel.
The Alien Busters take out a flying saucer they thought to be the invader’s mother ship, but then an even larger UFO descends and takes the commandos into deep space.
At last, the real mastermind behind the attack presents itself. It’s a revolting brain with a creepy human-like eye surrounded by infinite hoards of minions. Once defeated, the whole ship explodes. Congratulations, Earth is saved!
What happened to Gordon, Karla, and Scooter after the living aircraft went boom? Did they get vaporized? Were they picked up by a space taxi? Their fate is unknown. Instead of a proper ending sequence, we’re treated with a stupid parade of the title’s cast of characters accompanied by circus music.
After the absurd credits, a group of insane judges rates your progress. The representative of Shortcircuiton loves you, but Slimer is not impressed.