Developed and published by Sega, Alien Storm was released in 1991 in North America for the Sega Genesis. The side-scrolling beat ’em up would combine elements of street brawlers and arcade shooters to put together a unique but silly game about saving the Earth from aliens. Would the action and gameplay create the perfect storm or would the aliens prevail?
From the manual:
“Vicious predators from the far ends of the universe are invading our planet! They’re mean and wicked, creating havoc everywhere they go! No one is able to end this turmoil until a group of courageous citizens known as the “Alien Busters” takes charge!
(Okay, side note: this game is so cheesy in its presentation and reminded me instantly of an over-the-top action B movie from the 80s. The use of the term “Alien Busters” only further pushes this notion as the characters have gun packs similar to the ones on the classic movie “Ghost Buster”. A lot of the aliens in this game remind me of the creatures and monsters from Ghost Busters too, so the creators were clearly inspired by that film. Okay, back to the plot.)
“Be a Buster and take on giant winged worms and multifaced beasts. But beware – they have the ability to turn themselves into whatever they want – even humans! Blast your Fire Blazer and sizzle mutants ’til they smoke! Chase crawly critters down highways with your almighty Thunder Bazooka! If that doesn’t work, summon the Gunship of the Ballistic Missile! That should do the trick!
But the battle isn’t over yet. In your final mission, you face an incredible creature with terrifying powers. You’ll need a full load of tricks, weapons, and strength to save the world and come out alive!”
So let me tell you, the game ends in a bizarre way that is good for a “WTF” moment. After destroying the leader alien who is a brain…(more on that later) the three heroes are placed in a bubble and float back to Earth. Here’s the text that shows at the end of the game:
“The ambition of the aliens to invade planet Earth has been foiled. Peace is restored.
But what has become of the tremendous three? Did they survive? Nobody knows and there is no way to find out.
But, if any aggression is made to our planet again, they are the ones who will fight back.
Until then, their names shall be engraved on our minds.
In Alien Storm you’ll have your choice from three different characters to fight against the aliens. There’s a man in a red aerobics jumpsuit, a woman in a yellow aerobics jumpsuit, and a robot that looks like the Tin Man. Remember those cheesy 80s work out videos with Richard Simmons? If not, YouTube it and watch a few minutes, you’ll get a good laugh. These “alien busters” are straight from the workout videos probably all hopped up on pre-workout powders and need to take it out on the aliens.
I played as the robot because he didn’t look as lame as the human characters. When I played as him, he was a stud. Not only did he have an electric whip that he slashed down aliens with but he would pull out guns from his arms and blast the aliens. My absolute favorite weapon was his gun foot that he raised on downed aliens and blew a hole in their face with his foot. It was awesome! His ultimate weapon was becoming a terrorist member of the Taliban. How do you ask? Well, the robot can self-destruct causing his body to explode as his head falls to the ground. A new body will come running and pick up the head attaching it on.
Alien Storm is fast-paced and there’s plenty of aliens to kill. The problem is that it’s always the same five aliens that come attacking in all eight missions. It’s very repetitive but thankfully the missions are very short. I’m talking like two minutes max if you are a veteran fighter. If you’re a pro you can beat the game in less than twenty minutes.
Missions have two stages in them, the first being the beat ’em up stage where you take out aliens in hand-to-hand combat before moving the second part of the level that consists of shooting. You’ll get a crosshair on your screen and be able to move it as aliens pop out behind counters, shelves, and objects. You’ll have to blast them before they rush you. It reminded me a lot of the light gun games you’d play at the arcade. It was a nice change of pace but these stages lasted maybe a minute. There are also stages where you are sprinting and shooting enemies in front of you. During one of the missions, the goal was to “save the laboratory”. It was a shooting portion and I blasted every and all lab equipment as I killed the aliens. It gave me a chuckle thinking that I was in fact destroying the lab but “saving” it.
There are a few bosses in Alien Storm but they are pretty stupid looking. There’s a boss that you will face twice in the game and she looks like a combination of a witch and an old soggy shoe. I didn’t like fighting her and thought they could have come up with something better. Later on, you’ll face something that looks like an eraser with eyeballs that shoots at you. Again, it looks very stupid. The final boss is just as bad as it’s a giant brain with a small eyeball. You’re telling me that the leader of the aliens is just a brain? What is it with video games and putting brains as bosses? Alien Storm isn’t the only game to do this! It’s an odd trope but brains are apparently powerful..and evil!
I always got this game confused with Alien Syndrome. It wasn’t until I played Alien Storm that I realized they were different games.
Alien Storm reminds me of “Big Trouble in Little Chinatown” where either you love it or you hate it. It’s bizarre and gives its own spin on 80s action B movies. You’ll have some fun but don’t take this game too seriously. There are better ways to spend your time playing video games.
Alien Storm scores a 6.5 out of 10.
Do you remember when Alien Storm first came out? Was it one of the games you had in your Genesis library? What character did you play as? Did you have a favorite level? What did you think of the story? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
If you’d like to own a copy of Alien Storm, you can purchase a used copy of it for Genesis from eBay for around $30.