Alien Syndrome

Format: PSP

5 060138 431552
Age Restrictions: 12+
07 September 2007

Take control of Earth Command Lieutenant, Aileen Harding, as she adventures through intense sci-fi battles against hordes of unique aliens and huge bosses. With an array of special abilities and combat powers, you'll draw on quick reflexes and skill plus a wide choice of weapons, armour, and items to defeat increasingly formidable opponents...

In Alien Syndrome you take control of the heroine - Earth Command Trooper Aileen Harding - as you battle a variety of aliens and bosses.

When you start you have the choice to select from a number of character specialities and skills, which can be upgraded as you progress through your campaign, protected by many different types of armour and using a variety of melee and ranged weaponry. You also get the option to change your name - which is a little redundant as once the game starts you are still referred to as Aileen.

As you progress through the levels you can improve your statistics and unearth powerful new abilities as you fight through infested spaceships and alien planets.

The game features two RPG modes. There's the single-player campaign, or the replayable co-op multiplayer mode for up to four players. There are 20 different weapons including flame-throwers, quad-barreled lasers, nanobot swarms that dissolve enemies, and incendiary grenades that shoot fire geysers from the ground. Each weapon offers advantages and disadvantages, dependent upon how it is used and the specialisations that you have chosen to adopt. Accompanying Aileen is an indestructible robot that serves as both an ally in battle and a vendor from which she can buy items. The robot can also upgrade existing weapons and can upgrade itself with new abilities.

There is a simple tutorial that is built into the game's opening level - this explains all the basics to get you on your way. However, I did feel that the first level was relentlessly difficult. With an almost endless stream of alien enemies to destroy I soon tired of being killed and having to start from the last checkpoint.

This fact, coupled with the very average graphics, was enough for me to get tired within 20 minutes of playing. I came back to it several times (only because I had to in order to review it - otherwise I wouldn't have bothered) to find that the whole experience was very unsatisfying.

At the end of the day this game is only really going to appeal to fans of old school gaming - and even then there are better efforts out there. One to rent first.

Nick Smithson

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