Alien Hominid has been around for quite sometime as the game debuted as a flash game on a multimedia website way back in 2002. Programmer Tom Fulp, and animator/artist, Dan Paladin developed this game in Adobe Flash, a technology made for developing embedded web browser video players among other things. In 2004 and 2005, the game then made it to the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation of consoles. 2006 saw a GBA version released as well, although this one in PAL regions only. The game was then dubbed Alien Hominid 360 for its Xbox 360 digital release via Xbox Live Arcade in 2007. Fast forward 16 years later, a new remaster is now available for Xbox One/Series S/Series X for new to discover this brutal experience and returning masochist players to re-live this in glorious HD.
Alien Hominid HD is an intense 2D run n’ gun experience akin to Contra/Probotector where players need to go from start to finish of each level to face off with a gigantic boss. Our little alien has his default pistol along with a limited amount of grenades when starting off a level. Akin to Konami’s flagship titles, our hero can pick up various power ups for additional firepower.
Among the power-ups available, you’ll pick up short range weapons such as a flamethrower, shotgun like gun that shoot green stuff, lasers and even a favorite among the genre a Spread-like machinegun to do a wider range of damage. If enemies get too close for comfort, our little alien buddy can also use a knife to quickly dispatch enemies.
Also much like Contra/Protector or even the Metal Slug series, Alien Hominid HD is a one hit kill experience. While the game offers a few difficulty options, it’s always one hit kill; although the Easiest difficulty eases things a bit by giving players a few extra lives and continues. But it still doesn’t make things any easier.
The game looks great and even better and more shiny and crisp in this current-generation re-release. It was even quite the looker in 2007 already and the power of the new platforms makes everything even better. While enemy design is quite limited, the environments are where it’s at. Each level has a unique design, with similar, very colorful, color palette for an optimal visual experience. The soundtrack is fine as it is; nothing special as it’s often buried under the sound effects and also easily drowned out as you do your best to focus on the action and well you know, not die.
As you’d expect, not everything is perfect with this indie title. The first being not being able to shoot in 8 directions. You can shoot left, right, up and down (when jumping), but you can’t shoot in any diagonal direction making some encounters, especially those against helicopters, unnecessarily irritating and frustrating. While the visuals are quite colorful and appealing, it’s very easy to not see some enemy projectiles leading to frustrating deaths that could’ve been avoided had the bullet had a more distinct color to make it stand out from the rest of the on-screen chaos.
Is Alien Hominid HD a good game? Absolutely. Is it a hard game? You betcha’. It will test your skills and patience as going in all commando will get you killed. Once you get around the lack of shooting direction and as long as you take your time to properly dodge enemy bullets, you’ll find a heck of a challenge here. Highly recommended to those looking for something different than the overdone Soulsborne genre; newcomers? Jump in at your own risk: you’ll need patience and practice to conquer this one.
- Great addition to the run n’ gun genre
- Fair challenge that will test your 2D skills
- Can only shoot in 4 directions
- Easy to lose track of enemy projectiles