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Aliens Vs. Preadator

Activision 1993

Super Nintendo


When the A vs. P movie came out a few years ago it was the commutation of a long drawn out development saga. This is one of those instances where the story behind a movie is more interesting than the movie itself. It all started with a brief flash of an Alien skull in the final sequence of the Predator 2 movie, then moved to comics and games before the (somewhat disappointing) movie came out in 2004. Maybe part of the reason Fox waited so long before making that movie was atrocious games like this.

You play as a Predator warrior who comes down to Earth to fight an infestation of Xenomorphs. This is accomplished in traditional side scrolling beat'em up fashion. Too bad the game is infested with a case of terminal chest-bursting suck instead of anything close you could call to fun. The game never really explains why the Predator is helping humanity exterminate the Xenomorphs instead of hunting down human beings like in the movies instead. What is this slogging through the sewers crap? You should be ripping people's spinal cords out and cleaning their skulls for trophies, hanging them upside down and stripping off all their skin. Such a waste.

As the Predator, you get the usual three hit auto combo and jumping kick attack. Nothing new here folks, move along. The only unique move you have that isn't in every other beat'em up game out there is a slide kick activated by the L and R buttons. This one move makes you pretty much invulnerable to attack, which the developers must have realized because it does practically zero damage. Thing is there are certain bosses such as the level 2 gorilla-alien boss that are only susceptible to this attack, which makes the boss fights overly long and boring. Lame.

You also get to use various weapons.. well two of them at least, the cutting disc from Predator 2 and a long Predator spear, which keeping with beat'em up conventions are dropped from fallen enemies. Why dead aliens would drop Predator weapons is not explained. Problem is even with the weapons each bad guy takes 20 hits to kill (not making this up) so your weapon gets used up while fighting one common enemy. Totally lame. You also get the ability to turn invisible via a powerup, which lasts all of about 10 seconds, wherein any enemies on the screen will begin to just wander around aimlessly. But since there's never more than three on screen at a time this powerup is pretty useless.

Thing is there were so many options to choose from in the movies- where's the retractable Wolverine claws? Where's the firing net that pins people to the wall and slices them into little squares? Where the hell is the badass Predator shoulder cannon that blew Jesse ventura's entire chest cavity out? Instead I gotta use tired-ass jump kicks and ineffectual auto combos? Such bullshit.

There is also a two player mode but I've never used it because I like to keep my friends.

Thing is most of this is pretty par for the course for this type of game. So what's the problem? The game moves very slowly, and has incredibly bad animation, sometimes as low as two steps. Which is really a shame because the graphics are not half bad when they stand still. There's a few special effects here and there, like the spotlight during the 2nd level boss fight that follows you around, various lighting effects, etc. But it doesn't matter how detailed your graphics are because if your characters animate like crap it destroys the whole experience.

And since as it's standard for these games that they do not progress until you kill everything on screen it takes an ungodly amount of time to get through a level. Fighting wave after wave of the same three basic aliens who all take 20 hits to kill over and over again gets pretty boring real quick. This just proves that the games of yesteryear could be as much work as the ones today.

This version predates the (mostly excellent) FPS versions of the franchise that would later appear on the Playstation, PC, Jaguar, etc, so in a sense it could be forgiven for sucking so bad as it had no standards to live up to. But there are so many other excellent examples of beat'em up games for the Snes that are so much better than this one, it makes me wonder if the people who put out this garbage actually took a look around at their competition.

Graphics: Look good when they stand still. It's when they start moving you see the problem. Occasionally there is a cool lighting trick or special effect but these are few and far between. For the most part the backgrounds are pretty generic (comprised of the usual beat'em up cityscape, sewer, forest levels, etc.)

Sound: You think you'd get some digitized Predator speak now and then, but nope. The usual punches and kicks, with a gurgling Alien squeal when an enemy dies that gets on your nerves pretty fast.

Gameplay: Slow moving levels and repeatedly fighting the same three alien types with such a small arsenal of attacks quickly leads to boring-as-hell gameplay.


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