I’ve been playing Aliens Vs Predator recently. I remember all the fuss when it was about to come out, and then the slightly poor reviews it received, and as I didn’t have an Xbox or PS3 back then, it kinda just passed me by. However, I picked a copy up for about a fiver a few weeks back and I have to say that I’m very impressed with it. As a ma-hussive fan of the sci-fi genre and of the Alien franchise in particular (c’mon, I’ve got a Weyland Yutani jacket), I feel that I am qualified enough to say that it’s the best game set in the Alien universe that I’ve yet to play. And I’ve played a few – including the gash 8 and 16-bit era ones, Alien Trilogy, Alien Resurrection (which I’ve still got for the PS1), and even the previous iterations of the AvP license. And yes, I even had the Jaguar version back in the day. None of them though, match the atmosphere and feel of the dank and gloomy colony like this new AvP does. The sound samples of the weapons and Alien screeches are spot on; and the franticness of the marine missions is perfectly pitched whilst the Alien missions capture the experience of actually being on the other side of the battle. I must, however, admit that I haven’t touched the Predator missions at the time of writing. I’ll get round to them, but I much prefer the other two characters.
I’ve re-read some of the reviews that appeared upon AvP’s release and I can’t help but feel that a lot of them are just a little harsh. The graphics are actually really good and the aforementioned sound effects are straight out of the movies. Sure, the Alien’s controls do get a little confusing in the heat of the moment, but they’re nothing a fully dextrous, sober (cough) human can't handle. Basically, what I’m saying is that if you’re a fan of the Alien films and/or canon, then you have to get hold of a copy of this game as it is the most authentic way to fully immerse yourself in the xenomorph mythos. Fuck the reviews, come get some. Furthermore, on the basis of AvP, I have spectacularly high hopes for Aliens: Colonial Marines, which I believe is out later this year. But don’t quote me. I’m often wrong, and this is no different.
Remaking or rebooting old games seems to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment though, and I have to say that the subject is one that definitely interests this particular gamer. I’ve just been looking at comparison shots of the new Ocarina of Time for the 3DS and the original game on the N64. Saying that the new shots look amazing is an understatement – the level of detail lavished upon familiar and well-trodden low-res haunts is heart-warming, and may even sway me towards actually investing in a 3DS. It looks that good, in my opinion. Another retro-ish game getting the upgrade treatment is Halo. It was the first thing I ever played on the Xbox and it was a truly great game. Having it re-mastered for the current console is a masterstroke. Screaming around that little tropical island on a Warthog blowing the fuck out of Covenenant grunts in full HD glory will be nothing short of orgasmic, you mark my words. Obviously, rebooting an old favourite doesn’t always go well, as we have seen with the recent release of the new Duke Nukem game. So, it’s not technically a reboot as it’s a whole new game, but I see that the reviews have been a little harsh on the Duke. To be fair, a lot of the critics have lambasted the game simply because they view the central character as an archaic womanising asshole rather than because it’s a poor game. Erm, wasn’t the original reason Duke shot to fame because he was an archaic womanising asshole?! If Duke Nukem Forever had been set in a sanitised suburbia and featured a suit-wearing family man in the title role, I’m sure the same hacks would be complaining about the dullness of it all. Pricks.