Top 100 Retro Games: Alien Storm

Alien Storm
Sega Genesis

Alien Storm is another in the seemingly endless line of late eighties and early nineties side scrolling platformers that dominated the arcades and both Nintendo and Sega systems. A lot of these games have very similar styles to them involving multiplayer action, area of effect attacks, and generally a good sense of humor. A great asset to Alien Storm is that it never takes itself too seriously. It would be easy to go “dark and gritty” with a game like this, and Sega avoids this masterfully.

I remember Alien Storm being yet another in a very long line of SEGA side scrollers that were fun and highly playable. However, maybe because of this, it did not seem all that memorable and ended up in the pile of games in my closet that got sold off many years later. As I said, it was not until the PS3 collection came out that I really came back to it and then really enjoyed playing the game.

This is a quirky, fun, game that does have some visual and input issues, definitely, but generally holds up regarding both graphics and play control. I dig its sense of humor for sure and the Contra style body horror at the end of the game. More on that in a bit.

So, the plot of Alien Storm goes something like this: Aliens have invaded Earth! You could stay there is a….storm…of them…The Alien Busters…really…must stand up to them save Earth.

The cover for Alien Storm, I think, is showing a scene from an early stage of the game with an alien coming out of a mail box. It looks as silly as it sounds. Notice that the female protagonist is nowhere to be found. The farther away from that era we get, the most asinine the excuses for it sound.

Alien Storm has been reissued on a number of Sega collections for modern consoles plus the Mega Drive Mini.

For my most recent play through of Alien Storm, I played it via the Genesis collection on the PS4. I also streamed it to completion. I think Alien Storm has really held up over the years and is still very playable. There are a few flaws we will get to, but overall this is still a great game.

The game reminds me of so many other games of the era like Streets of Rage and Contra. It is yet another side scroller with area of effect attacks that can be replenished. I have played a lot of these games in the past few years and gotten really comfortable with them.

I also love how the game does not take itself so seriously. I mean, for crying out loud the aliens become mailboxes! Some of the aliens look like Slurms, but not the Original Party Worm, Slurms Mackenzie.

I love the last level in this game and its Contra style body horror. It also opens up into various paths, which eventually I figured out. I did have to use an extra life code to get through this one. I think, like Streets of Rage, this is yet another game that is much better in multiplayer mode.

I would highly recommend Alien Storm. It is a very underrated game on the Genesis and worth replaying now. Given that the new collection is available on pretty much every system out there, you might as well check it out.



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