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on October 23, 2011
Here is a game that was almost canceled, when I saw a video demo of it, it looked promising, which disappointed me when I heard it got canceled. Luckily, they eventually did release it.

Story- You're a squad of Marines whose mission is to: "board the USS Sulaco (the spaceship from the movie Aliens), locate and identify the life forms, then secure and extract them back to the USS Sephora."

Gameplay- If you played Alien 3 this game plays like that, but without a time limit. This game is a 3rd person shooter where you hunt for weapons and item to open doors to progress further into the game. You play as one Marine at a time, but you have 4 Marines in a squad, (sort of like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES) and when one dies you can replace them by finding other Marines in the world. With a total of 19 Marines (4 you start with) all with different sprites.

You can only carry two weapons at a time, one of those is always the pistol, so your reduced to only being able to carry only one main weapon at a time. You can switch out this main weapons at the save areas. Included with the two weapons you carry, you have explosives: grenades and C4.

Controls- Plays like other shooters like Contra but with a unique way of aiming and shooting. When shooting you get locked, shooting in that direction. So if your facing right and start shooting and press left you will walk backwards while still shooting right, unlike other games where you shoot where you press the on the D-Pad. To reload there is no button, you have to use the touch screen and press the weapon that you are using picture.

You can run, jump, crouch, climb, cover against boxes, and also included is very useful roll where you can dodge pass an enemy with out taking damage(This is useful especially against bosses).

Graphics: When comparing graphics it should be relative, not to the most top-of-the-line system available; This game is a 2D game and the graphics should be compared to other 2D games. The sprites and backgrounds are very detailed and with special effects like parallax-scrolling. The animation on characters have more frames for more realistic movements. Also at some parts in the background, you can see animation of aliens attacking some marines. Also there are portraits of all the characters in a comic book art style, which I like.

Sound and Music- Authentic sounds from the movie are included, like the sting when the girl opens her eyes and the distinctive gunfire. The end credits play a shorten version of the song "Requiem" by Holy Light of Demons, which I really like.

Replay-ability- The game is a little short, I felt it could have been at least 3 more parts and bosses longer.
You have 19 characters to play the game through, only the dialogue and sprites are different between them, no special stats or attributes.
Also have a "Knife Trick" mini-game, if you seen the movie you'll know how this game is played, but with the stylus instead of a knife.

No online multiplayer co-op.

Recommendation- If you're a fan of the Alien series and like shooters with some exploration I highly recommend this game. This is a game that meets my expectations of a good Alien game, only thing I can fault it is it's a little short.
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on September 6, 2012
It is refreshing to play a 2D side-scrolling Metroidvania that does not just rest on its laurels of being old school and instead becomes something that rightfully stands on its own. Aliens: Infestation immediately captures gamers using its well-crafted dark pixel art and the unrelentingly eerie atmosphere that quickly reminds one of what made exploring Super Metroid's world mysterious and dreadful at the same time. The small screen space on the DS actually works in the game's benefit as the player never knows what may come lunging at them from the distance, forcing gamers to be ready for any horror to pop out from the darkness at all times. Whenever the xenomorphs come for human blood the game kicks into full gear with punchy action that deftly delivers for the Alien name. The aliens themselves act befittingly crafty using camouflage, obstacles, tight rooms, as well as their own speed, maneuverability, and numbers to panic players into blowing through their ammo reserves trying to take the bastards down. It truly does feel like the player is taking part of an Alien movie on their Nintendo DS!

Thankfully while the marines' arsenal is limited, each gun is effective in its own way. The classic Pulse rifle is weak in stopping power but has a beefy clip and a deadly grenade launcher; the trusty shotgun is slow and limited in range, but terrifically powerful; the flamethrower can burn multiple targets and recharges ammunition, but takes time downing larger aliens; the Smart gun gives players a balance of great firepower and range, but drains stamina quickly when running, takes some time to spin up, and has a nasty side-effect of spraying acidic Xenomorph blood (that appropriately damages the player); the pistol is the standard pea shooter with unlimited ammunition; and finally grenades and C4 are mainly used to clear obstacles, but can be weaponized as well. No one weapon is perfect for all situations and players can carry only one main weapon with them until they reach another save station, encouraging the player to try learn different techniques for different situations. They will need all the firepower they can get too, as the fight for survival is further intensified when the life of their marine is really on the line. If they die that is it for that soldier, cutting your squad down a man till they find another survivor to fill his spot. In a neat twist, sometimes marines may get a second chance by being captured by the xenomorphs and held in a (usually heavily guarded) nest, giving the players a limited time to rescue their comrades before they die, but this is still risky as the marines may or may not have been "facehugged" leaving a gruesome surprise to inattentive players.

Sadly though, all the suspense and action comes at a cost in the exploration department. This is not all too bad in itself as it circumvents excessive backtracking, but the game lands in the grey area of requiring too much exploration to be a completely linear experience, yet too little to be sustainably enjoyable. Moreover, Infestation has a nasty habit of running full steam only to suddenly jerk the chain back from the player and abruptly demands they find a keycard to progress any further. The uneven pacing coupled with Infestation's troubled development history alludes to there being many elements of the game that were either unfinished or outright cut from of the game. For example, the game prides itself on its multitude of characters to play as, each with their own superb art and unique dialogue in the story, proclaiming that each play through will be different with per character. This is true to an extent and some characters, such as "Beta", an airheaded 4Channer, and "Bonesaw", a gun-kissing deranged weapons instructor, are particularly fun with their banter and neat little idle animations, but that is really all there is to it! On screen they look just the same outside of having different colored armor, skin tones, and slightly different grunts and screams. While this is understandable considering how much sprite work would had to be done to give them all unique animations, it is undeniably jarring for the female characters or characters that are supposed to be larger or smaller than others (notably for two with those features being an element of their personality). This effectively makes the players' other three squad mates nothing more than extra lives unless they plan to change between them often. Adding skills or unique gameplay traits across characters would have made choosing their squad much more fun and interactive. On top of this, the story does not quite give the characters enough room to shine outside of key moments; this is mainly due to the story that plays its cards rather safe throughout. It is perfectly fine for anyone who is not terribly invested in the Alien franchise, but it does not give fans of the series much to chew on outside of some interesting bits from Gibson's Alien 3 script.

This is serviceable and by no means game-breaking in the scheme of things, but it leaves just enough for the player to wish more was invested into the game to make it all that much better and this theme carries over on other aspects as well. For example, the lack of custom control mapping is a missed opportunity. To be fair the controls are placed fine for the most part, but the lack of a reload button, instead constricting players to reload via the touch screen, which also holds the map on another screen, is terribly infuriating in the heat of battle. This is especially apparent in the boss battles, which in all actuality are not terribly challenging compared to the rest of the game, relying on tons of health, high damage output, and weak spots that are annoyingly difficult to hit to serve as any sort of challenge. In fact, save for one that can only be defeated in a particularly Alien fashion, they all basically share the same pattern with hardly any variation. Most of the difficulty from this game stems from the swarms of enemies that slowly chip away from your health bar as you try to make it to the next save room to heal up and these are usually far apart from one another. This is actually quite invigorating, one slip-up could spell your doom making for some investing gameplay, but then Infestation taunts players by haphazardly putting tons of supplies uselessly near save rooms for seemingly no reason whatsoever. Exploring maintenance shafts tends to be your only hope for health packs or ammo when stuck between save rooms, but this is risky because the shafts may house alien nests, yet at the same time they could also have valuable weapon upgrades (or giant mazes leading to nothing when the level designers feel particularly wicked). Again, this is great for the most part, but these shafts are so unevenly spread out in the world, players will travel long stretches of hallways without relief followed later by areas with useless caches of ammunition when none is needed. The music on the other hand is fittingly atmospheric (if a tad bland), but it becomes horribly tiresome when entering a new area resets the song to the beginning instead of smoothly transitioning. The APC shmup section especially deserves to be mentioned; by all means this should have been the badass scene in the game players would fondly recall upon, much like the hover-cycle chase in Contra III: The Alien Wars (no horrid pun intended), but there is one key difference between the two. Whereas the hover-cycle in Contra III is small and the hitbox remains on the player, the APC is huge (nearly two screens long to be precise!!) and its hitbox is all over the place! To solve this, the developers made this section technically impossible to fail, but this still could have been so, so much more enjoyable.

Finally, a complaint commonly lobbied against Infestation is that it is too short, but this is actually something that the game handles perfectly fine! The game always has the player doing something, inspecting new areas, and even when coming back to old areas it has a tendency to surprise players by making previously safe rooms hold nasty surprises just randomly enough that they can never quite predict it. There is never a moment in the game that feels padded out for artificial length, an agonizingly common theme in many of today's "AAA" games. The actual problem concerning the game's length is that there is not terribly much replayability outside of seeing different lines of dialogue with different marines. There is no new game+, no official implementation for speed running, and nothing to collect besides finding all the marines and a charming (if random) Knife Trick mini-game. Yet all said and done, these are all imperfections; they are great for the most part but lacking in a few areas making it fall just short of perfection. It is a shame these elements are not as refined as they could have been, but that does not make the game unplayable! Quite to the contrary really, this game is so recommendable because it tries to be so much more than just your typical licensed game and through its genuine efforts it becomes a game that does not need to lean on its license at all. Aliens: Infestation could have been a new IP and it would have been just as great, and in a day and age where licensed games are anything but original, it is something that cannot be recommended enough to both Alien fans and fans of 2D action/adventures in general. The biggest shame with Infestation is that it was delayed so much, had no marketing from SEGA whatsoever, and came out so late in the DS' lifespan that gamers likely have not heard of it, let alone looked into it (this seems to be a trend for Wayforward...). This is truly a tragedy as gamers are really missing out on a 2D Aliens game that finally gets it right. Even considering the issues, the fun of surviving the Xenomorph onslaught is too great to miss out. And while there is a sequel coming out by Gearbox on major consoles in 2013, which will hopefully continue Infestation's open ending, it is a shame it will be a typical modern FPS (complete with Call of Duty stylized points upon killing enemies). Maybe if we are really lucky there will be another game like Aliens: Infestation someday, sequel or not, because there is just something so poetically awesome about an Aliens game inspired by Metroid, which was in turn inspired by Aliens in the first place!
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on March 30, 2013
you know it's really sad when the DS game is a much more satisfying experience than colonial marines. Better Yet, I'll go further. This game should have been considered as the "true cannon" of the franchise, not CM.
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on January 2, 2012
I went and got this game today with some gift money from Christmas at my local Best Buy. I must say that I am highly impressed with this game so far. The graphics look pretty slick and the atmosphere is really incredible. It has some great story telling so far, but I have a couple frustrations with the game.

To close the map, you must touch the right side of your touch screen, and honestly, I don't know if it's my fingers, which it probably is, but it can be hard to click out.

Also, this game can be frustratingly difficult. Especially the first queen you face. I always manage to lose someone. But that is not the best reflection of my skill, even though I'm a fairly good shooter game player.

But those are super small details on what is a great game. I wish I could give it closer to a 5 star rating, but it is what it is. Don't let just 4 stars from me fool you. It's a great buy, especially those fans of the Aliens franchise. It provides a great story line with a great setting and feel to it. People aren't joking when they say it is a Metroid-style Aliens game. Everything just feels right with the game. It makes me more excited for Aliens: Colonial Marines coming out early this year!
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on February 24, 2013
It was a pretty awesome game, Its very Metroidvania. For those who dont know what this means, Its Like Super Metroid or the Nintendo DS Castlevanias. Its pretty linear in the way that you are always told go here, Do this, But you are still pretty free to explore as you want.

Its dark, Gloomy and it does indeed have a few scare moments like the old resident evil. Music is fitting and dark. There are plenty of characters like, 14 in all but you only get 4 at a time. When one dies you can find a replacement in the field and some of them are really cool others creepy, Weird, Just the kinda people you would expect to encounter in space.
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on January 7, 2015
Does anyone remember an SNES game called Alien 3? It was non-canon because it took place on the prison planet in Alien 3 but used the taped-together gun from Aliens and had tons of the critters around when the movie Alien 3 only had a single Xeno. But forget canon, at the time it was a great game that mashed up the gameplay of Contra with a tiny bit of map exploration like Metroid and had quests that sent you here and there and whatnot. That was like what 20 years ago and I still play it on SNES emulators occasionally. This game is pretty much a modernized spiritual sequel of Alien 3.

The character animations are smoother and cooler, sounds are better and spot on, the new firing and walking backwards is nice, I could go on about comparisons but it would probably be wasted since only a few people might have played Alien 3. This is a good 2d shooter. Not great, a few minor issues, but overall good. People say the characters are bland, well yes in general they are. Your fireteam can have 4 marines at a time max, if one dies you roll out the next one. You find replacements across the various maps, but if you have 4 you cannot recruit new ones. Luckily the ones you find around the map typically have ammo and or health pickups so it's not a bad idea to run into them anyway. The main difference you notice playing as different marines is they each have different camo, one is reddish, one brown, one light greenish-grey like the marines on Aliens, one near white, and of course skin color varies pending character too. The dialogue for each character changes but that is a minor thing, interesting to read anyhow.

So the lowdown, this is not a 5-star game but it's a good 4-star game. There is a lot worse games out there. There was only a spot or two that frustrated me, specifically the space-walk sequence. Otherwise it was smooth sailing. Challenging in some spots (especially bosses) for me and I played this exact style game for years and got good at it, expect to lose a lot of marines on your first playthrough. I beat the game after several hours of gameplay but this is a style of game you can play it again every now and then and I'm about to try another playthrough to see if I do better now I know all the neat little tricks like leaning against crates etc. This is a must-have for an Aliens fan with a DS/3DS system or it's a fairly good 2d shooter for anyone else. The bonus knife trick game (knife thing Bishop did in movie) is kinda fun for a minute or two with the touchscreen but nothing too special, I would hate to play it without a screen protector though. Love that noise if you hit your hand.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon December 3, 2011
A nearly cancelled gem of a DS game, Sega's Aliens: Infestation is a tough 2-D side scroller that harkens back to the 8 and 16-bit glory days of games like Castlevania and Metroid, only with the Alien license slapped on it. By all means though, this is a good thing, as Aliens: Infestation is the best game to wield the Alien license in years. Taking control of a group of colonial marines, you run and gun your way through treacherous corridors and other locations as deadly Xenos look to make you into mince-meat. You'll also encounter facehuggers, dangerous robots, and other hazards and enemies along the way, while getting to wield franchise standard weapons like the Pulse Rifle and Flamethrower. While Aliens: Infestation is a great game, let it be known right now that this game is not for lightweight gamers. There's no regenerating health bar, there's no frequent checkpoints; this is pure 2-D side scrolling action the way we remember it: tough and fun. The few flaws the game has lie in its difficulty however, including the fact that once you start firing, you're locked in that position and can't turn around to fire at something behind you. Not to mention that the area layouts can get confusing and you'll do quite a bit of backtracking (which helps hide the fact that this game is actually really short), but other than all that, Aliens: Infestation is a gem. It's wonderfully animated and surprisingly really creepy with some jump-worthy moments. That in itself makes Aliens: Infestation worth picking up whether you're a new 3DS owner or have an old DS that needs to have the dust wiped off of it. All in all, if you want a side scrolling run and gun game for your old DS and love the Alien franchise, by all means pick this up.
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on March 18, 2012
For 25 years I have simultaneously wanted to hunt and, be hunted by, a xenomorph. Thanks to Sega's outstanding "Aliens Infestation" for the Nintendo DS, it is now possible.
"Aliens" terrified me as a kid, not so much during the movie, but afterward. The 1986 James Cameron masterpiece is the greatest science fiction/horror/action film of all time. It is exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Laying awake in bed after I had seen it as a lad of 10, I could not relax and had thought after thought of an alien warrior ripping into my new bedroom on the other side of the house. The film later became the stuff of sleepovers, since I could not watch it alone, lest I did not want to sleep.
As you mature, you come to understand the things that scare you, the primal need to have your wits jolted in order to feel alive. I bring this up because "Aliens Infestation" succeeds admirably at this even on the two tiny screens of the Nintendo DS.
The game picks up immediately after the narrative of the "Aliens" film. You assume the identity of a squad of Colonial Marines investigating the overdue group sent to investigate some missing colonists who were sent to investigate the ship from the original "Alien" movie. As you can see, it's not the most novel premise. But what "Aliens Infestation" lacks in originality it makes up for in sheer adrenaline.
The beginning of the game features a quartet of Colonial Marines, landing on the Sulaco and looking for signs of life. And signs you soon find; some good, some not.
In what has to be the only time in my life this has ever happened, I was made to jump by a video game. In a compartment-by-compartment sweep of the Sulaco, I stumbled upon the captain's quarters when suddenly a cat came down from the ceiling, timed with an appropriately unsettling bar of music. It was scary and awesome!
The lighting of the game only enhances a feeling of dread and recreates the mood right out of the movie. As I continued to explore the Sulaco, white light against blue backgrounds subtly played off the feeling from the film.
Not only is "Aliens Infestation" atmospheric, it's also extraordinarily faithful to its source material. From the tech - you carry the same pulse rifles, utilize motion trackers and even cut through non-cooperative doors with standard-issue welders - to the vehicles - you're brought to the Sulaco by a dropship and later drive the same armored vehicle featured in the film as well as the mech-like loaders - there's not an element of the "Aliens" experience Sega overlooked. The sound effects only serve to enhance it.
In terms of play, the game has you select one of your marines to play at a time. You communicate with an off-site commander via an Anime-esque avatar but, aesthetically, it does not interfere with the illusion. I do, however, find myself a little put off by some of the transitional music between levels as objectives are explained, but it's a small qualm in the grand scheme.
Each character you choose has the standard life bar which, when exhausted, it's "game over, man, game over!" There are a couple rooms in each level that allow you to save your progress. When a marine is incapacitated, you return to the save room and choose your next character. You can also pick characters up along the way.
The DS plays out the action on its top screen while info about weapons and other items, maps and the motion tracker are displayed on the bottom in seamless integration of the device.
I won't give away more than I have already but, needless to say, things heat up pretty quickly and, before long, you and your fellow marines find yourself on the surface of LV-486, the planet featured in the first two "Alien" films. There's even an appearance by the iconic Space Jockey, rumored to be the subject of Ridley Scott's presumed prequel, "Prometheus."
If you're looking for a pulse-pounding, two-dimensional, sci-fi role-playing shooter, "Aliens Infestation" is it. You're just gonna want to make sure you mostly play it in daylight, mostly.
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on October 12, 2011
In Aliens Infestation, you play as a squad of colonial marines who are sent to investigate as well as eliminate aliens(Xenomorphs, as they're affectionately called in the game)in several locations seen in the Alien movies. Course, it's mostly eliminate and that's just fine with me.

Having been an Aliens fan since the very first movie, I was pretty excited to hear they were coming out with another game about the series. My most favorite game I've ever played has to be Alien Resurrection for the original Playstation. I've wished for them to make another game, like it, based on the series but my wish has went unanswered(except for the Aliens vs Predator games but I want me an Aliens game). However, Aliens Infestation fills my need just fine...even though it plays quite like the Metroid and Castlevania games. Like in the movies, this game takes it real slow to build up a genuine tension while you play the game. You can tell the company that made the game knows thier Aliens movies.

Gameplay pretty much plays like Castlevania or Metroid with you exploring locations to locate something you need in order to move on in the game. You use items in the game that are in the movies like the Pulse Rifle and whatnot. My only gripe is that the game is somewhat repetitive. It's really annoying when you finish a hard battle in a room with a particular nasty only to have to go through it again if you walk back through the location seconds later. Course, that's alot like Metroid and Castlevania, am I right?

Aliens Infestation is, actually, a pretty awesome game. Despite some technical issues, it manages to please. Metroid/Castlevania/Cybernator fans- look no further for your fix...it's right here!
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on November 19, 2013
I really enjoyed this game. It's been a long while since I played a good side scroller, or a good Aliens game for that matter. This game is the best of both worlds. A perfectly functional side scroller and an excellent game based on the Aliens franchise. I'll have to agree with many of the reviews below; BETTER THAN COLONIAL MARINES! Sad to say, but it's true. This game is very simple as is the story that comes with it. The events take place after the Aliens movie, and it starts on the Sullaco spaceship. You visit a few of the classic Aliens locations throughout the game, and fight many, many Aliens, all of them being based on the ORIGINAL Aliens designs with the exception of the final boss and a couple other Alien variations that make a brief appearance from time to time. To sum it all up, a great game for the price, and it stays true to the Aliens franchise by all means. A great game all around. Definitely worth the 10 bucks plus shipping I payed for it.
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