You need to play the best sci-fi brawler on Nintendo Switch Online as soon as possible

Like any form of art, video games build on each other. In the late 80s and early 90s, this was especially evident to anyone paying even moderate attention. The toys began to take quite generously from those around them, which sometimes resulted in lawsuits.

To follow a certain strain, in 1986, Enix first released Dragon Quest game, an RPG in a fantasy world. In 1987, Technos released the first Double Dragon game, a massive beat ’em up hit about two brothers destroying endless hordes of bad guys. Elements of both were drawn for Sega’s 1989 arcade game Golden Axea beat’em in a fantasy world where you can ride dinosaurs and stab enemies.

In turn, elements of Golden Axe inspired Sega’s 1990 brawler Alien Storm, another hit them, this time in the midst of an alien invasion. (The game came to the Sega Genesis home console in 1991.) It’s currently available if you’re a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscriber.

Alien Storm offers three characters: male, female and robot. It’s all pretty similar, except the robot fights with an electric whip as opposed to the flamethrowers and electric weapons the humans pack. But you will avoid attacks from gross aliens by waiting for the right moment to burn them. They’ll drop from the sky, crawl out from under trash cans, and off the screen to poke and prod at you.

Hit it well!Sega

Removed from the 1990 framework, Alien Storm benefits from the players who have not seen immediately Golden Axe immediately before playing. The game is fast-paced, rarely leaving a player stuck in one match after another. And it keeps the game fresh between levels with fun first-person shooter mini-games that resemble later arcade games like time crunch, with creepy aliens falling across the screen.

Enemies within Alien Storm it’s probably the game’s biggest draw. These pull a bit from Ridley Scott Alien, which might be expected, but the game evolves HR Giger’s Xenomorph style into something more playful. We see bodies and heads struggling to break free from entrapment in an alien, sure, but it’s a lot of fun burning them alive regardless! Getting attacked can mean you end up in an alien’s mouth, which is a visceral gameplay experience, but it’s all pretty light.

“But watch your step! Harmless objects can transform into vicious aliens.”Sega

The game straddles the line between arcade and console quite well, giving a mix of rapid fire gameplay and power building. Energy and weapon upgrades can be obtained from aliens, which, like the minigames, offer a bit of variety.

But variety is ultimately not what the game’s creators wanted. They were going for something that felt different, but felt very similar to titles that early 90s audiences had experienced before. Some games are innovative, others follow a trend as best they can. Alien Storm it wouldn’t create a sequel, and mostly lives in the memories of players who happened to pick up the game as kids and remember its strange designs.

It would become one in a long line of beat’em ups, helping to build the gaming legacy of the era. It’s a fun game that plays well, a great game to explore if you already have the expansion pack — even if it’s not the most original of the bunch.

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