I love vanilla. I particularly like those vanilla bars dipped in chocolate. But what does that have to do with games? And with Alien Shooter in particular? Well, Alien Shooter, as its name suggests, is vanilla. It’s a top-down isometric shooter, where you navigate different levels and kill a hell of a lot of aliens. It’s a no-frills experience.
The thing is, Alien Shooter is a 2003 PC Shareware title that has had a sort of cult following since it came to light all those years ago. And playing it, I can see why. It’s really, really fun.
There aren’t that many levels, or a huge diversity of enemies. There are about a dozen weapons and some upgrades, but that’s where customization stops. The music isn’t really all that awesome or varied, and the sound effects are very 2003.
But once you start playing, you no longer care about any of that. All you care about is killing those aliens. And let me tell you, alien killing is something that this game delivers in spades. The action is so frantic, the game play so on point, that everything else kind of falls through the cracks. It takes gaming to a very basic level, and juices it to the max. There’s hoards of enemies, buckets and buckets of blood. It really is a fantastic, delightful experience.
Or it would be, were it not for the frame drops. At first, it’s not a major problem. It’s just a bit jerky, but you power through it. As more enemies appear, and you advance through the levels, however, the problem becomes almost game-breaking, at least for something like a shooter, where sometimes exact-frame precision is necessary.
While this is not the case with Alien Shooter (it is very forgiving with its aiming, at least with the “Aim-Assist” on), the game at times runs at two, three or four FPS. And that takes you out of the experience completely. It’s still playable (I finished the campaign), but it just isn’t as enjoyable. And that’s a shame, because if it weren’t by this one issue – this really, extremely noticeable issue -, it would have been one of the best shooting experiences on the Vita.
We reached out to developer Sigma Team to talk about the game and more. You can read the interview HERE. The bad news is, there probably won’t be a patch to improve performance on the Vita. The good news is, the PS3 version runs at 25FPS or higher, so people with a last-gen home console will get to play this game, and enjoy it.
At A Glance
- Title: Alien Shooter
- Publisher: 8floor Ltd.
- Developer: Sigma Team
- System: PS Vita
- Format: Digital Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 113Mb