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Video Games Today's Date:

Alien Hominid

Publisher: O3 Entertainment
Developer: The Behemoth
Platform: PS2 & Gamecube
Players: 1-4
Genre: Action
Reviewed: PS2 Edition

Once, in a galaxy very, very near…the FBI shot down a cute little alien who was just minding his own business and then tried to cover the whole thing up. With no way off Earth, the little alien mustered up all his firepower and decided to kick some Federal Bureau of Investigation butt. Times were simpler then.

Alien Hominid has been out for a while now, but we felt it deserved some extra press because games like Half Life 2 and Doom 3 were all anyone was talking about when it came out. It would be a shame for this little gem to not get its moment in the spotlight.

Originally born as a flash based game on the internet, Hominid became so popular it blossomed into full fledged console game for the masses to enjoy. It should take gamers all of two minutes to figure out how to play, but hours to master. Like the 2D side scrolling games of yesteryear, Alien Hominid is simple yet really difficult. Your little alien buddy spends more time face down in the dirt than he does shooting the appendages off of feds.

Similar in play to Metal Slug or Mega Man, you'll move your alien through 16 levels of side scrolling action, shooting and slicing your way to each end boss. You'll have a variety of weapons and vehicles to commit carnage with and most have several upgrades available (provided by fat kids that befriend you). The Behemoth team put a ton of effort into making the game one of a kind in terms of character design, art and attitude. It's a blast to play and often hilarious as well.

Where Hominid stands apart from the crowd is with its graphics. The entire game has been hand drawn, giving it a unique look and feel unlike anything else out there (although it ventures into the Viewtiful Joe territory).

While modern games usually try to create a realistic environment or polish ever corner to a silvery luster, Hominid has more fun with its design. It's like playing an incredibly stylized Saturday morning cartoon. The hand drawn characters, backgrounds, effects, bosses and the power ups are all totally unique and have a quirky humor to them than keeps the game fresh.

Hominid's drawbacks are that it isn't very long (maybe 2-3 hours of solid game play) and the difficulty will test the patience of even the coolest gamer. There are a number of mini games to play around with both alone and with friends, which only add to the value of the game.

Alien Hominid isn't so much a throw back to games made a decade ago as it is the evolution of flash and java based games that are rampant on the internet today. It's the story of a little alien that lost his way and the story of a little game that went big. It would be all to easy for Hominid to get lost in the gaming shuffle of today's high profile games, but true gamers looking for a quick and easy fix should definitely check Alien Hominid out.

Alien Hominid

Michael Goodson

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