Do who can remember going to the arcade as a kid with a pocket full of quarters and the intention of beating your rival “aaa” on the leaderboards? If this sounds like you, Alien Zombie Megadeath is a game you shouldn’t miss. Luckily it’s the year 2011 and this game can be found on the PlayStation store, otherwise I may have already used $20 worth of quarters. Pay to play arcade games, now that is an idea, but let’s not discuss it now. At heart Alien Zombie Megadeath is a retro style platform shoot em up and it is glorious.
Players take control of a spaceman in…space, well where else would you find a spaceman? Opposing the spaceman are the alien zombies, who apparently have a foul odor and don’t like the spaceman. The spaceman who can’t stand the smell decides to wipe them from existence with his laser, though if they are zombies, they are already dead. Can you exterminate a race that is already dead?
The left stick or directional pad can be used to move around while the face buttons or the right stick can be used to shoot. My preferred method of control is using both sticks as the game plays like a twin stick shooter, so why not play like one.
Like most retro style games, one hit kills the character. Lose all your lives and it’s game over. After getting hit there is a decent amount of invulnerability that should be utilized to escape from what ever mess you got yourself into. The enemies vary from slow ground types, to quick flying bats from hell. There is even a enemy that holds a shield as it crawls along the platform, which sort of resembles the floating shields from Mega Man that have to be hit from behind.
Each level consists of horizontal platforms and hordes of these alien zombies. There are 70 levels to master, with varying completion methods such as defeating all the enemies and survival by avoiding falling and rising meteors. There is also a bunch of survival style levels to compete in for the highest score. The game has both local and online multiplayer, which is surprising to see, as a lot of downloadable games tend to have one or the other. Thankfully PomPom Games includes both methods, and online multiplayer even has voice chat as well.
Some of the more unique mission objectives involve diffusing bombs, and helping space babies (yes, space babies) get safely to a ship on the other side of the platform. Each level has medals that can be earned with over 280 unique medals to unlock. Earning these medals will unlock more and more levels as you progress.
The multiplayer consists of level based co-op where working together is paramount, as a wrong move spells disaster. Players share lives from the same life pool that makes watching each other’s backs even more important.
Players can customize the spaceman by changing colors of his equipment such as the helmet and backpack. There are also unlockable spacesuits that we wont spoil here. Power ups can be collected through out the levels, these only last for a couple seconds, but are very helpful to get out of a jam, firing missiles, lasers or my personal favorite the 3 way shooter.
If you are looking for some retro goodness this summer look no further than Alien Zombie Megadeath. With 70 levels of play and local and online multiplayer with voice chat, anyone would be crazy to pass this game up.Note: Alien Zombie Megadeath was reviewed on PlayStation 3. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.