At first blush, Alien Storm would appear to be Golden Axe gussied up in a sci-fi package. And, after the first few minutes of play, you'd be right. It plays so similarly to Sega's sword-and-sandal classic that you might think the desginers got lazy and just swapped in some new characters into the existing code.

But then things take a different turn with the introduction of shooting levels. The first type is like the light-gun shooters that were popular at the time like Operation Wolf, except, of course, here you just use the regular controller, and, as such, these sections come off as a bit limp.

The game does fare much better during the other type of shooting levels, which are pretty much your basic SHUMP-style, but thrown at the player at breakneck speed. I guess it must have been the Genesis' famed "blast processing" that all the Sega ads back then screamed about to provide all that power.

However, the shooting bits can't totally cover the derivative nature of Alien Storm. Combined with the extremely average graphics and sound, this one's more for die-hard beat-em-up fans, rather than casual players of the genre.

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