I know it might be implied that the aliens overcome obstacles to defeat the marines but last time I watched Aliens I was struck that it's really the marines incompetence that's their downfall. The ill disciplined amongst them take inappropriate weapons into the cocoon/reactor area, start blasting indiscriminately, spraying acid over their colleagues and getting blown up by their own grenades. Later when they think they've sealed themselves in the colony they forget about the crawlspace in the ceiling. It all makes for effective set pieces, and is probably not far from reality if a bunch of cocky marines found themselves facing a perceived less advanced foe (hence the Vietnam analogies), but I'm not convinced it makes the aliens look like they have some unfathomable intelligence behind their motives.
And in truth it's probably only the attack on Lambert, and mystery of the Space Jockey that hints at an underlying intelligence in the original film. Plus Ash's final remarks in the novelisation. But these few things seem to make a huge difference in perception. To me at least.
Also, just interpretation choices. Aliens springing through the air don't look as terrifying as that slow glide towards Lambert.
It's very hard to put it down to one thing, it's not just the bug/queen debate, all I know is that there is something in the Aliens interpretation that hasn't captured the essence of Kane's Son. Maybe it's as simple as the fact that Kane's Son had a fizzing sound, like it brought the air alive with menace and a mounting tension that had to snap.