Alien 3 is an action platformer video game based on the 1992 Alien 3 film. The game was first released for the Sega Genesis and Amiga in 1992, with additional versions being released in 1993 for the Commodore 64, Game Boy, Game Gear, NES, SNES, and Master System.
Each version was developed by Probe Software, except for the Game Boy version, which was developed by Bits Studios. On Nintendo’s platforms, it was published by LGN while Arena Entertainment published it on other platforms , with Virgin Interactive Entertainment publishing the Europe-exclusive Amiga version. Alien 3 received generally positive reviews, with most critics praising its music and graphics.
Alien 3 (Amiga, Commodore 64, Genesis, Master System, Game Gear)
Platform: Amiga, Commodore 64, Genesis, Master System, Game Gear
Release Date: 1992-1993
Genre: Action, Platformer
Publisher: Arena Entertainment
Developer: Probe Software
The Genesis and Amiga version of Alien 3 were the first ones released and versions for Commodore 64, Master System and Game Gear followed a year after. The Genesis and Commodore 64 versions contain 15 stages while the Amiga version has 14 stages. The Amiga and Genesis versions are almost identical while the Commodore 64 version has a slightly different level layout. The Master System and GameGear versions are similar while the Master System has a two-player option.
Alien 3 is a side scrolling action game with large levels. In each level, you are given a series of objectives such as rescuing prisoners, repairing pipes, fuses and junction boxes, welding doors shut and destroying alien eggs. Once you’ve finished all objectives, you move onto the next stage. You also have a series of blueprints to help you navigate the levels.
The plot of Alien 3 is similar to that of the film. Ellen Ripley, the main character of the Alien series, is in cryo-sleep aboard the space ship Sulaco. She crash lands on the prison colony planet Fiorina 161 and finds the colony overrun by Runner Aliens. Unlike the film, Ripley has Colonial Marine weaponry such as the pulse rifle, grenade launcher and flamethrower as well as medi-kits and a motion tracker. The game ends with a battle with the Queen Alien and Ripley then activates her escape pod and leaves the planet.
Genesis (US Cover) NES (US Cover) Genesis (UK Cover) Master System (UK Cover) GameGear (UK Cover)
From the Amiga version:
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Alien 3 was extremely well received when it was released. Gamepro liked the Genesis version saying it was faithful to the film; “The graphics have a Rolling Thunder look and a palatable gore factor. Cool tunes round off the mood, and the sound of a shot destroying an Alien will send a chill down your spine.” Sega Force equally praised the game for its graphics, gameplay and large number of levels.
Sega Force also like the Master System version saying the graphics were similar to the Genesis version with great sound effects. With regards to the GameGear version, Gamepro gave a positive review but said the graphics can’t compete with the Genesis “Veteran Alien hunters shouldn’t expect Alien 3 for the Game Gear to pack the same pulse-pounding action as the Genesis version. The Game Gear obviously doesn’t pack enough power to match up with the 16-bit special effects. However, challenging game play and lengthy stages give the game more punch than average Game Gear fare.” Mean Machines Sega scored the GameGear version 90% saying it was close to the Genesis: “It’s astonishing how close this version of the Megadrive hit is to the original. The gameplay is almost identical, the differences are so slight they are hardly worth mentioning, and the action remains exactly the some. ”
CU Amiga scored the Amiga version 92% praising the graphics and sound effects: “Alien 3 is definitely very challenging. There’s plenty to shoot, lots to explore and the backgrounds vary enough to hold your attention. It has all the atmosphere of an Aliens film as you never know when one’s going to leap out at you. This is one of the best movie-to-game conversion I’ve seen.” Commodore Format scored the Commodore 64 version 78% saying it had standard gameplay but the timer definitely adds to the tension: “Basically, Alien 3 is nothing outrageously special. The gameplay is fairly standard, and all the levels are very similar. What’s more, it’s also a bit too easy.” On the other hand, Commodore Force gave it 93% saying it was a great conversion of the Amiga version “retaining the game’s atmosphere and slick sprites, quality animation, all set in a dank, claustraphobic game world faithful to the film.”
Alien 3 (SNES)
Platform: Super Nintendo
Release Date: June 1993
Genre: Action, Platformer
Developer: Probe Software
The SNES version of Alien 3 is a bit different to the the Genesis version. The game contains six stages and a password feature. and you are given a series of missions to complete like before to progress through the stage. The graphics and design are different from the Genesis version and the character models are bigger in the Genesis version.
SNES (UK Cover)
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Like other versions, the SNES version of Alien 3 was really well-received by critics, praising the graphics, music and sound effects. Gamepro gave it a glowing review saying “It’s packed with excellent graphics, challenging game play, and enough exploding Aliens to satisfy even the most hardened bug hunter. Don’t bother to do it for Newt. Do it for yourself!” SuperPlay Magazine scored it 84% saying “What it all hinges on, as usual, is what there is to actually do, and whether or not it’s any fun. And, as luck would have it, Alien 3 is damn good fun.” Nintendo Power praised the game but didn’t like that blueprints were only accessibly from terminals while Nintendo Magazine like the large number of levels in the SNES version but found the control system a bit of getting used to.
Alien 3 (NES)
Release Date: March 1993
Developer: Probe Software
The NES version of Alien 3 is more similar to the original Amiga and Genesis versions but there are a few unique levels in the NES version.
NES (US Cover)
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Gamepro gave the NES version a positive review, saying it can’t hold its own compared to the Genesis version but it was still a lot of fun: “Alien 3 reminds us what the NES does well – entertain! The formula for success here is a great story line, uncomplicated game play that pumps your adrenaline level, decent graphics, and movie-style tunes.”
Alien 3 (Gameboy)
Platform: Game Boy
Release Date: January 1993
Developer: Bits Studios
The Game Boy version of Alien 3 is the most different out of all the ports of the game and is the only one to be developed by Bits Studios. This is played from a top-down perspective, unlike the side-scrolling of the other ones and there’s a greater emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving. You move around the various levels collecting things to stop the Xenomorphs, rescuing prisoners along the way.
US Cover US Cartridge
Nintendo Power (February 1993) (Gameboy)
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