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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: 10th Best Official Release

Genre: Shooting

Awards: None
Sorry Captain, that Mustache isn't Working for You. Pros: Cool concept/ Smooth gameplay/ 5 fun levels of varied action
Cons: Graphics are muddy at times/ Sometimes hard to differentiate enemies from friends
Here's an Idea, Fools... GET OUT OF THE WATER!!! ALIENS HAVE LANDED!


Overview: Alien Brigade is a first person shoot'em up in the vein of Area 51 or Operation: Wolf with a quirky Atari 7800 paintjob. Aliens have invaded the planet and have started taking over the bodies of us lowly humanoids... including our military. It's up to you to squash these illegal aliens and rid the Earth of it's foremost threat to civilization.


Graphics: The visuals in this game are overall pretty fair, but sometimes they are on the verge of bad. Aliens sometimes only resemble green slimy blobs and backgrounds lack detail and fashion sense! Some tacky color combos have united in the backgrounds of Alien Brigade, and they have taken our eyes hostage. Art discussions aside, the main problem visually is trying to determine who is a good guy and who is not. Since some aliens have taken human form, it's hard to tell in the early going who the heck is who. There's at least a wide variety of things to shoot at: several types of aliens, tanks, jet-skis, human soldiers, helicopters, UFOs, and the like. Also, there are plenty of non-enemies you can hit. You can goose a dog, blow a man's hat clean off of his noggin' or even sever a man's arm clean off. Fun for all! Some characters and backgrounds are good. For instance, the graphics are extra funktacular when you are radioing Headquarters. The human models actually look like real people. The opening title screen is well done, and so are some of the aliens. Go to the Dentist!Later in the game, aliens get bigger and badder, and the mini-bosses are well detailed. The big red snake aliens and the flying vampires especially.


Sound: The most important thing about the audio of a 7800 shooting game is how irritating the sound of your own gun is. For example, the good guy ship in Planet Smashers has the high pitched doo-doo-doo noise that almost ruins the game single handedly. The good news for Alien Brigade is that the gun noises are pretty decent, and compared to other noises in the game, is way back in the mix of audio. There are actually decent musical interludes in this game, and other sound effects are good. Alien Brigade has some of the best overall TIA sound of any Atari 7800 game.


Gameplay: The choice of either using a gun or a joystick boosts the gameplay score up for me. I wish all 7800 shooting games had this option, for those who are not fortunate enough to own one of the inaccurate Atari light guns. This game is extremely approachable, you just need to point your gun soldier and PULL THAT TRIGGER!!! Each level has some sort of unique duty you have to perform to clear the level. Your duties are pretty easy to figure out, and they can range from rescuing hostages to blowing up a machine, but it at least makes you use your noodle a smidge. When an enemy is destroyed, sometimes they'll leave a present for you, like ammo, life, or even a special weapon! Oh yes, you have special weapons! Four in fact, grenades, bazookas, flame-throwers, and some bad-daddy waste everybody on the screen type-gun. But don't get too giddy about using them, because you'll probably have to use them on a mini-boss. The control of the game is decent, and the machine gun has a real smooth feel to it. You can pretty much cut everyone down with ease...including hostages!


Originality: Well, this cart was not very revolutionary, but Alien Brigade has its unique moments. The aliens themselves look somewhat ridiculous, and their weapon of choice is pretty bizarre. While the soldiers they posses have rifles that just hit you as soon as they fire upon you, the "superior" aliens have wads of goo they throw at you, and these can be shot and neutralized fairly easily. There are 5 levels, each with a different mission and location, with unique requirments that need to be solved for the level to be cleared.
Value: Alien Brigade is not terribly difficult once you learn a few necessities, and is fairly short. You can beat the game in about 20 minutes, and after you do this once or twice, you'll be scrambling around trying to find the "impossible" Atari game you are jet set on beating at the moment. The game itself is a must though, because your self esteem slowly rots away with consecutive loses at Scrapyard Dog, Ninja Golf, Impossible Mission, Planet Smashers, and Karateka. This game will give a much-needed self esteem boost that will enable you to attack these games with the vigor and confidence you need to defeat them.


Overall: This game is a success all of the way around, and if you can get past some of the visual whoas this might be a top ten game on everyone's list of favorite 7800 games. More than anything, it's just fun to sit back and waste alien arse. Movies, games, TV shows, books, and hell... even Orson Welles radio plays, human beings love the us vs. "them" interplanetary battle for survival trope... and it works here as well.



Other Reviews:

Atari 7800 Forever: 4.0 out of 5.0 (Very Good)
Digital Press: 9 out of 10
The Atari Times: 10 out of 10
Video Game Critic: A-
Hubert James Keener's Review Aggregate Machine: A

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.