Alien Syndrome

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Alien Syndrome is an arcade conversion of the SEGA game. It was released in 1987 by ACE. The C64 and Spectrum versions were very well received, it's an excellent conversion of the arcade game.  The Spectrum version scored high in Crash while the C64 scored a Sizzler and a healthy 90%. Now, comparing the to two versions, let's start with the cosmetics.

Looking at the screen captures it is obvious that the C64 version kicks Spectrum butt. The Commodore version includes the current level screen, the Spectrum misses this. The arcade version is available on the MAME arcade simulator. The acrade version has some speech and a limited tune, the Commodore tune is different but still atmospheric, the tune plays with some good sound FX.

You can play either a male or female, weapons upgrades are found on the decks. The purpose of the game is to rescue a prefedined number of humans from aliens of different space ships within a time limit. Beforetime runs out the players, one or two, have to kill off the end of level monster. This is no easy task, nut very satisfying.


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The Spectrum version has the usual Spectrum scrolling problem, the screen only scrolls when you are close to the edge. This causes unexpected deaths from attackers not yet seen, just of screen. The reason the arcade game was popular was the two player action. On both version the game playes well as a two player game. Even though the Spectrum has scrolling problems it is still very playable.

The Commodore has the edge however, better graphics, better sound and better playability. The playability is higher due to two reasons, firstly the scrolling and secondly no slowing down when the screen gets busy on the Commodore. The Spectrum slows down when  simultaneously scrolling and when the screen contains many moving objects.

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