Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Aliens And Predators Only Equaled Awesome Twice For Gamers

I'm going to go out on a limb here and state that most licensed games suck. By licensed, I'm referring to games that are based on other media. Then there are the games that are based on more than one thing in the same medium. There haven't been many of those, but they are usually tied together somehow so it makes the amalgamation work a lot better. One such grouping has always seemed to stand head and shoulders above its competition. That franchise being Alien Versus Predator.

The two classic Sci Fi franchises were joined together thanks to the good folks at Dark Horse Comics in 1989. The tie in continued with a Super Nintendo game released by Activision in 1993. While it wasn't the best game, it served two important functions: it introduced gamers to the idea of an Alien Versus Predator game, and it served as the the first decent game featuring Predator characters released in the US. That SNES game was followed up with an okay Gameboy offering in Alien Vs. Predator: The Last Of His Clan later in the same year.

A year later, we received the excellent AVP arcade game from the good folks at Capcom. This AVP game has been widely regarded as the second best game based on the franchise. Which one is the best? Why it's Alien Vs. Predator for the Atari Jaguar. British developers Rebellion seemingly put their everything into this game, and with three character types, which means there are three story arches, this one game a lot to console gamers who may have been limited in the amount of experience they had with First Person Shooters at that point. This version of the AVP story was probably the most well received, and had it not been released on the ill fated Jaguar console, it may have become a long running series of games.

While there have been other games that used the Alien Vs. Predator name and characters released as recently as last year, none of them ever reached the critical or commercial level of Success as the arcade of Jaguar games. Even though Rebellion, the developers of the Jaguar game, have been tapped to develop many of the FPS iterations of the AVP franchise, they haven't been able to capture the imaginations of gamers out there. It may not have helped matters that the two AVP films that were released in 2004 and 2007 were pretty bad movies. It just goes to show that sometimes only the right people can make magic happen.

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