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Old 10-12-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: So. Cal, USA
Posts: 3,258

Aliens: Thanatos Encounter
System: Gameboy Color (played and reviewed on a GBA)
Publisher: THQ and Fox Interactive
Developer: Crawfish Interactive
Size: 8 megabits (hehÖjust put this in here for the old school cart vibe magazine review)
Save: Password
Released: 2001

A group of Colonial Space Marines are returning home to earth from a training mission. Along the way they receive a distress signal from the large freighter, Thanatos. After failing to establish communications, they decide to dock and board the massive ship. Join the elite Marine squad on a mission to blast Xenomorphs in the first Aliens game for the Game Boy Color!

The above is strait from the box. Let me just start off by saying that I'm an Aliens junkie. I love the movies, books and games based on the Aliens franchise. I bought Aliens: Thanatos Encounter on the day Nintendo launched the GBA in North America. I snagged a GBA, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Iridion 3D and walked over to the GB/GBC section and grabbed a copy of Aliens: Thanatos Encounter. This was the first 8-bit Gameboy game that I ever owned and played all the way through, as I was a Lynx and NGPC fan back in the day before the launch of the GBA. So lock and load Marines, it's time for a bug hunt!

You are given a group of five Marines to control in a series of 15 missions, aboard the spacecraft Thanatos. You pick and control one Marine at a time and use him/her in a mission. Each Marine is rated in speed and strength and you must choose the right Marine for the type of mission at hand. The action takes place in a top-down perspective, ala Gauntlet or Team 17ís own Alien rip-off, the excellent Alien Breed. There are some RPGish type elements present in the gameplay. You have a health meter and must pick up med kits to replenish your health.
You also pick up weapons and ammo and other various objects in order to complete your mission.

The missions are varied, which keeps the game fresh. There is a large selection of cool weapons that you gain as the game progresses. It has everything from the Aliens universe that a fan would love. All the Marine weapons are there, like the pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, flame thrower, grenades, the motion tracker and the awesome Smart Gun. There are also several Alien types as well, face huggers, chest busters, drones, soldiers and at the end you fight the Alien Queen. Hell, there are even a few power loaders that you can jump in and fight Aliens with, like when Ripley took on the Alien Queen in the power loader at the end of Aliens.

Some of the Marines in your group are just plain useless and you end up only using two of them, the fastest and the strongest. This could have been remedied by having more RPG elements, ala having a tech or medical wizard in your squad and having to use that Marine to complete a certain type of mission.

The control is fairly solid. The strafing is done particularly well, given the limited two button layout of the GBC. The only problem is that sometimes Aliens come at you from an angle and it is kinda hard to get your Marine to move or shoot in a diagonal direction. The option and inventory screens are laid out fairly well and easy to use.

There is nothing to complain about in this department as the graphics are top notch for a GBC game and very atmospheric. The background and sprite graphics are varied, crisp and clear. The graphics are strait out of an Alien movie. The Marines and Aliens look like they should and you feel like you are aboard a spaceship that just went through an Alien attack and all kinds of turmoil. Certain parts of the ship are even cocooned as you get closer to the Alien Queen. The scrolling is also done well as you move around, with very little clipping. The intro movie graphics are also solid and set the story up really well. The retina eye scan for entering the game save password is a cool touch.

SFX & Music
The sound effects are kinda sparse. You have footsteps, some weapon sounds, some explosions and a few other blips and bleeps. A trademark Alien scream here and there would have made all the difference. The music is solid. There are about four or five tense sci-fi type tunes that help you get into the game.

Final Words
Aliens: Thanatos Encounter is a good solid game. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Alien movies, books, comics and video games. The developers have their act together and created an entertaining and atmospheric game that is faithful to the Aliens universe.

Final Score: 88%
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Last edited by Havoc2049; 02-19-2013 at 10:17 PM.
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