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Nov 21 2012

Quick Shaves: Alien Breed (PS Mobile)

Oh mobile games, such promise yet such shortfalls, whatever shall we do with you. Hell we’ve even gotten to the point where venerated PC classics can be released on your platform yet there’s always something off about them. In this case it’s simply a matter of feeling unnecessary. While I’m sure many have some really strong nostalgia for this classic series, I am sadly not one of them, and for the uninitiated this release just feels pointless.

The biggest addition to the game is the added “Enhanced mode” but what that mode adds is only dubiously enhanced. It changes the graphics to be smoother and more detailed but not in a way that it is a drastic improvement over the original (which is also included in this release). It changes the sound design as well, making the game sound like a standard sci-fi game rather than a standard sci-fi game having rough sex with a SID chip, that said I actually kind of prefer the rough sound of the old fashioned video game hardware shame. The other things added are minor but useful additions, things like objective markers and analog movement and shooting rather than the 8-way the original had. These things are nice to have but they don’t make things feel all that different as the boring map layouts and objectives remain the same.

Fact of the matter is, I just don’t feel like the base game is that interesting anymore. It’s your everyday dual-stick shooter and while the legacy is certainly there and I can definitely see why it would have been lauded in its day, it’s just not clicking with me. The having to collect gobs of money to buy new guns is neat, in that you can essentially decide when you receive the best guns, but it means literally all you’re doing is running around scrounging for money, ammo, and door keys with no real immediate reward. I think you’re also able to buy credits (I was playing offline all weekend so I didn’t get the chance to check this feature out) but that seems kind of gross to me as it means you are able to just buy all the weapons up front if you want which kind of eliminates the point of actually playing the game.

Final Assessment: The Neck Beard

Scruffy, unpleasant, the bit most people shave off, and yet there are few signs of nerd veterancy more memorable. So iconic it’s become stereotypical and there will always be someone out there wearing one (intentionally or not).

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