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Alien 3 - Angry Video Game Nerd - Episode 114

James D. Rolfe: See all the Alien movie reviews on, part of Monster Madness Halloween marathon. 31 horror movie reviews all month long.

(The intro plays with horror sounds and a montage of the past Nerd Halloween specials.)

The Nerd: It's the Halloween season again, and I can't miss the occasion to celebrate, by torturing myself with another asinine game: Alien 3 on NES, based on the movie. The first movie, Alien, was like a slasher film set in outer space. The second movie, Aliens, brought the action genre into the mix, and gave it a wider mass appeal. It made a huge impact on not only film, but video games. The concept of shooting down hostile aliens and fighting for survival was perfect for video game adaptations. It's no wonder why so many games like Contra and Metroid were influenced by the Alien movies' art style and their feelings of solitude, confinement and claustrophobia. Can you even count how many games blatantly ripped these movies off?

The Nerd: The first two Alien movies were masterpieces, but the one we got on NES was the bastard sequel, the unholy three, that had mixed reactions. Some people like it, some people don't. It's not a terrible movie, but it's not great either. But, you know, I'm not gonna get all into right now. (Monster Madness.) So let's take a look at the game! Is this good enough for Halloween? I mean, Alien 3 is a horror movie. Is this scary enough?

(The Nerd notices that one rainbow on the cartridge. The lights dim to red and flickering blue as the film's signature Nostromo self-destruct siren blares.)

The Nerd: Okay! Now, it just got fuckin' scary!

(He inserts the cartridge into the Nintoaster and turns it on.)

The Nerd: If you play this, the first problem you'll notice is that the buttons are switched around. B makes Ripley jump, and A makes her fire the gun. That's not the way it's supposed to be! Ever played Mario? Mega Man? Any REAL game? This [B] is shoot, this [A] is jump! Everybody knows that! Just like Nintendo taught us the letter B comes before A! We all know B is before A except they mess with our minds by putting A before B, who'd put A before B?

You can never predict when the Alien's gonna pop out, it requires split-second reaction time. It's one of those games where you have only two speeds: standstill, and fast as ass. Classic two-gear diarrhea, where the screen is always trying to catch up. You have all this room over here! Why couldn't they keep Ripley in the center? So the whole game you're running headlong into that unforeseeable void on the edge of your TV screen. It's like sticking your dick in a glory hole without knowing what's on the other side. That analogy make any sense? Whatever. I just compared a glory hole to an NES game.

The Nerd: And you can't shoot the Aliens until they're on the screen. Yep. If it's outta sight, it doesn't exist. You could just keep firing your gun nonstop, that'll solve the problem, temporarily. But as soon as you run out of ammo, you're far past fucked. Yeah, you can run out of ammo. That sure sucks, but hey, you know how much ammo was in the movie? None. (sarcastically) Wow. They followed the movie pretty well. Remember? Ripley was on a prison planet where there were no guns to fight the Alien. And that's right, I said "Alien," there's only one. This game has as much to do with the movie as the Space Hunter Nebula M has to do with Lake Titicaca! If they wanted to make an Alien game, why couldn't they take as much influence from the movie as all the non-Alien NES games did?

The Nerd: Now look, I know that if the game had only one Alien and no weapons, you'd be bored pretty quickly  and begging for a deck of cards. Might I say that maybe this was perhaps not the best Alien movie to make a video game out of? The first two movies never had an NES game, why didn't they make those? Well, I don't know why they didn't make Alien or Aliens but I do know why they made an Alien³, and that was because it was new. The game was nothing more than advertisement for the movie. And how shameless is that, to do something to promote something else! (offhand) Monster Madness.

The Nerd: It served its purpose back then but has no significance today. It's like a time capsule from 1992, one that should have been left floating out in the void of 8-bit space where it'll hopefully land on the prison planet of other bad games. But, no, I had to find the capsule and open it up, like thawing a frozen dog turd! Wanna play a better Alien game that still holds up? Alien Trilogy on PlayStation. Are these Facehuggers? Look so funky. The Facehuggers in Super Contra look more like the ones from the movie, and that wasn't even an Alien game. Here they look like, I dunno, Thing from Addams Family dragging a dildo? Just another addition this game's museum of anomalies... Ripley's Believe It or Go Fuck Yourself.

The Nerd: The goal is to rescue all the prisoners and then head to the end of the stage. Okay, I think I got everybody. I'm going to the end... almost there... here we go... oh fuck, that's the barricade meaning I didn't get all prisoners... gotta go back... what! A time limit?! Yeah, there's a time limit, and it's just barely enough, so you have to be very familiar with the layout of the stage. There's dead ends everywhere just to waste your time. Wouldn't it be nice if there were some arrows show you the way, or just a simple map screen? This game does not hold your hand, instead it reaches down, grabs your dick and jerks you around. I promise that's my last dick joke.

The Nerd: When you pause the game, the music doesn't stop. That really ties my dick in a knot. Okay, now I promise. No more dickin' around. One thing I have to admit: the music is pretty good. But doesn't make up for all the shitty rules. Why can't you jump off a ladder?Ah, what happened?! I thought these were stairs! No, just blue balls. Heh, what was I thinking? (laughs) Stairs.... They beat you around like pinball flippers. I thought I was playing Alien, not Ripley Pinball.

The Nerd: Then there's all the items you can't get. What's the deal? It's too high to jump and there's nothing above it you can descend from. The game put that there as a tease, "Yeah, you want that? You want that? You want that, yeah! Yeah, fuck you, you're not getting it."

The Nerd: You can't go in the doors either; it's just part of the graphics. There's no reason to have a door there if you can't go in. The background did not need a door! If that door wasn't there, would you be confused? Would you be wondering, oh, gee, where am I, is this supposed to be a jungle or something? No, this couldn't have been an artistic decision, they put it there to piss you off. Doesn't it bother you not knowing what's on the other side of that door? I know what: it's this game's mom, bent over getting fucked!

The Nerd: Alright, I think I got all the prisoners. Oh, wait, get the guy over by the third ladder between the blue platforms, I don't know! It seems like a memory test; you need a Notepad handy. Shit, there goes the time limit again! "Game Over"? Three lives, no continues? If you make it to the second stage, it looks just like the first. Don't expect much variety.

The Nerd: If you make it all the way to the end to the game, this is what you get: "As Ripley leaves Fury 161 she turns back one last time." Did they see the movie? She never leaves the planet, she drops herself into the fire and dies as the last alien hatches out of her chest. It's the thing anybody would remember best from the movie. Then the credits start. "Quality Ass"? [Quality assurance in the UK] QUALITY ASS! That sums up the whole thing. There is no quality assurance with this shitload of fuck. This game is as much fun as a witch's cunt.

The Nerd: It's a shame that there was never a good Alien game on NES. Oh, wait. Actually, I take it back. There were some good Alien games on NES. They're called Contra and Metroid! Yeah. You know, it's not the worst LJN game, I have to say, nor is it even that bad of an NES game. It's playable, as much as the movie is watchable. Huh. Maybe that's what they were going for. In that sense, they got it right. It may not be a pile of goat puke-smothered buffalo diarrhea, it's just a pile of goat puke; hold the buffalo diarrhea. I don't even know if buffaloes get diarrhea. But it pains me to know that there's still more LJN games out there, and I just can't take it. I can't fuckin' take it anymore!

(The Nerd leaves the basement. Cut to the ending scene where he jumps off the platform and falls into the fire pit below. He cries out in pain as the Cinemassacre logo bursts through his chest.)