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June 12 2006
Alien Syndrome - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/9/2007THQSegaTotally Games1-2$79.95
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Those two enemies better be dispatched quickly!.
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Graphics are pretty impressive.

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Dishing out some serious pain!
So who here is old enough to remember the original Alien Syndrome? The original game was actually released in the arcades in 1987 so, like me, you'd be getting on a bit to remember it! Perhaps though, you recall playing it on any number of 8-bit systems including the Sega Master System or Sega Game Gear.

A decade later and the finishing touches are being put on an updated version for the PSP - and Nintendo Wii. In development at Totally Games. Now Totally games may not be a household name, but their games are as they have worked on title such as Secret Weapons over Normandy and the X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter series. This is a bit of a departure for the company from their flight sims, but we have confidence they can pull this off.

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Classic, top-down shooter gameplay.
Alien Syndrome is essentially a top down third person action RPG. Essentially you take control of the games strong and enigmatic heroine, Earth Command Trooper Aileen Harding, and battle a variety of fearsome aliens and colossal bosses. Gamers will choose from a wide selection of character specialties and skills upgrades as they progress through an engrossing campaign and fight through infested spaceships and bizarre alien planets.

Alien Syndrome includes 15 levels with around 20 hours of action. The game will include plenty of boss encounters as well with 15 sub-bosses and 5 main bosses. The enemy design is also extremely impressive with over 100 different alien enemies making an appearance throughout the game. The game will also allow you to select from several character classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Upgrade your character stats as she grows in experience, accessing a host of new abilities and game features. Your loyal robot assistant also fights alongside you, exchanging and improving your weapons and armor at any time.

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Enemy design is quite impressive.
Weapons will play a big part in Alien Syndrome and indeed there will be 20 different weapons available including flamethrowers, chain gun, quad-barreled lasers, missile launcher, dispersion laser, nanobot swarms that dissolve enemies, and incendiary grenades that shoot fire geysers from the ground. As well as the weapons on offer there's also a range of armour types as well as bonus items.

As well as the single player game the developers are including a four player cooperative mode. We assume this mode will be via Ad-Hoc connectivity - as yet we haven't heard anything about playing the game online but given the responsivness required we suspect it won't be the case.

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Note the complex levels in the map.
Graphically this game looks pretty special with enemies scampering around the levels, and clear weapons blasts and explosions. If the frame rate holds up well then this could be one of the best games we've seen on the Sony PSP to date.

With a release currently set for September 2007 Alien Syndrome looks like a decent update to a classic arcade game and is certain to be another step on the right path for Sega who are trying to refind their place among the elite games companies around the world.