Alien Zombie Megadeath is the latest in a growing list of popular PlayStation Minis to get a full high-definition upgrade. Pom-Pom's obnoxiously titled two-dimensional arcade shooter released last year as part of Sony's micro-game initiative. The PlayStation 3 re-release of Alien Zombie Megadeath is based upon the same principles as the PlayStation Mini, but has been improved in almost every area.
For those unfamiliar with the original, Alien Zombie Megadeath puts you in control of a kitted-out space-man with a supercharged laser pistol. Taking place upon scaffolding-esque arena structures, your objective is to vanquish these platforms from spawning waves of alien zombies. The alien zombies themselves come in a variety of unique guises, from stumbling mucus-coloured blobs to slobbering purple eye-balls. While there aren't a vast array of enemy types in Alien Zombie Megadeath, there are enough to keep the game challenging and fresh. Each alien zombie has slightly different mobility and attack tactics, forcing you to adapt your strategies in order to contain the foes.
At its core Alien Zombie Megadeath is an arcade twin-stick shooter. The controls here are fluid, with the left-stick controlling your character's movement, and the right-stick operating his weaponry. In order to top Alien Zombie Megadeath's scoreboards, you'll need to collect the crystals that dead enemies drop as you vanquish them. This increases your multiplier, allowing you to earn more points from each foe you eviscerate. There are also power-ups that litter the playing field, temporarily transforming your standard space-pistol into a laser beam or missile launcher.
Pom-Pom's done its best to keep Alien Zombie Megadeath feeling fresh throughout its surprisingly lengthy campaign. For example, some of the stages challenge you to avoid obstacles while collecting as many gems as possible, while others see you defusing bombs and rescuing space babies. These variations on Alien Zombie Megadeath's gameplay keep the whole package feeling fresh throughout its 70 stage campaign. The package is really well paced too, with the game gradually increasing in difficulty rather than hitting off-putting difficulty spikes.
Alien Zombie Megadeath is packed with replay value too. In addition to online leaderboards, each stage boasts four medals which can be collected by completing a variety of tasks. These range from killing a certain number of enemies to hitting a specific score target, and add serious challenge to each level. The medals are used to unlock additional stages, so become paramount as you attempt to open up more of the game.
Factor in a local and online multiplayer component and Alien Zombie Megadeath is a surprisingly beefy package. The game's not necessarily a unique concept, but it's fun enough to command your attention for the entirety of a lazy weekend. For what's essentially a twin-stick shooter, Alien Zombie Megadeath is surprisingly varied, and while the game's presentation is unlikely to wow you, its addictive gameplay is what will keep you hooked while you attempt to dominate the scoreboards.
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