If there was one game that convinced me retro remakes could work, it was Bionic Commando: Rearmed. It looked slick and played great, with some fantastic bonus content and no need to transcend its traditional, side-scrolling content. Riding high off the success of Rearmed, Capcom was pretty well convinced that their impending full three-dimensional continuation of the series would fare just as well, if not better.
It flopped. Hard. So hard that it pretty much took down developer GRIN with it. But if GRIN is a young star that just shined too brightly, then Team 17 is a red dwarf that refuses to go out. They’ve been around since at least 1990 and have continued to, more or less, produce the same two series for that entire time. To be fair, it wasn’t until last year that they chose to resurrect top-down shooter Alien Breed, but therein lies the reason for the parable I mentioned above. When you’re remaking a game, it’s success depends on the perfect balance between preserving what still works and adding just enough of the new to make it feel fresh.
Has Team 17 made the right decisions in bringing the series up to date? Reactions to their first attempt, Alien Breed: Evolution/Impact were decidedly lukewarm. We played through the sequel, Alien Breed 2: Assault, to see if it fared any better. I implore to check out our video review below, but first a few notes:
- I believe this is the first time we’ve actually used our new video intro. Appropriately enough for this review, it’s a bit retro, too. Let us know what you think!
- I apologize ahead of time for my voice over. Unfortunately, that’s what you get to deal with when I’m all stuffed up.
- If the footage of the in-game intro is running a bit long for you, well, feel free to skip ahead a bit. ;)