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First Impressions: Alien Crush Returns

Posted by Robert Bazin

Alien Crush Returns has been on our radar for some time now. We're massive fans of the original game here at WiiWare World and the idea of a 3D update has us very excited indeed. It's out in Japan as we speak and we've had a quick blast to see if this lives up to expectations.

Alien Crush Returns is a pinball game with a difference. Set in an alien world and based on the much loved PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 game, players will need to destroy aliens and use crafty special powers to rack up a high score.

Firstly, the graphics are excellent, definitely one of the best looking games on WiiWare. The tables you play on are like the insides of an alien creature, with highly detailed body parts that shift and pulsate, and alien blood that boils and fizzes with gruesome realism. As a bonus, and providing you have the correct equipment, you can view the game in 480p widescreen.

There are plenty of modes on offer. In the Arcade mode you choose one of three tables to play on and the idea is to survive for as long as possible and get the highest score you can. In story mode you play through all the tables in the game. In order to progress in the story mode you must destroy specific aliens dotted around the table and even defeat two enormous bosses! We were unable to try the versus modes but you will be able to complete against up to three other people at home or over Wi-Fi.

Alien Crush returns is a simple game to play but it reveals hidden depths the more you play. You control the left flipper with the Z-button on the Nunchuk, and the right flipper is controlled with the B-button on the Wii remote. These controls can be reversed for left-handed players.

A quick shake of the Wii Remote will tilt the table causing the ball to change its speed and direction slightly. We found this particularly useful when spotting a ball heading directly between the flippers. An important aspect of all pinball games are the ball physics, and We found them to be spot-on with the ball behaving exactly as it should.

You could quite easily play the game with these controls alone, but if you want a high score you will need to use the special powers at your disposal. Only one power is available at the start with more being unlocked as you progress through the story mode. The first power is the speed boost. If timed correctly a boosted ball can take out tough aliens with a single hit. The second power gives you the ability to reverse the direction of the ball, which can be a life saver if you have quick reflexes. The final special power is the double ball. This will add an extra ball on the table for a short time allowing for lots more points.

There’s so much we haven’t had time to talk about, but we can tell you this is rapidly becoming one of our favourite WiiWare games. With great graphics and gameplay to match, Alien Crush Returns is definitely one to look out for when it is released in your region. Watch this space for a full review after it's debut in the West.

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User Comments (29)

Wiiloveit

#1

Wiiloveit said:

Some nice ideas and modes included here (and I particularly like the inclusion of widescreen 480p, since I find several Wii games only do an average attempt at widescreen and end up with a border around the screen - here's looking at you, Internet Channel), but I probably won't buy it due to the fact that there are only three tables - the main problem with pinball games is the lack of tables - why not have a WiIWare game that finally decides to break the mould and include everything (at least ten tables, several modes including an online mode, funky controls and everything else that sounds good about this game)? THAT would be a must buy.

DrakeStaff

#2

Drake said:

The other three Crush games only had 1 table each, be glad :p

WiiBoy

#3

WiiBoy said:

hm... 3 Tables are not much :( but hey, it is for WiiWare so it is less money than any other pinball game on disc... and hey it really looks alienately ugly... very good graphics! =)
I saw the video and I think I will get it even if I have to close my eyes in some situations during gameplay.

Jogurt_the_Yogurt

#4

Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

This game does look really good. I'm a sucker for pinball games (loved the Virtual Boy pinball game!), so I don't know why I haven't sprung for any of the ones currently on the VC...

DazzaAdmin

#5

Dazza said:

Great work as ever Robbo, I can't wait for this now!

I'm looking forwards to your Space Invaders Get Even preview, it's not fair that Japan gets all this good stuff first! :-p

i_am_error

#6

i_am_error said:

Is there some sort of a "Pay-to-play" feature? I thought I've read that awhile ago...

ACK

#7

ACK said:

Devil's Crush is one of my all-time favorite pinball games and it only had one table (granted it was three screens deep). Metroid Prime Pinball may well be my favorite and it only has two. Three legimate tables sounds fine to me as long as they are all unique and interesting.

WiiBoy

#9

WiiBoy said:

@Dazza: Japan gets all good stuff first? That is just NOT TRUE!!! I am sure there will be good stuff first released in Europe too!
... ahm ... ahm... yes for example My Aquarium and MaBoShi... and so on - you know =D

Terra

#11

Terra said:

I am liking the new first impressions sections. Keep up the good stuff

Wiiloveit

#12

Wiiloveit said:

@ I_am_error: Are you maybe thinking of Space Invaders Get Even?
@Drake: Sorry for sounding so ungrateful for the years of improvements in gaming since the "good ol' days". I did say that other than the three tables, it looked very good

PHANTOM93

#13

PHANTOM93 said:

Yay its got lefty support :-D

I can't tell you guys how many games have felt ackward to me because they didn't have southpaw support
(I'm looking at you The Godfather (Wii) and SSX Blur :-P)

Terra

#14

Terra said:

@WiiLoveitOnline
Well, Space Invaders Get Even may be more famous on here now for the DLC in that but there is DLC in ACR in the form of extra stages and Additional Action Balls

Super_Sonic

#18

Super_Sonic said:

i-am-error their is Pay to Play features which should be good news for you. This is a must buy from me!

Virus

#19

Virus said:

The whole nunchuk addition seems kind of needless to me since the Wiimote seems adequate enough, but there's probably more details I don't quite know. Still, this game looks stellar and three full tables seems like more than enough. Like ACK! said, Metroid Prime Pinball only had two full ones. If this is as good as MPP, this will probably be in my collection. Heck, it has Versus mode! I can't pass that up!

Ricardo91

#20

Ricardo91 said:

Considering that the original Crush games had only one table, 3 is plenty.

Though Wiimote and Nunchuk controls seem pretty unnecessary, this game is still shaping up quite nicely. Can't wait. :)

Terra

#21

Terra said:

I Wonder how much DLC will cost. I'm not a big fan of pinball but i may go for this one. Then again, i do have Gottlieb Pinball Classics for the Wii somewhere

Atlantis1982

#22

Atlantis1982 said:

17. RadioShadow

Actually, Sonic Spinball has four tables plus three bonus micro-tables.

And if this game even had just one table; I am still getting the game. Three tables for 800 points including lot of other features is a steal IMO.

Super_Sonic

#23

Super_Sonic said:

Virus this is guareenten to impress you if you want it.
Their is also a 4-player Wi-Fi & online learderboard so that add to the fun.
Terranigma
"I wonder how much DLC will cost."
Me too. If I get this this will be the first game with DLC feature I'm getting. It is a big bargin.

accidental

#25

accidental said:

I've been playing the Japanese WiiWare version, and the game seems shallower to me than Metroid Prime Pinball. There doesn't appear to be as much to interact with on the tables as there is in MPB, although the powerups are really cool and the fact that they regenerate pretty quickly add some strategy. It could just be that because the table design isn't traditional (it's all fleshy and alien-like) that it's not as easy to see the different parts of the 'table' that can be interacted with. Time will reveal more I guess. I've only played through Story Mode once (took about half an hour) but perhaps there will be different challenges on further playthrough's.

/2c

Kirk

#27

Kirk said:

So am I the only one that doesn't really like these visuals?
I really think the graphics in Devil's Crush/Crash (whatever it's called but the sequel to Alien Crush) look better by far.

Super_Sonic

#28

Super_Sonic said:

Kirk according to the comments on this thread yes.
accidental
"The game seem shallower to me then in Metoroid Pinball."
Didn't I mention their will be new tables eventually? They will be DLC's! Have you tried out it's Wi-Fi yet? If so tell me how it is!

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