Alien Crush Returns was a sequel to the Alien Crush pinball video game that was originally produced for the Turbo Grafx 16 system in 1988. Granted, a space-alien-based, pinball-based video game hailed from the obscure regions of the republic of Nerdistan, but it was only eight dollars and I took the plunge. Like most video games, Alien Crush Returns had different levels that gradually increased in difficulty. The difference was that it was never clear how I advanced. The playfield levels were set up like a pinball field but all the buttons, stoppers, and lights that one expected from a pinball game were gone. Instead, bugs, slugs, and spiders of a most alien nature were both targets and landscape. Flippers and a ball were still employed but how I scored points was beyond me. I began to shoot blindly into any expanding or contracting alien orifice I saw, and after beating the game twice, I was still on shaky ground as to the elements of successful play. But I was having fun and I couldn’t begrudge the makers too much. If a game costs less than the ticketed admission to see Katherine Heigl become flustered, one would feel miserly in complaining. Having saved the planet, or, at least, a planet, yet again, I saw that one of the options was online play. I selected said option but found no one available in the Americas. Fine, no problem, I understood. It’s just a hemisphere. But then the Wii searched worldwide. Among the seven billion residents of Earth, there was no one else that desired to play Alien Crush Returns with me. I had never felt so alone in my life. A few weeks later, I tried to play online again. The result? Me flipping balls at aliens all by myself.
Sep 19th, 2012 by 300 Reviews