Title: Angus Hates Aliens
Developer: Team Sentec
Game Type: PlayStation Mini
Download: 33 MB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes
PlayStation Minis is a very old breed of game, as far as this generation is concerned. It was a brand of PSP and PS3 game (but many were PSP exclusive) that ran through the PSP generation. This library hasn’t gotten a new release in years now. Some believe that PS Minis was the initial idea that eventually led into the recently-closed PlayStation Mobile service. However, PS Minis are still up on the store and easily purchased.
The very idea of a brand-new PS Mini title would be absolutely absurd if it didn’t already happen. The last North America release of a PlayStation Mini took place 3 years ago. However, that did not stop one aspiring developer from making a new one. Having just released this past week and compatible with the PSP, PS Vita, and PlayStation TV, here is my official review of Angus Hates Aliens!
The story of Angus Hates Aliens puts you in control of Angus, a redneck farmer whom wakes up in a military base with no memory of what’s happened to him, outside of being abducted by aliens when he was practicing with his trusty shotgun. Upon escaping from the base with the help of an alien princess and a leader of the military, he is made aware that aliens are trying to invade the Earth.
In light of this, he is sent information by the military leader and the princess to aid him in fighting the aliens and the humans they’ve turned into zombies. This story isn’t an award-winning tale and the translation definitely has some issues, such as incorrect word usage and some noticeable grammar issues. Otherwise, it’s a somewhat comical scenario for this type of game.
Angus Hates Aliens is a side-scrolling shooting and puzzle-solving game. It plays similar to Age of Zombies and other games of the genre. It doesn’t show as much hardcore difficulty and action as some of the other games of the genre, but it would be classified as a side-scrolling shooting game with puzzle elements thrown into the mix.
You’ll play through the game in stages, but you don’t go back to a level select screen after completing each one. Instead, you play them one after another with a save prompt at the end of each level. However, you can save the game any time you want, be it in the middle of a zombie mob or during a dialogue scene.
The goal in each stage is to get to the end of the stage to move onto the next, mostly with the target being a boss you need to take down, be it an invasion leader or a computer AI that’s controlling infected humans. Each of the four sets of levels has a specific task in mind that you’re going towards, as you shoot your way through mobs of enemies.
As you go through each stage, waves of enemies will be sent your way, each area having several new enemy and weapon types, to keep things from getting repetitive. As you take out enemies, you’ll be able to pick up ammo as well as Gold, which is used to purchase items in the shop, such as Medical Kits, Ammo, Guns, and other items. There will be Hospitals and Shops thrown throughout the stages so you have easy access to them.
Enemies will come in different varieties, depending on where you are. Sometimes you’ll have a wave of enemies right in front of you, while other times, they’ll be coming from several directions. In many cases, you’ll be locked in a room with enemies and cannot get out until you’ve wiped them all out. There are other cases where a specific enemy type will run from you and you can get items to increase your maximum health if you can take them out fast enough, while contending with other enemies in the area.
Despite not being as hardcore as other games of the genre, Angus Hates Aliens isn’t an easy game to complete. Many of the areas and boss fights require many tries to learn patterns to know what weapons to use, where to go, and other factors. Two main things affecting difficulty are that your inventory is limited and the fact that some areas require specific weapons to get through. There are some areas where you can get stuck in the game without the right weapons with you, making it impossible to make progress. Extra saves are recommended.
All in all, the game isn’t incredibly long. Each of the four main areas consist of about 3-4 stages, and the stages normally take about 5-8 minutes to get through. In one sitting, you could probably clear the game in about 2 hours. It’s a very short game but it’s a normal amount of length for this genre. Age of Zombies isn’t much longer than this game.
Since this is a PlayStation Mini and PSP-native, you don’t have to worry about having any touch controls thrown at you. This also means that all of the R and L trigger controls are also sent to the L2 and R2 buttons when you play the game on a PlayStation TV.
To move around, you’ll need to use the Left Analog Stick, since the D-Pad is used for switching weapons. The X button is used to interact with objects and Square is used to reload. Triangle is used to open up your quick inventory and Circle is used to open your full inventory. Finally, the L and R triggers are used to fire in left and right directions, respectively.
All in all, the control scheme is very simple to use. Every aspect of the game is explained to you in good detail as you play through the game, so you should never be confused about how the game works.
Visually, the game looks okay, but it doesn’t look great. You can tell there’s a lot of pixelation no matter what your system is. It’s not a problem with the upscaling from PSP to PS Vita / PSTV, but just how the game was made. It isn’t nearly as crisp as other PSP games of this type. Even the text looks pixelated.
Otherwise, the presentation is just fine. The load times are nice and quick, and the game never lags or slows down the frames. It is optimized very well, even on the PlayStation TV. I never had to wait more than 3 or 4 seconds for anything to load.
Angus Hates Aliens is the first PlayStation Mini to be released in 3 years. On the downside, there are some issues with the game’s story translation, the visuals look very pixelated, and there are some areas in the game where you can get stuck and have to start the game over. If you can look past this and be careful with your save data, it’s an interesting little shooter, whether you’re on the go or at home.