We are big fans of The Behemoth's Castle Crashers here at Co-Optimus. The art style and old school gameplay work together to make a memorable gaming experience. I've always known about Behemoth's first game, Alien Hominid, though I never played it myself. A few weeks ago, the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, aptly titled Alien Hominid HD, was heavily discounted. My weakness against the allure of a deal made Alien Hominid HD an easy purchase for me. I assure you that the game is easily worthwhile, even at the full price, for folks who enjoy old school co-op brawlers.
The titular Alien Hominid is a very charismatic fellow. He is short, bug eyed, and shockingly yellow. The alien may be cute, but he's quite deadly. The default weapon is a small blaster, which is pretty wimpy, until you charge it up. A charged shot from the default blaster is quite useful for clearing the screen. Other weapons have limited ammo but are far more powerful, including flamethrowers, a freeze gun, rapid fire lasers, and more. Another sweet ability is head chomping; our hero has a taste for human brains, it seems. Adding to the fun, head chomping scares off nearby enemies. Another cool trick is to shoot straight down in midair, which delays your fall, often just long enough to avoid a nasty death. Lobbing grenades is one more trick up the alien's sleeves. (If he had sleeves, that is!) As a parent, I was glad to see you could turn off the gore, though it is verycartoony and clearly done for laughs in the first place. When you do this, the game replaces blood and gore with flowers and sparkles, to hilarious effect.
As far as the story goes, the alien first crash lands on earth. After the spacecraft is quickly collected by the FBI, the hunt for the alien begins, and our hero must defend himself. Of course, this is a Behemoth game, and Dan Paladin's trademark over the top art style is in effect. Quite unlike the real FBI, these agents wield flamethrowers, jet packs, missile launching helicopters, and some truly enormous robotic warriors that make it a point to stomp on you. After you retrieve your spacecraft and escape the clutches of the FBI, you are shot down by a nuke and land in Russia. Fighting your way through the Cold War style Red Army, you eventually find your way to Area 51 for the truly imaginative last section of the game.
There are so many memorable parts of this game, you'll be entranced by it. The boss battles in particular are suitably epic and extremely creative. Besides just the bosses though, many of the levels change up the standard run and gun formula. One early level has you jumping on the roofs of cars in heavy traffic, avoiding helicopters and agents. You can even drive the cars, which is really fun with your co-op partner on top, blasting away everything that moves, including innocent drivers! A flying level has you zipping throughout the sky, finding pieces of your spacecraft. Each piece gives your ship new abilities, like guided missiles, a turbo boost, extra maneuverability, etc. Levels like this mix up the action quite well.