People often come up to old Juke and say:
“I have a hard time sexually satisfying my wife. What do you recommend?”
Well, I look Mr. Dead-in-Bed straight in the eye and tell him the secret to being a sexual tyrannosaurus just like me: take two quarters and find the nearest Alien vs. Predator machine.
What The Hell Are You?
Back in the early 90s, nary an arcade could be found without a random assortment of beat ‘em ups. Basically, any game that consisted of walking across the screen and laying waste to any enemy that crossed your character’s path falls into this category.
Alien vs. Predator, released in 1994 by Capcom, is a game that passed me by back in its heyday. I can’t recall ever seeing a cabinet at an arcade, or bowling alley, or any other place that arcade games populated back in the days of my youth.
It’s also not something I recall any of my friends ever discussing. In fact, I was completely unaware of this game’s existence until hearing Ian Ferguson discuss it on the Completely Unnecessary Podcast. He holds a great deal of fondness for it, so it made me curious enough to check it out.
Depending on the cabinet, up to three players can select to play as one of two types of Predator: either a hunter or a warrior.
Major Dutch Schaefer is available as a male human, and Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa is there to apparently hide Apu’s staircase to his secret garden on the top of the Kwik-E-Mart.
I can see the allure of wanting to lace up the virtual boots of Dutch, but anyone who desires to play as any character other than a predator is not to be trusted.
Regardless of who you choose, the player starts off by fighting through hordes of Xenomorphs. As the player progresses, and the story unravels, you’ll soon be doing battle with humans, zombies, and even another Predator.
It’s a little more interesting than most arcade game plotlines, but nothing can really compare to Pac-Man’s struggle with addiction while he battles the ghosts of his past.
If It Takes Quarters, We Can Kill It
The gameplay is standard beat ‘em up fare with a jump, attack, and fire button. The fire button puts its own little spin on the game by allowing for a limited number of uses before it overheats.
Like most games of this genre, there are pickups just lying around, and enemies will drop weapons, as well. Even with their advanced tech, it’s nice to see a Predator rely on the simple pleasure of tossing a knife into a man’s jugular. #MAGA
Along with the various weapons, there are health pickups and treasures to be had, because dolla dolla bills, y’all! The most unsettling ramification of this aspect of the game is Predators can be healed by human medicine, meaning it’s only a matter of time until they reverse engineer it and learn how to exploit our weaknesses even more.
The game is literally crawling with enemies at certain points in the game, but it never reaches that unfair feeling that plagues similar games.
The characters are powerful enough that they can dispatch a large number of enemies at once, making the player feel like a total badass. If there’s one bone of contention, though, the damn chest-burster alien things that crawl around on the floor are a pain in the ass to kill.
There is an attempt to add some variety to the game with a couple of straight shooting levels. These are fun enough, but they seem more like padding in a game that otherwise is fairly well paced.
For a game that was released during the height of the video game violence nontroversy, it’s unsettling refreshing to see the amount of gore this game unloads by the barrelful, not unlike my warehouse on the edge of town.
Dead bodies litter the ground, and the main d-bag bad guy gets a particularly satisfying end. It’s nothing to bat an eye at this day in age, but I applaud the balls of Capcom to not give a fuck when the eyes of the Government were upon them.
Get to the Choppa!
As much fun as drinking the spinal fluid of autistic children sounds, I can think of better ways to spend an afternoon than being reminded how Olivia Munn didn’t show the goods that time she was in Playboy.
Alien vs. Predator is classic old school fun that lets the player shut his brain off for an hour and smash stuff real good. Is it one of the greatest arcade games ever?
Probably not, but it’s decent enough that even if you missed the game during its original run, it’s fun enough that it still plays well today without requiring nostalgia goggles of any kind. Head down to the local bowling alley, find a broken down AvP cabinet, and, after you’ve beaten the game, take home Beulah from the edge of the bar and tell her you’d like a little pussy.
Chances are, she will, too, seeing as her’s is as big as a house.