That's fine, because you'll want to focus on your sharpshooting. You'll clear out warehouses, hangars, and offices as aliens and zombified soldiers pour out of the woodwork. It's very satisfying to see barrels explode and splatter nearby aliens. My favorite part of the game is when you're being driven around an airfield in a jeep, blasting barrels and causing mayhem at high speeds.
The shooting might seem shallow on the surface, but there are special weapons and secret rooms you can unlock by hitting strategic targets (like windows). As much as I loved the Playstation version, the Saturn rules when it comes to light gun accuracy, which puts this edition a cut above. Area 51 packs a few surprises, but even if it didn't, there's plenty of fun to be had. As icing on the cake, you can even team up with a friend. © Copyright 2011 The Video Game Critic.
Of course, the fancy presentation wouldn't mean squat if the gameplay wasn't any good, but it is. The side scrolling action is slow and deliberate, but there are some innovative attacks that spice things up. You can smash the ground, toss enemies, throw things down from the air, and use a devastating breath attack.
Best of all, you have a bird companion that can perform special attacks, gather items, and occasionally save your life. It's possible for a second player to take control of the bird, which is a nice touch. Astal provides a few continues, but unfortunately there's no password feature. It takes a while to master the controls, but it's worth the effort. Astal is an attractive, underrated side-scroller. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.