Whenever somebody wants to invade our planet, it’s usually the Martians (even though there is no evidence of any life on Mars). And it also usually takes place in the 1960s - that’s the setup for Martian Panic, a on rails shooter where up to four players can zap the bad aliens through eight levels and three difficulty settings.
The story is simple: Martians have invaded, and it’s up to the player(s) to zap every one of them without shooting any humans. Along the way, you can get more powerful weapons (a shotgun, a lightning gun, a grenade launcher, a beam rife, and so on), hats for infinite ammo, food to restore life that you lost during the level, and items that will give you lots of points. It can make for simple shoot ‘em up game.
That is if the game didn’t greatly pump up the difficulty with the harder level settings. I found the easiest setting is somewhat a challenge, the middle setting is a tough ride, and the hardest setting next to impossible. This can turn off many players who want to see all of the artwork, but can’t because they can’t get through the game on the hardest setting or get all the achievements (save all the humans, score a certain number of points, and destroy more than half the destructible items on the level.)
Another problem this game has is the enemies repeat far too often - especially during the early stages. How many Martian soldiers do I have to blast?
Despite some really funny dialogue between the aliens and some humans, Martian Panic is a near miss because of the too repetitive gameplay and the steep learning curve. SKIP IT.