I can't remember the name of a single character in that film, nor can I remember a single quote. Not bad from a technical perspective, just painfully unimaginative and extremely forgettable. But yeah, it was genius compared to the sequel.
As to why it gets panned so much, I think part of that has to do with how it really cheapened the Alien franchise. Predator too I suppose, but I wouldn't call that IP much of a franchise in it's own right outside of the AVP books, comics, games etc. And yeah, Alien Resurrection didn't do Alien many favours either, but AVP was just a barefaced commercial cash-in monster movie. It couldn't have been worse if it was Godzilla vs. King Kong.