Itano Alpha Flight and Heart Breaker

Here’s some quick thoughts on a pair of recent XBLIG titles, Itano Alpha Flight and Heart Breaker.

They suck.

xboxboxartMy boyfriend says I’m not allowed to leave it at that, so I guess I’ll explain why.  Itano is a third-person air combat/wave-shooter.  Enemies appear and try to kill you.  You have to kill them first.  Well, you don’t have to.  Presumably you can do nothing in retaliation, and just peacefully let the enemies shoot at you for all eternity.  But that would be a tough selling point for a game.  My problem with Itano is that it’s almost impossible to follow exactly what is going on.  The screen is cluttered with lock-on boxes, spiky balls, and enemy fire.  You can apparently only fire on enemies when you lock-on to them, but the screen is so messy that figuring out what’s an enemy and what’s a projectile shouldn’t be this difficult.  I have a TV so large that it has its own gravitational pull and I still couldn’t tell what was going on.  By three waves in, Itano completely deteriorates into an incomprehensible mess.  I tried for thirty minutes to find some semblance of design here, but it’s too messy.  I’ve had people explain quantum physics in less daunting ways.

Footage courtesy of Aaron the Splazer, who made it about as far as I did.

heartbreakerNext, I tried Heart Breaker.  Here, you play as a rogue cupid who tries to break up relationships.  Sounds like it would be a cool hook for an adventure game.  Instead, it’s a very poorly designed shmup.  And, by poorly designed, I mean it looks and plays like a cheaply made, free-to-play flash game.  The graphics are terrible, with enemy projectiles being hard to see.  You also don’t “blink” when you’re hit, so your life can drain from full health to no health in under a second.  For the second time this week, I found myself saying “why do they still make games like this in 2013?”  The first time being when I played horrible XBLA/PSN brawler Sacred Citadel.  I love that indies strive to pay homage to games of the past.  But, I really don’t need to reminisce about the glory days when insurance companies used shitty games in banner ads to shill their products.  Really, all Heart Breaker needed was a product to shill and it would have been just that.  Probably Facebook, in keeping up with the “break up couples” theme.

Itano Alpha Flight was developed by Dusk and Dawn Interactive

Heart Breaker was developed by Random Saturdays

80 Microsoft Points each really phoned it in with today’s reviews in the making of this review.  I’ll try to get back up to speed tomorrow, folks.

Once again, thanks to Aaron the Splazer for this footage.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

One Response to Itano Alpha Flight and Heart Breaker

  1. Pingback: REVIEW: Heart Breaker | the / . / XBLIG

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