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Preview: Aliens Go Home Run!

I don't often get the chance to play a game before its official release, so when I'm asked if I want an early review copy of a game, assuming that I have the specs to play it, you bet your sweet aft end that I'll take that opportunity. Enter Aliens Go Home Run! by ANIM•ACE: A rather unique take on the Breakout clone sub-genre. I was given the chance to try out and review the game while its still in its early beta phase, so let's see what there was to offer.

(Disclaimer: Any and all content that this game's beta contains may be changed or altered in its final release. Please keep this fact in consideration while reading.)

The story is wacky, but simple. A young but passionate baseball player named Sally hits a homerun so hard that the ball speeds through space and crashes into an alien planet so forcefully that it makes a crater upon impact. As such the aliens get pissed and invade earth to exact their revenge. So Sally takes it upon herself to fend off the invaders with her trusty bat and ball. It gives of that early 90's style of creativity that you don't see very much. The story doesn't make much sense, but it doesn't have to as the gameplay is what matters most. I love games like this because the surreal plot makes for some interesting mechanics due to the setting that the story gave it. Most game companies don't seem to grasp this any more.

Now as for the game's controls, they are very responsive and I can't seem to find anything wrong with them. You hit the ball into the blocks and aliens on top half of the screen, you grab power-ups that you can activate at any time to make completing the stage easier, and you can slide along the ground to temporarily become invulnerable to enemy fire. You only get three strikes (HP) before you're out though, but I think that's more than fair considering that the game's challenge scales at a natural pace and you don't fail if the ball ever touches the ground; Instead you just lose the score combo you've built up to that point. I never felt like the game was unfairly difficult in the 5 stages that the beta offered at the time.

Now while there were so few levels in the beta itself, it did offer a level editor which I tried out to a fair extent. Now while it wasn't the most intuitive level editor I've used, I never found myself frustrated on how to use it. It was very easy to learn and placing blocks and enemies was quite painless because the whole system was tile-based. Now I have no idea if sharing levels will be a feature that will be added to it any time in the future, but I sincerely hope that the developers will at least consider it.

Overall, I had a ton of fun with what little was presented to me. The music was extremely well composed and had a Sega-like feel to it, the graphics and spritework was expertly made and was vibrantly colored, and the fact that it's gamepad compatible is just icing on the cake. I was especially impressed by the fact that it was made in Unity as the sheer abundance of crappy Unity-made games makes ones like Aliens Go Home Run! shine as a result. There are a few bugs here and there but due to it still being in its testing phase, that's to be expected. I personally can't wait until the full version of this game is completely finished and released on April 2nd, but until then, I'll be seeing you.

Edited by Admin


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