AereA Review (Xbox One) – A Dreadfully Dull Tune
Have you ever seen a car crash? You know how they’re just terrible, awful things, and yet you can’t look away? In fact, the worse the crash is, usually, the more engrossed you are, just look at the fire, the twisted metal, the gore! That’s what especially bad videogames are like, you know the ones, the Sonic ’06’s of the world.
Now, have you ever sat in traffic? Things move very slowly, if at all, you’re trapped inside your car, and you just want to rip your hair out? You would sell your pinky toe just to push the cars aside and get to where you’re going because you are so bored and fed up with the traffic. This is what playing AereA is like, it is painfully boring, painful to look at and listen to, and has about as much variety and spice as a jar of low-fat mayo. The best way that I can think of to describe this game is “Baby’s First Diablo”.
Nothing about this game is fun, and some of it is outright lazily put together. There are little music boxes that are peppered throughout the first sewer dungeon area in the game that are supposed to give you tips based on the room that you’re in. They give you tips, but they’re not in the right order, so they make no sense when you read them. One room has a bunch of jars in it that you can break to get money, but the hint in the room teaches you how to use consumables. Granted, once you finish the whole area, you’ve gotten all of the hints anyway, and kinda-sorta fiddled with all of the buttons, but they couldn’t even get the tutorial right!
Speaking of consumables, by the way, the whole system is completely fucked up. You can buy them between levels, and they range from health to power-ups, but the health ones are the only ones you’re going to want. Not because the enemies in the game deal a lot of damage, because they’re ridiculously easy. The landmines (why the fuck are there landmines everywhere in this fantasy music world?) deal too much damage early on.
I guess that you could really sum up this whole game with the word “why”. Why do none of the characters have faces? Why can’t I customize the weapons and armor of my characters? Why are they characters (pretty much no backstory) instead of classes? Why doesn’t the music ever fit the scenario or scene well enough to pull me in?
By the way, the music isn’t exactly bad, it’s decent, but it just never seems to fit.
Why does every single skill feel completely worthless, leaving me to tap the same two basic attack buttons for hours on end? Why are there only like four characters that you seem to talk to more than once? Why are two of them a fat bird and a janitor? Why does this game exist? Why, why, why?
This game is just nothing more than an isometric dungeon crawler with the absolute bare basics. You can attack, you can upgrade stats very slowly with skill points, and, mind you, there aren’t many stats to upgrade. Skills are complete and total trash, they’re slow, you’re locked into each one once you start, so you can’t turn or anything. Enemies are boring, only the bosses seem to really bear any kind of resemblance to anything music-related. Most of the enemies are things like rats and bugs, what the hell is musical about that?
When the only thing that the game had going for it was the classical music theme, and that doesn’t save it, well, you have a game that’s nothing. It’s not bad enough that it’s fun, it’s certainly not good in any way, and it’s just a bore to slog through. Don’t buy this game, even if it’s cheap, on sale, if it’s free and you hate yourself, then maybe download it. The fact that the game is $30 is an absolute insult to whatever store you might be looking at it on, whether it be Steam, Xbox, etc. This game is a symphony of shit, and the crescendo is having a hernia trying to push said shit out.
Oh yeah, and the airship is fucking pointless and does nothing but pad out the game, forcing more loading times.
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*The writer of this review was given a copy of the game for the purpose of this review.