Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aaron’s Retro Reviews: Aero The Acrobat

Dear god…I don’t think….I don’t even…


My buddy is having a get wasted night this week, and I don’t drink…but thanks to the suck of this game, I’m considering it. Drinking or smoking or something…something that would allow me to forget…ugh.


This is my Aero the Acrobat for the sega genesis review,

If you’ve read my column before, than you may have heard me talk about the “Rad Mascot” years of the 90’s. This was in reference to Rocket Knight Adventures, A surprisingly great game despite the character Sparkster being an attempt to copy Sonic. I chose to go over that game because it was a rare cutesy/rad mascot game that was actually decent to play unlike well…every other attempt with rad mascots in the 90’s…ever. Aero the Acrobat is an example of your usual failed attempt at the rad character, I just happened to luck out that the rest of the game sucks too. The reason I chose Aero was sort of random at first, It was at the top of the rom list (I am not a rich vintage collector, I don’t have every damn Sega game ever, gotta play them somehow) and I vaguely remember the character from the Sega Channel days and seem to remember people actually enjoying it. So this is how It ended up being chosen, something I chose to make my work easier that turned out way worse than I thought.

The game was released by Sunsoft, and developed by Iguana games. Now I’m sure your thinking “Aaron, you’ve done your homework huh?”, well not by choice. The second you fire this turd up you are greeted by painfully blaring midi music and it begins showing company names. Now this is the kind of situation you want to press start and get into the game quickly to escape, but unfortunately this is one of the only games I’ve ever seen that will NOT LET YOU SKIP. You have to endure at least 30 seconds of blaring circus stock midi just to see the company names and title screens so you don’t miss them I guess. If you can’t tell by this point how much “fun” this is going to be, well you must be the kind of person that is a glutton for masochism. The game starts you out in, what else a circus, yay for stock circus midi. You are given five lives which at first I thought was generous. As it turns out you burn through lives like potato chips since primarily everything kills you fairly easily. Spikes and burning hoops kill you instantaneously that’s sort of a given, but when it comes to baddie clowns (clownies?) you have some sort of ambiguous health rate. I still haven’t been able to figure out how many hits kill you because there is no bar, and it always seems randomly sorted somewhere after three hits, yeah that’s not frustrating.

This is only made worse by Aero’s terrible controls. Aero’s primary attack is to spin at enemies (Sonic?) no not like sonic, sideways spinning. However this attack is terribly sort ranged and half the time doesn’t go where you want it to. I can be holding down,right and still manage to attack up,right. Aero can also pick up stars which he can use to attack using the A button, but they come up so few and far between and rarely hit their mark. Additionally both these attacks rarely ever kill certain enemies, in particular this super Franken clown who looks like he’s in cahoots with Satan. This guy can block stars and spin attacks, even from behind somehow and he attacks by throwing balls all over the place in random directions and kicking. Sound like a boss? No, he’s not, he’s an enemy that comes up in the first damn level and every level onward. Aero can also fly for a limited range, which isn’t useful since you can’t move anywhere while doing it. Power ups for flight allow him to actually move while flying and fly longer. The rest of the controls, I.E. Jump, directions are pretty straight forward, just dodgy (as the Brits would say).

So I know what you’re thinking, Circus Screeching and Terrible Controls aside, what about the game play. This is a platformer right, run from left to right and complete the stage in the allotted time? Nope, this game is a platformer/quest completion game in the lightest sense. Each stage has a special goal such as…destroy all the star platforms…or jump through 40 magic hoops. I’m sorry, how is this supposed to stop an evil clown bent on destroying your circus? After completing each inane task you move on to the next one. You know, it’s nice they tried something different, but it makes for a boring game when your running around the same areas looking for that platform you missed. This coupled with the fact that it’s so easy to die, and the fact that when you do die anywhere before the next stage which is 5 acts and a boss away you return to the first act will make you glad Iguana games is defunct, otherwise you’d be strangling them. Actually, I’m in the process of finding their current residences.

Finally, let’s touch on the graphics. This game is a visual eyesore, everything about it is ugly. Aero is hideous in his design, and you get to see giant blown up shots of his ugly mug at the title and stage screens. Looks like he is wearing a little bat toupee. The stages are visually unappealing, even the choice of backdrops and fonts is just irritating to the eyes. It seems as though the staff was working from the book of bad Graphic Design, or more realistically this turd was shat out quick to get the name out there. Everyone wanted a piece of that Sega mascot pie, and Iguana was no exception. Whereas RKA took the Sonic idea and went in it’s own direction resulting in an enjoyable direction, Aero took it and went in the wrong direction.

I have to be fair, after multiple deaths, quick saving and careful stepping, I made it through the first world and boss. However, once greeted with the same objectives in the new stage, I just couldn’t go on…I was done with the game right there. There are still three other worlds, but seriously, it’s not worth it. Don’t buy, don’t download, don’t play this game…it’s abysmal.

Oh, and due to Geeksquisites insistence on a numbered rating system, I’m giving Aero a 1 out of 5.

I wish I could somehow delete the rom harder than I did...maybe like a Delete Plus key.

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