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Aaero: Complete Edition

Reading Time: 4 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VjuKtXUt_o

Title:  Aaero: Complete Edition
Developer:  Mad Fellows
Publisher:  S2 Entertainment
Website: www.madfellowsgames.com
Genre:  Action, Rhythm
Platform:  Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Audience:  E for Everyone
Release Date:  24/12/2018
Price:  £10.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.

What the Developers say

Independent two-man studio Mad Fellows brings you Aaero, a game that synthesizes high-speed sci-fi shooting action with immersive music elements to deliver an amazing audio-visual experience

Introduction

Aaero, from developer Mad Fellows, is a culmination of two visionary rhythm-game masterminds in Paul Norris and Dan Horbury who created the sublime DJ Hero. Arguably one of the greatest rhythm-based action titles ever created, the two eventually formed Mad Fellows and released Aaero, their first title last year. The praise was high and now Aaero: Complete Edition has made its way to the Nintendo Switch, finally allowing players to see why these two create exceptional rhythm musical experiences.

Gameplay and Replayability

The premise of a rhythm game mixed with a twin-stick shooter was immediately appealing to me, and it’s easy to see why these two genres can work together so well. Aaero’s gameplay doesn’t confine itself to just one genre and succeeds in creating a unique gameplay experience.

You guide a ship with the left analogue stick dodging obstacles, enemies, and attempt to follow ribbons that correspond with the music playing in the background. Following ribbons accurately results in higher scores, scoring multipliers, and pleasing audio/visual feedback as missing ribbons can cause you to lose a multiplier and even fail a level. While doing this, you utilise the right analogue stick to aim and the right trigger to fire up to eight missiles at enemies. It all ties to the rhythm of each level’s tracks, so shooting with the beat results in faster missiles and timing your attacks wisely frequently leads to higher scores.

Frequently, especially in later levels, you’ll find yourself trying to stay on a ribbon and fighting enemies at the same time. It might sound easy at first, but it can prove to be somewhat challenging. However, it’s this challenge that makes Aaero a fun game to play and very rewarding when you finally get that high score.

Looks and Sounds

Graphically, Aaero: Complete Edition employs a futuristic look that runs buttery smooth at 30 frames per second. Backgrounds are usually a darker colour while items that need your attention tend to be brighter. Incoming projectiles, collectables, and most enemies are red, and most ribbons are always the same bright white colour. The gameplay is fast so it can sometimes be challenging to take in the visuals while playing. Fortunately, when playing this in front of friends, they were dazzled by how great Aaero looked.

Another strong suit of Aaero is the soundtrack, and if you are an EDM fan, you’ll be familiar with many of musical tracks present. In a move that is atypical for a smaller game developer, Aaero has a soundtrack comprised of over fifteen licensed tracks from EDM and techno artists, including Noisia, Flux Pavilion, The Prototypes, Neosignal, and many more. It’s a bold move that pays off handsomely, and I found myself listening to some of these tracks on my own because they stuck in my head. Aaero’s sound effects are minimal but effective as they should be because everything on-screen is in sync with the music track and that’s what should have your attention.

A game that runs as fast as Aaero and relies on quick reflexes is going to need a terrific control scheme, and fortunately, Aaero does not disappoint here. It delivers unbelievably responsive controls that are intuitive and easy to pick up and play. There’s no denying Aaero is challenging to master, but there was never a time that I felt the controls held me back. I found the wonderfully designed boss levels to be some of the hardest, but most rewarding experiences when I finally got that five-star rating. The Complete Edition adds in a few new skins to unlock for your ship and even more, levels to provide for the ultimate experience.

Concerning replay value, Aaero comes to the table with four difficulty modes, and they range from the aptly titled ‘Chill-out” mode to the unforgiving “Master” mode. Starting with the normal difficulty mode, your goal is to collect five-star ratings on each level to progress to the Master difficulty level. There are also online leaderboards where you can see how you stack up against your friends and the rest of the world. All this results in me replaying levels to chase that elusive high score or five-star rating.

Conclusion

Overall, Aaero: Complete Edition is an enjoyable and well-executed rhythm action title that is well worth the £10.99 you’ll spend on it. It provides a memorable and unique gameplay experience that was an absolute joy to play. When trying to set high scores and battling epic bosses, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat refusing to blink. Even when I struggled, I was still having fun, and Aaero manages to capture the phrase ‘easy to pick up, difficult to master’. While sometimes it can be unintuitive when aiming at multiple enemies, Aaero still comes highly recommended.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

4 out of 5

You can purchase Aaero: Complete Editon on the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Aaero-Complete-Edition-1485960.html

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