Aaru’s Awakening is set in the mythical world of Lumenox. It is a 2D action platformer where you explore each level as Aaru. The world is ruled by four deities: Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night. The world is out of balance and Dawn sends Aaru into the realms of the other deities to reshape the world. The game was released for the Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC and PS Vita.
The entire game has beautiful hand drawn animation and each element is a treat for the eyes. Every detail in the game looks like a work of art. The color scheme, the way the creatures are drawn, and even little details such as the lava, flow together beautifully. As soon as you start the game it is almost hard to just not sit there and stare. The story narration and background music only add to the beauty of Aaru’s Awakening.
Appreciation is cut short though when you play through each level. Aaru’s Awakening is one of the hardest games I have played this year. Usually the more challenging a game is the more excited I get. I hate it when a game is too easy because I get bored with it quick.
In this case the sheer level of difficulty in the game doesn’t work in its favor. Aaru’s awakening doesn’t ease you into the difficulty either. You experience it right away as you play through the first world. It took me an hour to figure out how to beat the third level in the first world. The bad part is that you can’t save your progress either. If you exit Aaru’s Awakening in the middle of a level you have to restart that level all over again. The difficulty in the game is so outrageous that it made me almost dread going to the next world.
When I did finally manage to beat a level there was no rewards whatsoever. There is nothing to unlock in the game that can help Aaru. The only reward you receiving is going to the next level or world. You are often blindly going through each level without knowing what to do or where to go. Aaru doesn’t receive any kind of direction. Aaru does have some abilities but the controls don’t make them easy to use. Aaru’s teleportation ability does come in handy. Aaru sends out orbs of energy that you can use to teleport in each level. I often used this ability because in some areas in each level you can’t get past without it. I did like the teleportation ability because if you use it right you can get through tiny cracks,and get to hard to reach places. The big drawback is that if you don’t aim right you can easily die. Aaru’s abilities are unique and have potential. Each level is so fast paced that you have little time to get the hang of them.
Aaru’s awakening is a gorgeous game with a great story. Due to the sheer difficulty of the game, replayability is very low. Once I got through each level, especially the boss level, I did not want to go back and play it again. As a matter fact it makes you lose interest in the game period. Aaru has some pretty good abilities but the awkwardness of the controls makes them hard to master. The game has potential and cool ideas. It is definitely not for everyone. If you have never played a platformer do not start with this one. Aaru’s awakening is for those who are hard-core platforming fans.
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