Top Critic Average
Aaru's Awakening is a phenomenal piece of art, and a solidly built game to boot. With numerous levels across the domains of each entity, and fierce challenges standing between players and the goal.
As challenging and frustrating I found some of the stages in Aaru's Awakening, I felt a sense of accomplishment seeing my name listed on the top ten. Bosses slow down the relatively fast-paced stages, too slow for my likening, but still provide a unique take on platforming encounters.
Aaru's Awakening is a beautiful frolic into a world of nightmares and imbalance: championed by its hand-drawn art style, compulsive level of difficulty and thrilling sense of achievement.
Even though Aaru's Awakening does suffer from control issues, there is actually a good game to be found, especially with the beautiful stylised graphics. The controls do get better as you play but it definitely needs to be fine-tuned but once you bypass the inconsistencies, the level design, puzzles and story does create a relatively enjoyable arcade experience.
There are already a ton of platformers to choose from on both of Sony's current home consoles, but the good news is that Aaru's Awakening is free to anyone with PlayStation Plus for the time being. If you fancy something artsy and with some challenging gameplay, then we think that you should consider giving it a shot. Everyone else will want to pass on this one.
Aaru's Awakening is a great example of how looks can deceive. Its gorgeous world and beautifully detailed environments are absolutely breathtaking, but the core gameplay that lies within leaves much to be desired.
All of this will likely be tremendously appealing to a particular sort of player, and Aaru's Awakening clearly deserves a certain recognition for putting its own twist on the unforgiving 2D platformer. But if you are going to enter this world, know that the extrinsic rewards are few. The challenge is really all there is. The gods give only what they will, and are unconcerned with whether mortals find it sufficient.
Aaru's Awakening has a serious difficulty curve, but when you combine the twitch-based controls, the confusing art style or the camera zoom, you end up with an experience that, once completed, doesn't offer a feeling of joy or accomplishment. You just feel like you've finally completed a tedious task.
[M]any could say I just suck at the game, and I would agree with you, but I know my way around a platformer, and Aaru's Awakening has the makings of a good one, but is bogged down by poorly implemented controls and some choice level design. Only the hardcore of players will get into it, and even then they will have controller breaking thoughts while playing it.
Aaru's Awakening is a tragic example of failure to translate a strong creative vision into an enjoyable final product. Lackluster controls and a lack of polish prevent what is otherwise a game with a strong, unique identity from reaching the heights it should have.
Lumenox states on Aaru's Awakening's Steam Store page that it's "a hand-drawn, fast-paced 2D action platformer." The issue here is that there isn't a whole lot of action to speak of, outside of the occasional enemy elimination through warping, and its trial-and-error nature causes it to be anything but fast paced.
I loved the art style of Aaru's Awakening, I loved the story premise it had, and I loved teleporting. I did not love the rest of the gameplay decisions along the way.