LifeisXbox’s Aeon Drive Review | Aeon Drive is an action platformer, developed by 2Awesome Studio and published by CRITICAL REFLEX. In Aeon Drive, you play as Jackelyne, although she’s mostly referred to as “Jack”. She also has a best friend, VERA, a robot who’s able to warp time and space. After crash-landing in Neo-Barcelona, she finds out that her spaceship will explode in 30 seconds. The goal of Aeon Drive is to complete levels in 30 seconds as you try to find Drive Cores. As you speedrun through Neo-Barcelona, you’ll come across many different locations with a lot of secrets to them. This retro, action-platformer takes you to the test as you try to master the art of teleporting through lasers, trying to complete the levels as fast as you possibly can!
ℹ️ | Bradley played Aeon Drive for 10 hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on Xbox One and S/X, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Steam, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
What we liked!
- Gameplay | At first, it seemed kind of lame to add a 30-second timer to the game, however, it did in fact make the game far more fun and challenging! Jack has a power sword, which she uses to defeat nasty robots, and a teleportation dagger, VERA, which she uses to teleport quickly from one place to another. When it comes to enemies, there isn’t really a lot of variation, there are a lot of different objects, however. Objects range from lasers, switches, breakable walls, saws, and much more… More of these objects appear in levels as you progress through the game. One important thing that I haven’t mentioned yet are time capsules. As mentioned before, you must beat levels in 30 seconds or less. In order to get some extra time, you can collect time capsules. Collecting 4 of these will allow you to add an extra 5 seconds to that timer to increase your odds of being able to finish the level in the alloted time. For those who would rather have a peaceful experience, there is the option to disable the timer and this may come in handy when obtaining the collectibles.
- Graphics & Music | The visuals in Aeon Drive are breath-taking. As you race through the neon-colored landscapes of Neo-Barcelona, you’ll come across 5 different areas. One time you’ll be running in the city, the other you’ll be at the beach hoping to get home some day and enjoy some hot dogs. The background of every area is beautifully made and is even fully animated! Not only is the background animated but so are the objects you come across. You don’t necessarily come into contact with these objects during gameplay as they are still somewhat in the background but they do make an animation as you walk past some of them, which is a really nice touch! Besides the visuals, I loved the retro soundtrack in Aeon Drive! The soundtrack really reminded me of the classic Mega Man. Every now and then I even hummed as the music played in the background!
- Collectibles | Yes, I am one of the few people who actually enjoys finding collectibles and in this game it’s no different, apart from one collectible. As you play through Aeon Drive, you’ll come across 3 different collectibles: Data packs, diamonds and hot dogs. Data packs are the most interesting ones in the game as picking one of these up will provide you with some lure and this will especially be interesting for those people who are really into the game and who have played the prequel, Dimension Drive. Not every level has data packs – it’s not directly shown what levels have them. However, you can figure out in what levels a specific data pack might be in by checking the “collectibles” tab in the menu. One of the other collectibles are the diamonds of which every single level has at least 1 diamond hidden in them. Now, diamonds do not provide you with extra lure, but there is a reward for those who manage to collect all 100 of them. What that reward is, is something you’ll have to find out! The last one of the collectibles are the hot dogs, but I’ll have a word about these in a section bellow.
- The Story | I personally wasn’t a huge fan of the story as there wasn’t really a whole lot to it. The story takes place directly after the events of Dimension Drive; she crash-lands her spaceship in the middle of Neo-Barcelona. Due to the crash, she has to find 5 Drive Cores in order to prevent her spaceship from blowing up. Failing this task would result in the city’s and Jack’s doom. She learns that VERA has the ability to go back in time and give Jack an extra 30 seconds to find these Drive Cores. VERA is also able to teleport Jack from one place to another. That’s basically the whole story. To be fair, the short size of the story doesn’t really matter that much as Aeon Drive is more focused on gameplay rather than a whole story. They even went the extra mile by adding those Data Packs as lure, which I mentioned before.
- Co-op | I haven’t played co-op that much, but from what I’ve played, I’m not a huge fan of it. In co-op you can play with up to 4 players as you race for the finish line. What makes this less of an enjoyable experience is the way the camera works. The further away you go from each other, the further the camera goes and this does in my opinion ruin the game slightly as it exposes the levels secrets. It’s also fairly difficult to play more precisely when the camera is zoomed out all the way; it’ll be a lot more difficult to time your jumps and teleportation for example. I think a split-screen would’ve worked a little better in co-op.
What we disliked
- Hot dogs | As mentioned above there are 3 collectibles, but the hot dog collectible was just terrible. First of all, the hot dog has no side-effect on the game, so there’s not really a point in finding them, unless you’re an achievement hunter. For the achievement “Team Dog” you’ll have to find 10 hot dogs in the entire game. There are 100 levels, seems easy enough to find just 10, right? No, it is not… While the other 2 collectibles give you an idea as to where to find them, how many there are, and they provide some rewards, the hot dogs have none of that, just one achievement. As some of these hot dogs are fairly well hidden, and all in random levels, there was almost no way of finding them, other than exploring nearly all of the levels carefully, which was extremely time consuming and boring.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 4 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 9 – 10 Hours
Similar with | Nothing that I could think of.
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