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Auror...uh, What?

- Aurora Wing -

Concept: Fight tactical battles in a unique RPG battle system.

Graphics: Nothing too spectacular, but not bad either. About what I’d expect from an 2K3 game these days (now that everyone’s standards are so high).

Sound: I liked the Donkey Kong Country 2 music, and none of the rest of it seemed out of place.

Playability: Rather confusing. All movement is diagonal, so the controls take some getting used to (even with the option to switch the key functions to your liking).

Entertainment: I’m not too big on this sort of thing, but I can see why it might appeal to others.

Playthrough Value: Moderate, probably appeals more to other kinds of players.

This game struck a few bad notes with me, but it plays flawlessly and probably works better for different kinds of players. But, this is my experience…
The game throws you into the middle of the action right off the bat. There are lots of names, lots of places, and a situation described that I still don’t entirely understand (I remember who Nash is, but that’s about it…). There’s a lot to take in right away, so it felt overwhelming and could do with better pacing in my opinion. I feel that the plot also suffers from the way it’s mostly presented. The game’s focus is on the tactical battle system, so all the plot stuff takes place on the custom menu screen between fights and at locations that aren’t much more than backdrops. I couldn’t get a feel for where anything was happening, and even though the dialogue was good, it lost its impact from not being able to see the places and situations the characters found themselves in.
The menus and battle system all work perfectly, but I found them quite confusing. Along with all the plot stuff you have to take in at the start, none of the menu’s functions are explained. A tutorial was offered for the battle system, but it was still hard to grasp even after that. It basically boiled down to I didn’t know enough about anything or how it worked to want to experiment around with things.
The battles themselves flow very nicely. I liked that the player could take as many or few actions as they liked during their turn, and the enemies only got to move when the player was finished. I didn’t test all the functions of the battle system, but I liked what I did get to see. It works beautifully, and I found nothing wrong with it (even though I didn’t like it).
This game offers a unique RPG experience for a 2K3 game. While the battle system is interesting and works very well, it suffers from being rather vague and confusing. The plot is difficult to follow due to the large number of characters and places to keep track of. It also lacks most of what would constitute cutscenes, making them feel bland in spite of good dialogue. I think this game could be great, and I’m sure a lot of people still enjoy it, but it needs something more for its plot to work and could do with better pacing.