Aeon Drive Review (Switch eShop)
Speedrunning has been an integral part of the gaming community for decades. People can rely on problems or feats to ‘break’ a game, but it’s often just a matter of learning the mechanics, inside and out, to find the most efficient route to play. A to B. Aeon Drive is all about speedrun; it’s his hook, and it’s a Well a.
Set in the cyberpunk setting of “Neo Barcelona,” the game stars Jackelyne, a space ranger who is in a desperate race through town to find the training cores to repair her ship. Armed with a teleportation sword and dagger, you must guide Jackelyne through a wide variety of levels, all of which feature different routes with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Racing through the levels is quite sufficient as it is, but the game immediately encourages you to move as fast as possible by implementing a 30 second timer in each level. If the timer hits zero, it’s game over and you’ll have to start over (an insignificant inconvenience thanks to the small scale of levels and fast loading speeds). Fortunately, to compensate for the countdown, you can collect egg timers scattered throughout the levels; if you’re fast enough and manage to pick up 5 in a row, you can activate their power and immediately add 5 seconds to your timer. It sounds like an insignificant little boost in theory, but when you’re just a few feet away from your end goal, those extra seconds make all the difference.
While the supporting narrative in Aeon Drive is just a distraction at best, the gameplay featured here is an absolute joy once you get the hang of it all. There is a bit of a learning curve at the beginning; you’ll need to master the jumping, sliding, swinging your sword, and throwing your teleportation dagger at the right time in order to maintain a semblance of speed and momentum. It’s a lot to take in, but once each mechanic lands and becomes just a part of your muscle memory, you’ll rush through the steps with ease.
The teleportation dagger is ultimately what sets Aeon Drive apart from other speedrunning platform games. Essentially, you launch it at any wall within range by pressing “A” with the direction you want on the analog stick, and it will stay locked in place until you press “A” again to teleport. towards your dagger; a bit like a futuristic grappling hook. Using the dagger lets you get around obstacles like deadly lasers and bottomless drops, but it also adds an incredible feeling of momentum, especially when you manage to throw it. just in the right place at the right time, allowing you to effectively jump a good part of the scene in one quick movement. It is incredibly satisfying.
Although Jackelyne is quite agile on her feet, she is nonetheless extremely vulnerable to damage and enemy obstacles. Getting hit just right once Returns you directly to the start of the level, so not only do you have to complete each stage as quickly as possible, but you also have to complete it in one perfect run. Naturally, it’s essential that you learn each step like the back of your hand if you want to climb the online leaderboards, including the placement of enemies, the optimal place to throw your dagger, if you can jump over one. particularly long gap, and many more. The replay value here is obvious, especially if you have a competitive and compulsive nature.
Visually, the game is also absolutely stunning, with stunning pixel graphics showing a good level of detail in the levels and their respective backgrounds. There’s little variety with the overall aesthetic beyond the different color palettes, but we’d say anything else would distract the gameplay. There’s a bit of extra customization to Jackelyne’s color scheme – mostly when playing in the optional multiplayer – but there’s little incentive to pick a specific color if you’re playing alone (we’ve often gone for it). ‘yellow haired option; she looks like a Super Saiyan, okay ?!).
Speaking of multiplayer, the story mode allows up to four people to play the game in co-op, with an additional PvP mode pitting you against up to three local competitors. Unfortunately, local play is the only option at the moment, but online play is on the way via a future update. The good news, however, is that the game’s performance is pretty much flawless whether you’re playing alone or with friends, with solid frame rates and minimal load times.
Our last cry goes to the game excellent soundtrack. Cyberpunk vibes are evident in the music – which bears more than a fleeting resemblance to Purturbator’s work – with booming synth notes and basslines. It really is a great trick and a perfect accompaniment to your perfect second shave runs.
Aeon Drive is not quite up there with modern platform classics like Celeste, but it’s still pretty close. While its tale doesn’t win any awards, it’s just a backdrop for the fantastic gameplay on offer. Bolstered by solid performance and minimal loading screens, racing through the levels is exhilarating as you jump, slide, and teleport through the maze-like environments. With online leaderboarding to satisfy your competitive nature and additional multiplayer to boot, Aeon Drive is a speedrun triumph that absolutely deserves your attention.