HomeReviews2.5/5 ReviewAery - The Lost Hero Review

Aery – The Lost Hero Review

-

Something is going on over at EpiXR Games. Possibly the most prolific studio in terms of Xbox releases, they have also been known for changing virtually nothing with each release. Its Aery series is much like its Paper Flight series, which is much like that of the Murder Diaries series. But with Aery – The Lost Hero and Paper Flight – Beyond Time, both released within a week of each other, clearly some changes are being made. 

aery the lost hero review 1
The calm vibes of Aery return

Aery – The Lost Hero abandons the usual blocky, knife-sharp polygons for something slighter higher fidelity. It’s not as photo-realistic as Paper Flight – Beyond Time, but clearly more time has been spent on sculpting Aery – The Lost Hero. Suddenly, we have textures and style creeping in. It almost looks modern. Even the parrot, who has been a mainstay for the Aery series for so long now, has had a HD makeover and become a… crow?

As is customary with EpiXR Games, these changes come with a cost. As a developer, they don’t sit on a change like this, allowing it to bake and perfect over the course of months. Oh no, they push it out as soon as humanly possible. There’s a release schedule to maintain. So, while Aery – The Lost Hero looks undoubtedly better, possibly the best that an Aery game has ever looked, it is slathered with compromises.

Compromise #1: levels aren’t all that big. If you’ve been given the job of modeling a town to a new standard, it becomes so much easier if you change that town to a hamlet. Bring the number of buildings down to a handful. Job done. The result is a reasonably cramped, claustrophobic arena that loses the joy of soaring around as a parrot, sorry, crow. In fact, you will be ploughing into windmills and turrets rather than carefree flying. 

Compromise #2: levels are reused to a ridiculous degree. We fluttered through the same medieval village location four times: twice in the day time, once on fire, and a final time with fireworks lighting up the sky. You can’t trick us, EpiXR Games. When almost half of your levels are the same level with different weather, we see through what you’re doing. 

aery the lost hero review 2
There are some serious compromises in The Lost Hero

Compromise #3: all the other levels are completely devoid of landmarks. The remaining six levels (which is in itself a compromise, as the past few releases have offered twelve levels) are all forests and lakes with a slight remix of the types of trees. Sir is bored of pines? How about palm trees this time? No? Well, would sir like a mangrove? While we are budding arborealists, changing up the trees with each level isn’t going to get us whipping out the big scores. 

Compromise #4, and the last one, we promise, is that there’s the most half-hearted story trying to piece these repeated moments together. It would be leagues better if it wasn’t there. Because the plot goes something like this: your village has been attacked by a dragon, so you need to find a wizard. So, you head to a lake to find him, but he’s not there. And he’s not in the next level. Or the next level. Or the… you get the idea. It’s the ‘’Sorry Mario, the Princess is in the next castle’ scene, but played completely straight. 

Perhaps we should be glad that there are no game-breaking bugs this time out. At no point were we blocked by an invisible wall, nor did the game crash unexpectedly. There was no missing level or broken achievement. This is the most robust Aery for some time, with only a single gameplay bug that we encountered: the respawn spots are oddly placed this time round, and it’s entirely possible to find yourself facing a tower that you can’t evade. All you can do is restart the level. Which isn’t quite game-breaking, we suppose.

aery the lost hero review 3
The best looking Aery game yet?

We were very careful to state ‘gameplay bug’ in the above paragraph, as there are graphical glitches, and they are off the charts. With a new art style comes new pressures on the Aery engine. Pop in is ludicrous, challenging for the worst we’ve ever encountered. In the lake levels, there is a grass texture that it clearly can’t deal with, and the game basically spasms and falls over. It’s too many blades of grass for it to handle. In some of the bigger levels, you need height to see the feathers you might have missed, but there’s no point in trying: a fog of polygons stops you from seeing more than a few meters in front of your beak. 

The positives are the same as they have always been. Aery – The Lost Hero is a blissful experience, and you won’t find a more calming way to spend two hours on the Xbox, give or take some fatigue over the levels. There’s a new soundtrack on offer, which is just as good as the last, and is a breath of fresh air after hearing the same tunes for about a dozen games now. And there’s 1000 Gamerscore (all of them accessible this time) for very little effort, so the achievement vultures can start circling. 

But did it have to come with so many compromises? We’re getting a little tired of booting up a new Aery to find that minor improvements are stapled to major issues. Aery – The Lost Hero looks better than any Aery before, but it’s also a regurgitation of the same levels, often in a row. We’re not inclined to open the beak and accept it this time.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Appealing new art style
  • Equally appealing new soundtrack
  • As blissful as ever
Cons:
  • Same levels repeated over and over again
  • Levels are more confined
  • So many visual glitches and pop-in
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review)
  • Release date and price - 9 June 2023 | £8.39
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,460SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2797 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1496 POSTS2 COMMENTS
1253 POSTS18 COMMENTS
978 POSTS46 COMMENTS
855 POSTS0 COMMENTS
386 POSTS2 COMMENTS
115 POSTS0 COMMENTS
81 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS0 COMMENTS
76 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS
20 POSTS7 COMMENTS
12 POSTS10 COMMENTS
8 POSTS0 COMMENTS
6 POSTS0 COMMENTS
1 POSTS0 COMMENTS
1 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Appealing new art style</li> <li>Equally appealing new soundtrack</li> <li>As blissful as ever</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Same levels repeated over and over again</li> <li>Levels are more confined</li> <li>So many visual glitches and pop-in</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review) <li>Release date and price - 9 June 2023 | £8.39</li> </ul>Aery - The Lost Hero Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x