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Thursday, January 31, 2008

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Exploring Aquaria's Watery Realm
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamingHeaven has posted a new review of the Windows version of Aquaria. Created by Bit Blot, the side-scrolling underwater action adventure game follows the adventures of Naija as she embarks on a quest to reveal the history of the the underwater land of Aquaria. GamingHeaven gave the game 90 out of 100.

From the review:

The control method is sublime, Naija defends and attacks through song, and as incredibly lame and uncool as that may sound, in practise it is marvellous. Moving the mouse around the screen changes her direction (check out the videos), and holding the left button moves her in the required direction. Pushing the button with Naija at a distance, gives her a power dash move, escaping the clutches of any enemies nearby. Her Transformation ability is wonderful, holding down the right mouse button rewards you with a radial menu system consisting of a number of coloured icons each associated with a note. If you move the cursor across the icons in a particular order, Naija then transforms into a being of pure energy - Dark Naija. In this form she can fire streams of energy and a homing attack. The changing of form plays an integral role within Aquaria as you turn from the hunted into the hunter often depending on the situation. Imagine you are trapped behind a rock wall. Only Naija in her base form can cast a spell to clear the rocks, however in doing so she is vunerable to attack from nearby enemies. This adds a high tension aspect to the game that is great fun. For those who like to use a gamepad, there is an option to use that instead of the keyboard and/or mouse.

The controls are in fact, just brilliant. Naija can navigate entirely through the terrain with the mouse, or if you feel more comfortable you can use the W,A,S,D method of movement. You can even use a combination of both, much like in a FPS if you feel it works better. There are some caves in the game through which fine control is crucial so having the ability to shoot and move while aiming with the mouse is very much needed. The dash move incidentally if used near a wall, will tell Naija to hold onto the wall, which comes in useful in confined spaces with a multitude of foes on the move. The stellar control system does not stop there however, if you spin the cursor around Naija she creates a mini style whirlpool which can shift smaller creatures in her vicinity, especially those who stick to her to slow her down.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the review.

GamingHeaven: Aquaria Review
Ambrosia Software

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