A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda is the first chapter in a fully-featured episodic hardcore action packed side-scrolling platformer series. Set in a traditional retro-classic scenario, you play as Ares, a combat robot created for the sole purpose of saving humanity. Can you live up to the task or will you be reduced to nuts and bolts?
A.R.E.S. is a great looking action platformer in the vein of Metroid or Castlevania. It features excellent artwork and graphics that look great on an HD Monitor or television. The artwork is also original and the hand drawn artwork is high quality. The music industrial/techno type beats bring out the atmosphere of the game well also.
Unfortunately all the fine artwork is hampered by so-so gameplay. The main character moves around clunkily and is not very much fun to control. Also the upgrade system requires playing levels multiple times in order to get all the upgrades and secrets. This "trick" has always been a way for developers to pad their gameplay hours statistic - it's a stupid mechanic that represents laziness and lack of creativity.
If you absolutely LOVE these style games you may want to pick it up. Otherwise I would just view a trailer video and you've seen pretty much the best parts of the game.
Quite a solid plataformer! Unexpectedly nice and overall very, very polished but still not without its flaws: the platforming sections suffer a lot from the terrible jump controls, the dashing requires you to crouch instead of having an independent button and some jumping sections will surely crank your nerves. However, it has some of the best music I've heard in a while for a western release (along with Jamestown) and the challenge is there: unlocking the Genesis Suit is not an easy task! It's all about perfecting the stages so, regarding that, it feels like a shmup at times.
On the technical side, the game is pretty much built with the 360 in mind. Aiming is actually much easier with the mouse though but the plataforming is already bad enough with a pad... and it becomes a nightmare with the keyboard.
While I admit I got it during the Indie Royale, it's still a game worth its full price, that's for sure. You can tell the Metroidesque and the definite Megaman influences both in the dashing, shooting and the music, courtesy of the great HyperDuck guys.