This isn't even fair. I mean, it's a plat former with guitar solos. And laser guns, and MegaMan worship, and a name that sounds like a Megadeth record. I mean, forget that it also plays well. I'm already in love with this game. It’s A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda. I freaking love this game. So you play as Ares and Tarus...two robots that look like a Varia Suit mixed with the Rocketeer.

Turns out humans are about to be destroyed, and these two have to save us...kind of generic, but the story isn't really the point. The point is Mega Man X was awesome, so let's just do that again. Only with more guitar solos. Just like the Pied Piper. And you know, it's more than the aesthetics. A.R.E.S. really feels like Mega Man X, especially in terms of its gameplay. Really tight action-plat forming, powerful weapons and lots of robots to destroy.

And it's all done really well. In fact, I only had one issue with the gameplay, and that’s that...the jumping can be just a bit weird. It feels, like, a split-second slow at times. And there's also those moments when platforms are placed, like, at the tip of your jumps. So it's a pain to reach them. But other than that? Really solid gameplay.Dr. Light would be proud. Obviously, A.R.E.S. wears its influences on its armor. And it's not just Mega Man.

 You can also sense a little Metroid in the design, specifically in terms of foreshadowing. It’s pretty common to come across items and ledges that you can't reach, which lets you know you’ll be coming back later. There are lots of upgrades to find and power-ups and plenty of hidden stuff to boost the replay value. These are levels you'll want to play through again to find everything. Partially because they’re designed so well, partially because...those upgrades make you a badass, so it's fun to go back and lay waste to enemies that used to be tough. And speaking of tough holy crap, this game's kind of tough.

As you'd expect, though, right? And you know, it's never ridiculous or anything. The objectives are always there, right in front of you, staring at you and calling you a pussy. So a little trial-and-error aside, there’s never really any frustration with this game. It’s always a good, fun, old-school challenge. Now, there's not much in the way of puzzles or anything.

 It's a straightforward action game, mostly. But there is an element of learning enemy patterns and figuring out the right way to attack. Especially with the boss battles. This game has some awesome boss battles, most of which are going to take several attempts to get a grip on. And then strangle to death. With your laser beams. As for the drawbacks well, it is kind of short.



And again, the jumping can be a little frustrating at times. It's not the most original game in the world, either...but when you copy stuff this well, that's hardly an issue. There's something to be said for a simple game that just takes something good, and does it...awesome. That’s what It's A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda does. The guitar solos are just a bonus.


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