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Overall, I really enjoyed Aqua: Naval Warfare. Its gameplay is challenging and a blast at the same time. The mixture of a top-down shooter and tactical gameplay make Aqua an enjoyable adventure that I intend to return to.
Sorte de fils illégitime de l'Overboard! de Psygnosis, Aqua acquiert ses galons de capitaine de vaisseau dès les premières minutes de jeu. Grâce à son univers attachant, son gameplay parfaitement calibré et sa bonne durée de vie, il y a fort à parier que vous aurez du mal à le lâcher malgré un aspect forcément redondant lié au genre. Malgré cela, les shoots arcade mettant en vedette des bateaux étant loin d'être légion, on aurait tort de se priver de cet Aqua aussi charmant que défoulant.
Look, Aqua is a simple game with a lot of simple fun to be had. Its designers try like the dickens to gussy it up with stuff like local multiplayer and hand-drawn cut-scenes, but none of that matters. If you like frenetically blowing stuff up with old-school flair, you'll dig Aqua -- if you're looking for a gaming experience that stays with you long after the disc leaves the drive, you're gonna need to spend more than 800 Microsoft points. Just sayin'.
All in all, Aqua is fun. There's no denying that. The question, however, is whether you should spend your time and money on this game as opposed to another one, and between the short length, gameplay problems, and freezing issues, it's hard to say that you should. Hardcore fans of free-roaming shoot-'em-ups shouldn't let this chance to visit the genre pass them by, but even they might want to try the less ambitious (but also less frustrating) Exisled, an amazingly fun Xbox LIVE Community game that sells for $5, first. We're interested to see what the developers do next, but we hope they focus less on telling a story, which is not their strong suit, and more on honing the basics.
With a rewarding upgrade structure and lightweight strategic elements allowing Game Distillery to distance itself from its obvious influences, Aqua develops a personality of its own which, while not exactly breaking much new ground, shapes the shooter landscape in an appealing manner.
Overall, Aqua has a solid single player campaign which will last a couple of hours with great visual and audio, but unfortunately, the lack of online multiplayer and very few modes for local games means that you might not be too tempted to play the game again after finishing the campaign. At certain points in the game you unlock some avatar items and gamer pictures but aside from these the lack of replay value means that Aqua, despite being an enjoyable game to play, perhaps isn’t really worth the 800 Microsoft Points price tag.
I have to credit Games Distillery. AQUA - Naval Warfare is an enjoyable dual-stick shooter while it lasts, especially considering this is their freshman effort. Although, I would primarily recommend this to SHMUP fans as those who don’t like this style of game won’t find anything here to change that. And even at that, since the game doesn’t really offer anything you haven’t seen before, even SHMUP fans might want to give the demo a whirl before committing the 800MP. It’s really not a bad game. But it is a forgettable experience that will not keep you coming back for more once you’ve had your fill.
There are others, but those are the four that will, sadly, probably ruin your experience of Aqua. It’s difficult to truly say whether it’s a good or bad title. It simply follows different conventions, but that probably means you’re unlikely to get into it. The offline multiplayer adds something, but probably not enough, to the mix, and you’re left with a title that you almost certainly won’t finish.
One of the best things that can be said of Aqua is that it is reasonably priced at 800 points, unlike a good number of other Xbox Live Arcade games coming out these days. Beyond that, however, this shooter is uninspired and forgettable; it's an afternoon's diversion that you'll likely walk away from for good after just one or two short sessions of play.
It's not like Aqua is a broken game -- it's just not that entertaining. The abundance of tricky escort missions, lack of checkpoints and little story context make it even less appetizing. Considering all the excellent arcade shooters out there, I would recommend passing up Aqua -- unless you like watching hundreds of enemy ships pulverize your allies while you look on in horror...
The real gimmicky bonus to Aqua is that it makes good use of the various unlockables available on the Xbox 360. There’s a range of avatar clothing and gamerpics to acquire, with the Naval Uniform particularly satisfying to gain. But other than the lingering satisfaction of new virtual clothing, it’s a distinctly forgettable time with Aqua. It might be fun while you play through the campaign, but turn that console off and you’ll have forgotten what you ever saw in it.