Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Aero Porter (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Aero Porter on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

With Liberation Maiden, developed by Suda51, available for almost two months now, Aero Porter landed in Europe as the second of the Guild01 games a few days ago. The man behind this game is Yoot Saito, most commonly known for designing the Dreamcast title Seaman, but also his team, Vivarium, worked on The Tower. While the concept behind Aero Porter is certainly interesting, is it able to convince players that something as unusual as sorting luggage can indeed prove to be fun?

In Aero Porter the player starts out as a new employee at a small local airport and the job is to make sure all the baggage is loaded on the corresponding flights. To accomplish this, up to seven carousels must be managed, either raising or lowering parts to move the luggage up or down. Once on the right carousel, indicated by matching colours, the option to choose to load them on the aeroplane before it takes off can be taken. If one is completely empty, the flight will get cancelled and a hefty fee needs to be paid. It's a good idea to at least have them partly loaded to prevent a cancellation but ideally everything should be loaded on the corresponding planes. If managing to achieve this, bonus cash is awarded and if able to get consecutive perfect take offs, combos that yield even greater bonuses can be scored, including aeroplanes for a personal hangar.

Additionally, activating StreetPass and passing someone with the game whilst on the road will send a plane to their airport, earning them additional money for a successful take off with that particular aircraft. Unless a lot of big mistakes are made, there is never a shortage of money, so this feature is relatively useless. The carousels are powered by a generator and an eye must be kept on the remaining fuel. Consumption of fuel can be influenced by changing the speed of the carousels or the amount of activated lights. Restocking reserves regularly is crucial because you still have to make sure the fuel tank reaches the generator at the bottom of the carousel.

Screenshot for Aero Porter on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

While the first few levels aren't particularly challenging, it does get incredibly hard and stressful later on. As the airport is expanded, there will be more carousels, flights, and luggage to deal with. If that wasn't enough, politicians or even the president himself demand special treatment that requires full attention.

On top of that, there are also the occasional suspicious packages and even bombs to deal with. If there are not disposed of quickly, they will explode. If that happens, you might as well delete the save file and start over because after an incident like that it invokes an extreme handicap, yet the same tasks as before still need to be fulfilled. While it does add some sense of realism to the game, it's just a ridiculous game design choice that absolutely shouldn't have been added, especially one that already gets overwhelming and frustrating on its own.

Screenshot for Aero Porter on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The gameplay mechanics are solid on their own but the experience is tarnished by frustrating difficulty and design choices.

Graphics

The graphics look very basic but in this case that's actually a good thing because of the need to be able to fully concentrate on what's going on and the fact that players can't afford to be distracted by pretty looking graphics.

Sound

There isn't any real music, but in its place there are various ambient sounds that would normally be heard at an airport. These add to the experience without becoming distracting but at least one or two optional soundtracks to listen to would have been nice.

Value

If you are amazing at playing this game and have a lot of patience, you might get to the end of it in two or three hours. Unfortunately, the fun stops sooner than expected and the rest of the game turns into a frustrating ride that's just not worth the effort and patience required. There is a StreetPass function but unfortunately it doesn't do anything remotely useful.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

Aero Porter features a good and surprisingly fun concept but fails when it comes to its execution. It's enjoyable to play through for a while but that doesn't make it a worthwhile purchase at the price of £4.49 when there are plenty of better options on the 3DS eShop. It could only be recommended to people who love micromanaging and aren't put off by heaps of frustration.

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02.12.2012

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Developer

Vivarium

Publisher

Level-5

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

This is definitely a major disappointment, especially from the team behind The Tower, which I really enjoyed (on GBA).

Makes you wonder why the fourth game in the Guild01 collection was overlooked in favour of this. Purely due to the creator's name not being as popular as Yoot Saito?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Staff MemberOur member of the week

Adam Riley said:
This is definitely a major disappointment, especially from the team behind The Tower, which I really enjoyed (on GBA).

Makes you wonder why the fourth game in the Guild01 collection was overlooked in favour of this. Purely due to the creator's name not being as popular as Yoot Saito?

I heard the reason why the fourth game wasn't considered for a localisation was that it heavily relies on Japanese jokes and references, something that would definitely get lost in translation.

Cubed3 Reviewer/Feature Writer | Twitter | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Ah, that's very interesting to hear, thanks! Didn't know that. Fair enough...I'm intrigued about what games will be in Guild02, that's for sure. The Mega Man creator's doing something, I think.

As for this game, I have to say that to be honest I didn't hold too much hope for Aero Porter at all, despite Yoot Saito being involved. It just looks too...weird and basic to be really fun. Simplistic games can be addictive, but this didn't look like it. Now your review backs it up! I think I'll save my money for something else...I'd recommend Nano Assault Neo on Wii U eShop instead Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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