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Chasing Aurora (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Chasing Aurora on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Chasing Aurora is the latest game from Austrian Indie developer, Broken Rules whose previous project was the brilliant physics-based puzzle game And Yet It Moves for the Wii's WiiWare service. Has this game done enough to take new heights, or will it nosedive into a mountain?

Chasing Aurora is best described as an aerial-action game, in which players take on the role of various birds and fly around gorgeous 2D mountainous landscapes. Most of the fun will be had in the game's multiplayer, which allows for up to five players to participate in various different game modes.

People may take one look at Chasing Aurora and disregard it due to its simplicity, but this game has a fair amount of content on offer, it's just a shame that only around a quarter of that content is playable in single player. The Challenge mode, which sees players flying through various checkpoints to get the best score, feels like it was tacked on after the main aspect of the game had been finished, the multiplayer. The score obtained in each of the Challenge levels is determined by how many checkpoints players fly through before the timer runs out. There are twenty levels to be played through in Challenge and at the end of each one you are rewarded with a star ranking, the best being three stars. Once these levels have been completed, the only incentive to replay them is to attain a three star rank on them. There are no online leader-boards and the only way to share scores is via the screenshot feature found in Miiverse.

Screenshot for Chasing Aurora on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As progress is made, the difficulty of levels increases, but the main gameplay element remains the same. This could get pretty boring for most players, since it just involves flying through checkpoints that are placed around the level in a circuit. This gets more frustrating in the snowy levels, when the checkpoints can barely be seen due to them also being white -- whether this is a bad design choice or an intentional obstacle remains unknown, but it does get quite annoying.

The meatier side of the package is contained within the game's local multiplayer modes. There are three in total; Hide & Seek, Freeze Tag, and Chase. Each of these can be played with up to five players, with four using Wii Remotes and one using the Wii U GamePad. This is where the game uses asymmetric gameplay, one of the key features of the console spoken about by Nintendo at E3 earlier in the year.

Screenshot for Chasing Aurora on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Hide & Seek is exactly what would be expected; the player with the GamePad is the one that "hides" and the players using a Wii Remote are the seekers, trying to catch the pesky bird. The player using the GamePad turns into a golden bird and must keep their distance from the others, as well as protecting a golden gem. If the golden bird is hit by environmental objects, it will drop the gem and other players will get the chance to pick it up to increase their current score. This game mode is definitely one of the more fun areas of the game, though even with two people each multiplayer mode can prove to be a little underwhelming. For the best results, playing each mode with four to five people is the way to get a lot of enjoyment from Chasing Aurora.

Freeze Tag is basically Hide & Seek, but this time the player using the GamePad controls an ice bird that freezes other birds it comes into contact with. Therefore, like Hide & Seek, except the GamePad and Wii Remote roles have been switched around. As with Hide & Seek, the player using the GamePad views their own bird on the screen, putting further emphasis on the term asymmetric gameplay. Freeze Tag usually ends quite quickly, because as soon as the Ice Bird "tags" another player's bird, that player will be out for the rest of the round.

Screenshot for Chasing Aurora on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The third and final game mode is Chase, which pits players against each other and gets rid of the asymmetric gameplay. Players will start off with their birds scattered around a golden gem and when the game begins, the first person to get the gem will have to fly away from the other players. The interesting part of this mode is that the screen scrolls along with the gem carrier, meaning that if other players can't catch up, they will find themselves out of the playing field. When this happens, a message will appear on the screen, telling the player to get back in the gameplay view. They will have a few seconds to get back into the game and if the timer runs out, they lose one of their three lives. However, if a player catches up with the gem carrier, they will be able to steal the gem from them by simply flying into it.

Whilst non-GamePad players can play with a Wii Remote on its side, they can also play with the Classic Controller Pro, and the Wii Remote and Nunchuck combination. The Wii U Pro Controller is not currently supported, but a comment posted on Miiverse by one of Broken Rules' developers strongly suggests that it will be available in the future.

Screenshot for Chasing Aurora on Wii U eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Single player can become quite boring at times, but multiplayer modes offer a lot of fun. It's only local multiplayer, though, and it might be quite tricky finding a group of people to play with.

Graphics

The artwork in Chasing Aurora is very simplistic, but for the type of game it is, it works great. There are also some really colourful and beautiful environments included in this game.

Sound

In single player, all you can hear is the flapping of your wings and the wind blowing. It perhaps makes the game a little too relaxed, although the music found on the main menu and in the multiplayer section of the game is beautiful.

Value

Players expecting a content-heavy game will feel let down. The single player Challenge mode lacks a reason to replay through the stages, and due to the multiplayer being local only, it can be quite hard finding a group of people to play with.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Chasing Aurora is not a bad game, it's a good game that is let down by some poor design decisions. Hopefully Broken Rules will release an update to the game in the future that adds some form of online play and also online leader-boards to increase the overall replay value. This game can only be recommended to players that like besting their own score, or players that want a fun and unique multiplayer experience. However, owners of Nintendo Land are probably better off sticking with that, due to the price point of this game.

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13.12.2012

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Developer

Broken Rules

Publisher

Broken Rules

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It's certainly an interesting concept, but it's a shame there doesn't sound like much is on offer for solo players.

I'd also love to see And Yet It Moves return on Wii U eShop...let's hope Broken Rules makes enough money to make that a reality Smilie

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

Adam Riley said:
I'd also love to see And Yet It Moves return on Wii U eShop...let's hope Broken Rules makes enough money to make that a reality Smilie
Yeah, I'd absolutely love that too, AYIM was a great WiiWare title. Smilie

Andy (guest) 18.12.2012 15:33#3

@Adam Riley: Solo players will be more interested in the second part of the series, which is still in the making. The upcoming part focuses on the single-player experience, is story-driven and offers more background to the birds and rites, etc.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Hi Andy, thanks for the update! That certainly sounds extremely interesting Smilie I'll be sending some questions over to the team in the hope that they can answer them when there is time. Now I know to ask about Chasing Aurora Pt.2! Smilie

I hope this first chapter is selling inline with expectations.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Andy (guest) 20.12.2012 14:52#5

Let us know about any questions you have about the second part. We'll gladly try to answer all of them!


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