The task of striking a balance between complexity of interface and in-game challenge can be a difficult one for even some seasoned AAA developers, so when a game manages to strike that perfect sweet spot it deserves recognition. Aerial beat 'em up Aces Wild is just such a game, and from the moment the title card hits it makes no attempt to hide what it's all about: colorful, high-energy, over-the-top action. The provided tutorial is on the vague side, but after a little trial and error you'll be soaring through the air and dodging attacks between explosive kills with incredible, empowering ease. Difficulty ramps up along with your super meter, resulting in a seamlessly elegant risk/reward system that never feels unfair as its hand constantly pushes at your back, urging you forward to try for an even higher score, all of which is decorated by aesthetics that wear their Eastern inspirations proudly and evoke the best of both the Newgrounds Flash game boom and the beat 'em up cabinet games of arcades' glory days. Put briefly, Aces Wild is candy for the brain and a full calisthenics routine for the thumbs. It absolutely begs to be played.
February 22, 2014