I’ve decided Aquaria needs more press.
It’s amazing so far, and extremely polished. So far, meaning about six hours into the game, but the quality is apparent, even in the first hour of play. The artwork, the animation, the attention paid to the interface, the intuitive controls, and the storytelling are all excellent. It’s only more amazing when I realize I’m talking about an exploration type game, in the vein of the two dimensional Castlevania and Metroid series.
I normally dislike these games, mainly because I do run into the problem of them being “too big.” However, Aquaria handles this beautifully by allowing me to annotate the map at any time. Which is great, because I have a habit of putting these games on the shelf in lieu of a more twitchy title. By the time I get back around to remembering where I am in games of this sort, I am so lost that I’m better off starting over again.
But I have the feeling that I’ll be continuing with Aquaria for a while.
It’s the the voice acting. Jenna Sharpe really brings the character of Naija to life. Her performance is amazing, and to be honest, she’s really carrying the game to greater heights. The game is already well crafted. Now it’s being performed with the caliber of voice acting that it really deserves. Kudos to Jenna Sharpe.
She also played the part of Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid, another character I really liked, but for different reasons.
So in short. Buy Aquaria.
I’m about six hours in, and I just like playing it.
Update: Another couple of hours in and OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS AWESOME. Surprisingly dark storyline so far, too. Not going to ruin it. You should just play. There’s a mac client, too.