Review of Aqua Aqua
These days everything seems to hinge on the quality of a games graphics, often at the expense of game play. It makes a change to see a game where the rulebook has been thrown out of the window and playability has become the most important criteria. This is what the developers of Aqua Aqua: Wetrix 2 have done.
Probably best described as a combination of 3D Tetris, Populous and perhaps a little bit of Sim City, Aqua Aqua is an interesting beast. The Training Mode offers a very good introduction to the games concepts, which basically revolve around building a 3D landscape using Tetris style blocks. These can be rotated and then placed so as to form lakes which hold water falling from the top of the screen. Fireballs are introduced which evaporate the water, rainbows are created when enough water has been collected, and bombs cause large-scale destruction if placed just in the wrong place. Create a deep enough lake, and a Lake Mate will live in it swimming around and increasing the score…
Sounds strange doesnt it? I couldnt agree more, however start a couple of the Training exercises and thats it! Youre hooked! Obviously, they dont have to be completed, but they explain the aim of the game pretty well and it saves having to spend time reading the manual.
Have you finished Training yet? Great, on with the game… Story and Quick Puzzle provide the basis for one player gaming, being essentially the same, except that Story mode includes monster attacks and completion is rewarded with several secret levels being unlocked. Two player gaming is also catered for, with each players land being shown in vertical split screen. Unfortunately the game trips up a bit here since the lands are quite large, making them difficult to see.
Start playing and all is not quite as it seems. The idea is pretty basic, but can be devilishly difficult to get right and be good at. Just as things are apparently going well, either you place a block in just the wrong place, an earthquake happens destroying most of the landscape, or a monster attacks..! Frustrating ? Hell yes, but its addictive nature will bring you back again and again for just one more go.
The graphics in the game are crystal clear and super smooth, but pretty basic using plain, bold colours to define everything. No complex textures here… They could be described as almost Nintendoesque in style but this doesnt really affect the games appeal, and photo realistic graphics arent really an issue in a puzzle game. There are some rather smart effects though, with clear water splashing about, bombs exploding and rainbows appearing.
The sound and music are both functional. Some of the music is pretty New World in style, and instantly forgettable. At least its not some Rock/Techno crossover… The sound affects complement the style of the game, being basic but well executed, and the developers have used the vibration function of the DualShock to good effect. When an earthquake takes place, the pad practically shakes out of your hands.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Aqua Aqua' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by James Goode © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 40 Aqua Aqua in-game screenshot slideshow
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