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 Post subject: The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human (XB1-PS4-NS-PC)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:13 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 228
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Time for another Shmuptroid. This time is The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human.

A giant worm! Now i know what Han Solo felt in The Empire Strikes Back!

Shmuptroids (Portmaneu of Shmup and Metroid) are a variation of the Metroidvania genre of games that combine the elements of Metroid (mostly Super Metroid) and some of the Castlevania games (Symphony of the Night and Order of Ecclesia)

Basic weaponry solds separately.

As soon as you start the game you'll notice one thing: You are completely disarmed! That's right. The game breaks the natural instinct of starting armed with a basic weapon to defend yourself, it was good to know that the first enemy that i'll fight is the first boss once i've installed the Harpoon. Also, it breaks with another natural ability of the game: It can't aim up due to its design. The Harpoon launcher is located on the bottom of the sub. So you'll be only able to aim down, left and right in a 180° rotation because the only way to fix that is to find the upper Harpoon completing the 360° aiming. ¿Why they didn't used the more functional concept of the Slug Mariner from Metal Slug 3?. Anyway. The Harpoon is your basic weapon and it comes with a charge function that makes your projectiles can fly larger distances depending on how long you hold the Trigger. You can attack with a long-low fire rated shot or a rapid-yet-short volley of harpoons.

Time to play Underwater Treasure Hunt for a while before a boss fight begin.

Like any Metroidvania, the game makes focus on exploration and item findings rather than the basic shooting stuff, hence the term Shmuptroid. As an exploration game you are not gonna find too much enemies to fight, only kill-able fishes and situations that require to find key weapons like the Saw to rip through vines and the Torpedo to destroy rocks that Sea Urchin's can't reach or they're unavailable. The sense of exploration is increased with the hidden corridors and tunnels leading to upgrades for your ship like Hull increasing or increasing the speed of auto-repairing. Another challenge situation is the corrosive vents/pipes, which can kill you almost instantly. Sometimes they are blocking the path to an Upgrade Crate, and you'll need the Thruster, which is the Dash feature of the game and a very useful tool for passing through those vents and moving at high speed. The only complaint is that the Thruster is limited to three dashes before reloading, that's another natural ability that is screwed up by absurd mechanics if we compare this with Alucard's back-dashing in Symphony of the Night and X/Zero's dash function in Megaman X. Other stage hazards that you'll find will be the mines and low visibility due to darkness, any of those are not too much of a trouble on their own, but there's parts in the game where they're put together and they will result in a cheap instant death situation.

That off-voiced Captain Maroon yelling "KISAMAAAAAAAAAA!!" you've heard was probably you.

Expect to die in this game, to die a lot beyond you can imagine, 'cos this game not just have "Turridamage", its even worse. For instance a boss like The Forgotten One can kill you with three quick hits with no recovery time after each hit. Although quick HP depleting by corrosion/magma damage is common in Super Metroid, in The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is even worse at the point of being virtually deadly to the touch. In Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission, lava/acid damage depletes Samus' life faster than a physical hit, but it still gives you plenty of time to escape. Unfortunately i can't say the same with this game. Flaws such as these makes me think they had the idea of making a Metroid-like damage chart, but they made it all wrong at the point of feeling almost unplayable.
Boss battles are not excent of flaws, i've already mentioned how quick you could die fighting The Forgotten One, but sometimes they reach levels of absurd difficulty, like the "Chain Gang" where you fight a swarm of sharks that will ram against you, and don't get me started with the final battle with The Guardian, 'cos its complete coward move after coward move. Imagine trying to dodge falling debris, moving through corrosive vents, avoiding instant-death electric wires and dodging bullets all in an enclosed space.

The only advantage of dying and starting back is that you keep the items you've got, i say this because unlike Super Metroid, if you try to go back and pick it up again, the upgrade crate will no longer be there. Also, if you die in the boss room you'll respawn in the boss room 'cos the game saves automatically without using the Save Station.

Bosses so big, you need a microscope to see where you are.

This problem is the worst,i know there's giant bosses in Metroidvanias like Belzebub in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Kraid in Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission, but in those games they used the multi-screens long room to give you a view of where are you stepping in. In this game, the camera zooms away way too far, making your submarine look microscopically small at the point of making you get too close to the TV screen and almost ruining your eyes in the process.

...and they falled away into the dark sea bottom. The marine snow continued to fall as it would cover them.

The ending of this game just suck, after defeating the last enemy, your submarine goes down, anyone would think there's a human settlement after all and the game will happily end. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as your submarine goes down, it will lose its gold armor reverting to its original form and is covered by the underwater moss, and since the last human is in the sub, all of mankind is already screwed up. The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.

There's also two challenges left to complete: One is the Hardcore mode, and other is to complete the game without picking the Upgrade crates that enlarge your health bar or increase the charging speed of your Harpoon. Whoever came up with those should be insane. One thing is being tough but fair, and another is being absurd. If with the upgrades is already a hard game, thinking of playing with low energy is basically suicidal and a premonition of thrown controllers and broken TV's, they're just No-no's despite being part of the game's achievements.

Hunt for the Red October II: Curse of Osiris

The graphics basically scream "home made", as we've got 16-bit like graphics that bring a colorful underwater atmosphere, combined with multiple layers with foreground and background effects. However, those foreground effects could be annoying in some instances as they block your visibility as we have 1 or 2 layers blocking your sub and makes you wonder if you are still moving in the right direction.

If you're expecting some In The Hunt styled soundtrack, then this is not gonna be the game for you as it brings a calm, quite obscure music with few instruments playing as if the game tries to pull a suspense atmosphere despite the relative calm of the underwater world, pretty much like Earth Atlantis did.

- The "Gold armor" obtained after picking all Upgrades makes the submarine resemble the "Yellow Submarine" of The Beatles.
- The name Osiris comes from the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion.

As a Shmuptroid, The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human has good ideas and a lot of potential, but in the end it has several flaws that make difficulty quite troublesome and irritating. Unless you're desperate for a Shumptroid/Metroidvania, pick this game, it is fun only during the item hunting part of the game, the rest is just forgettable, and don't bother with the Hardcore mode or trying to get the "Complete the game without Upgrade Crates" achievement, they're just not worthy.
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