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Review: Aero Porter for 3DS

Sections: 2D, 3DS, Developers, Exclusives, Game-Companies, Genres, Handhelds, Publishers, Puzzle

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Title: Aero Porter
Price: $4.99
System(s): 3DS
Release Date: November 29, 2012
Publisher (Developer): Level-5 (Vivarium Inc.)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone” for Mild Fantasy Violence

All I wanted to do was support Level-5. I wanted to buy its Guild01 games from the 3DS eShop to let the company know I was behind them 100% and that there’s a definite auidence here for the forthcoming Guild02 and any other games they want to release.

This meant buying Aero Porter. I was excited about it, at the time, and even chose to buy it before grabbing Crimson Shroud or Liberation Maiden. Now, after three and a half hours playing it, I want to trap Yoot Saito and everyone at Vivarium Inc. in a room with 800 pieces of brightly colored luggage constantly streaming down and not let them out until every piece has been sorted – but then I won’t tell them some have to be sifted by luggage tag color and not bag color and lock them in again when they sort it wrong.

Hey new baggage handler! Welcome to hell

Aero Porter is a fiendish puzzle game in which players run the baggage section of an airport. I think players are actually supposed to be the airport owners, but since I spent the entire time trapped in the luggage sorting room, I can’t be sure. Spending hours on end in the dark, sorting bag after bag does things to your memory.

Anyways, Aero Porter is based on the theory that successful luggage handling is what makes airports great. Depending on how advanced your airport is, you have between three and seven flights ready to take off. That means there are seven tiers. Each tier goes with one plane and is assigned a color. Players then have to get the right colored suitcases onto that plane. The carousel is constantly moving clockwise, and pressing the right shoulder button lowers an arm to let bags roll down one level, while pressing the left shoulder button allows them to move back up one level. The goal is to only load bags of the correct color onto their aircraft before the plane departs.

Of course, having that be the only challenge in Aero Porter would be too easy. The entire luggage system is powered by a generator which needs to be refilled with gas about once each shift. Not to mention there are also VIP passengers who think they’re better than everyone else and have special requests. Also, sometimes bombs show up in bags and players have to either blow to see which one doesn’t shake or check for a certain color bag to send it to the proper disposal unit.

If players, by some miracle, manage to pull it together, their international airport can even become home to his or her own customizable airline. These planes will then be sent out over StreetPass to make other players sweat. After over three hours though, I still haven’t unlocked my airplanes so good luck with that goal.

Aero Porter sweetly lures you in then turns into a monster.

First of all, that “Everyone” ESRB rating for Aero Porter is wrong. That rating should be a big, fat “Mature” because of all the foul language and graphic violence that will incur due to Aero Porter experiences. This game is Frustrating and will cause players to take out your displeasure on the people they do (and don’t) love.

Aero Porter starts out nice and friendly. The first few times I sorted luggage, everything was fine. Bags came down the ramps at a reasonable pace, I had plenty of fuel, VIP passengers had reasonable special requests and did I mention I wasn’t bombarded with baggage? Everything was fine until I did my job so well that my airport was upgraded to an international airport. The controls worked perfectly and everything was perfectly manageable.

Then the difficult spiked. No, spiked isn’t an accurate enough word to describe the way Aero Porter kicked things up. It’s as though the initial rounds were Saito and Vivarium’s way of trolling me. Get me all cushy and comfortable, make me think Aero Porter is possibly fun and awesome, then trap me in an abyss where I’m buried alive by multicolor luggage that may or may not roll or contain bombs. Good luck relying on the automated ramp to bail me out by rolling suitcases on down – it ran out of fuel moments after I was ditched here.

Aero Porter is just infuriating. I’ve played for three hours and twenty eight minutes and I still haven’t earned my own airline because it’s just too much. The bags are constantly coming, there’s always some VIP passenger demanding special treatment and costing me valuable progress if I can’t come through and the baggage turnstile is out of fuel again because somebody decided it’d be smart to have it run on a fuel-powered generator so now the lights are out and the pace has slowed to a crawl. None of that matters anymore though because two flights left without any luggage on them so now I’ve incurred hefty fines. What Aero Porter needed was a difficulty setting and an option to have the bag carousel powered by electricity. The game was too demanding to be any fun for me after the first hour or so.

This is what I’ve become – what Aero Porter has turned me into

Aero Porter and I are clearly engaged in a terribly abusive relationship. I hate how difficult it is. I despise the need to add fuel every round. I can’t stand how little time I have to sort bags. My stomach lurches every time some VIP has the nerve to ask me to sort their bags by miniscule luggage tag color rather than bag color. I rage quit after every round that fails to allow me to “level” up.

And yet, I keep coming back to it. Not out of loyalty or love, but because I know, deep down in my heart, that I am better than Aero Porter. I can beat it, damn it and I won’t be satisfied until I finally, finally earn my own airline. I guess I should give Aero Porter some kudos for that. At the very least, Vivarium Inc. and Yoot Saito made a game that got under my skin.

Site [Aero Porter]

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