Actually isn't that bad. In fact, it's kind of good
Alright, I know starting a review with that type of header isn't likely to inspire a lot of confidence. But trust me on this one:
This game actually isn't that bad. In fact, it's kind of good?
A.R.E.S. feels straight out of the 90s in both design, story, fidelity, and - let's face it - name. It's an action side-scroller and you control a robot dude. You have access to several types of weapons (that you're never not spamming the entire level), and you use them to mow down hordes of enemies and the occasional boss. There are some RPG-lite elements, like weapon upgrading and new suits, but it's all pretty shallow.
It's short, and not all that hard. Its understanding of level design is...uh...questionable
. It's colorful and full of neon. Did I mention you're constantly firing guns? Like, all the time
That's it. That's all there is. But there doesn't need to be anymore, right? This isn't a "fake" retro game, there are no surprise plot twists or usage of ironic "bad design"
In fact, maybe that's why the experience felt so good: it was genuine. It felt like a dumb action game that was perfectly content providing that exact experience - a callback without all the "heh, remember THIS?!" that plagues so many others.
It's a fun game, and I think you'll have fun with it as well.