Aero Tales Online Impressions: It Sucks

One of the most frustrating first couple of hours in a game.

Aero Tales Online is a deeply unfun game, and the magic of it is that it only takes you up until about level 5 to realize how bad the trip is genuinely going to be.

Aero Tales Online can best be summed up as mobile trash, and low tier mobile trash at that. It feels like a prototype of a 2003 Chinese free to play game that got found on a zip drive and uploaded with no further development. I’m actually impressed to an extent as to the hubris of the developers looking at what they had and deciding it qualified as a product worth releasing to the public. The reason I call it mobile trash is because it is mobile trash, a game made for the Google Play store and ported to PC.

My biggest gripe with Aero Tales Online is that the game has about a 30 foot draw distance, even at maximum settings, and the game doesn’t render NPCs until you’re basically on top of them. Sometimes not until you’ve literally walked through them. It makes the game look dismally incompetent because it presents you with massive wide open areas and 90% of the screen is covered in empty flat landscape because the game isn’t capable of rendering anything in. For questing it makes the game tedious and annoying because you literally have to walk over every inch of the terrain in order to find the right NPCs you need to kill instead of just seeing them and walking over. Like every other video game.

Again, it all makes sense given this game is mobile trash. And because Aero Tales Online is mobile trash, it has a massive cash shop with incredibly overpriced pets, mounts, wings, inventory slots, respecs, and more. The game itself is completely bereft of life and quality control, intelligent thought, and content, but the cash shop sure is bumping. I bought a game called Frogun where the whole game costs $11 and has infinitely more playability than Aero Tales Online, yet this MMO has the gall to ask me $20 for a mount.

When I say that Aero Tales Online feels like a prototype, you can tell the developers didn’t think about a lot of basic mechanics or weren’t able to put them in due to time or programming knowledge. Combat has almost no sounds to it, especially not when getting hit or hitting enemies, or picking up items, leaving the whole thing sounding quiet and boring. Certain areas don’t seem to have population control, a mechanic most early MMOs figured out in 1996, leading to random areas being absolutely flooded with mobs (see above) that only seems like less because the game doesn’t render in more than 30 feet.

Meanwhile other mobs, specifically those you seem to need for quests, happen to disappear at whim. I’ve literally seen mobs just blink out of existence as I walk up to them. The in-game maps suck and are not at all accurate or descriptive to the layout of the map itself. The game loves preventing my controls from working for seemingly no reason at all.

My time-limited cat pet died and I’ve seen no presentable explanation on how to get it back. It’s hard to tell whether an area has been cleared out because there’s just no mobs there or because a player recently rolled through, because you’re bound to not see any players thanks to the game’s trash-tier draw distance.

I have a feeling that the cash shop for this game is going to get much worse, while the game itself is not going to improve dramatically in terms of quality and content. Call it intuition from someone who has literally seen hundreds of these near clone games launch and die to the sorrow of the dozen Brazilian teenagers who seem to jump from title to title and be really big fans because it’s the best looking thing their $50 pharmacy-bought netbook can play.

Also speaking to the game’s incompetent design is in the gendered clothing. Now most MMOs, even the lowest budget free to play garbage we’d normally see published in the west by Webzen or Reality Squared is competent enough to program in a pair of leather shoes that might render a slightly different model if put on a male or female avatar. Aero Tales meanwhile is so deficient in functionality that you get dropped (M) and (F) gendered generic gear that can only be worn by that gender. It boggles my mind that a game so wholly functionless that it’s being topped in quality by bottom tier free to play games from 2003 is a new title that was started recently. It’s like a new automobile manufacturer popping up and announcing a car with less functionality than the Model T.

It’s also not an anime MMO, despite what the title calls itself. There is nothing anime-inspired about Aero Tales Online outside of the high-schooler MSPaint drawings that sometimes pop up on the loading screen.