I saw this game being posted on a certain message board the other day, and decided to watch the release trailer for it. I was instantly blown away by how crazy it looked, and so I decided to give the demo version a try.
After one small session with the game's demo, I instantly fell in love with it and bought a copy. Aces Wild is the result of what happens when you mix Dragonball Z, Battletoads and any bullet-hell Shump you can think of. The gameplay is easy to learn, hard to master, is fast-paced as hell and will make your hands screams in agony, but you'll enjoy every second of it. Unlike most beat 'em ups, Aces Wild is more vertical and has a very free-form battle system where you can dash all over the screen, knock and juggle enemies into the air, perform two different kinds of counter attacks to negate all sorts of damage and other gameplay elements that make the game highly unique and entertaining. It also has a risk vs. reward system where defeating enemies while taking minimal hits will increase your damage rank and score multiplier, but as your rank increases, so the the amount of damage you take from enemies but you also take more damage, so you need to stay on your toes whenever you're playing well.
In the later levels, the game really gets intense when you have to pay close attention to your positioning on the screen, as enemies will spring traps and limit your area of movement. Not to mention that enemies can also perform the same moves that you as a player are capable of, including counters, dodges and dashes. This game will have no problem handing your ass back to you on a silver platter and you may get frustrated a bit, but it's a great feeling when you really start to pick up on enemy attack patterns and nail that final blow on an enemy which sends them flying halfway across the planet.
If you're a fan of Dragonball Z, bullet-hell Shumps or just Beat 'em Up games in general, you owe it to yourself to buy this game, or at least try out the demo on the game's website. I can't wait to see how this game will expand in the future, possibly with game modes, characters and the promise of netplay co-op.
This game is easily the best $10 I've spent all year.