The third game in the Aero The Acrobat series of cartoon platformers for the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo, developed by Iguana and published by Sunsoft. Zero, who fans of the series may remember was a villain in the previous games, leaves the service of his evil master and goes to protect his homeland from an army of killer robots.

The presentation style of the game is reminiscent of Cool Spot (especially the first level). The characters are large and very well animated, and the physics are fluid and bouncy. Zero is equipped with a limited number of shurikens (Shinobi style), and can also kick and punch, and perform a spin attack and a super dive (that can be directed in midair, requiring some skill).

The complete range of 16-bit special effects are on display, including parallax scrolling, composite sprites, palette changes, raster effects and even a few that I haven't seen before. (One that I thought was especially neat was a particle-style effect used to represent water splashes when Zero walks on a slimy platform.)

Largely ignored on its original release (the market wasn't exactly short of platformers), Zero is a well-crafted game that is extremely challenging (although occasionally you find yourself running into enemies that you couldn't possibly have dodged in time...) although the overall structure is rather linear.

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