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Ghostbear1111
08-09-16 06:15 AM
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janus
08-14-16 11:07 AM
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Act Raiser, an SNES gem

 
Game's Ratings
Overall
Graphics
Sound
Addictiveness
Depth
Story
Difficulty
Average User Score
8.9
8.2
9.2
8.4
6.8
6.3
6.2
8
8
7
8
8
8
4

08-09-16 06:15 AM
Ghostbear1111 is Offline
| ID: 1294622 | 963 Words

Ghostbear1111
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Ah, Act Raiser. The Super Nintendo finally brings us a mixed-platform game, with both side-scrolling hackin'n'slashin and top-down simulation, similar to SimCity.

In a far-off world, demons and evil are taking over. People have been driven away from their homes and only you are able to free them, drive off the evil beings, and provide the people with support to help them thrive and grow.

The beauty of ActRaiser is the balance between the side-scrolling action and the top-down adventure. The game is set up with regions of land as levels and the player must first clear the land from the demons who inhabit it. This is done but jumping, crouching, and playing a side scrolling game with the intent to destroy as many baddies as possible and defeat a boss character. Each region is defined by its geography, so we have a desert landscape, a jungle landscape, snow, mountains, and the levels are designed to reflect the traps and pitfalls each of those geographies have. The scrolling action is not especially hard but it is fun to watch and some of the timing challenges and enemies can be frustrating.

The town building simulation is, for me, the more enjoyable part of the game. There's an overhead map with a temple from which people build and develop towns. Each town has its own unique problems and needs the help of the main character to direct the people to harmony. The avatar of an angel with a bow and arrow helps lead people to build and develop while protecting them from roving monsters. The ultimate goal is to lead the towns to monster lairs and allow the townsfolk to battle the monsters and eliminate them from the map.

The trouble with the maps, though, is there are geographical obstructions to the path of building. In the desert, large areas are covered by sand. The jungle and forest regions are covered by trees. The arctic region is covered by snow, and so on. The angel has a limited amount of mana to cast spells and eliminate these obstructions and allow people to continue building. Part of the game is simultaneously building and helping people and battling monsters. Those monsters fly and do different damage to the people's town, carrying off villagers, destroying buildings, burning fields of wheat, and so on.

Another clever aspect of the game is the connection between the action and the simulation. The number of hit points the side-scrolling warrior has is based on the population of the towns you grow. So the more people and the more successful the towns are, the more HP you have to battle enemies. There are also treasures discovered by people if you lead them to the right spots and those translate into spells and attacks for the warrior to use when battling new enemies.

Lastly, another fun element of the town-building portion is the development of the habitations, buildings, and farms. When towns first start, they have either primitive wood huts or stone buildings. As more and more demon lairs are destroyed by the people, their technology and their building skills improve. They can build better houses that increase the population and they grow better food to feed more people. It's fun to build a town, see the different buildings, and encourage your people to create.

MUSIC: ActRaiser came out for the SNES in 1990 and it was a game-changer with music. The score reflected the action of the side-scrolling with aggressive, quick-beat music and you could feel yourself actually in the environment, swinging a sword, casting a spell, and battling for your people in the middle of nowhere to help them establish a new village. The music of the simulation portion was slower based, enjoyable, and helped you focus on the building and defense parts of the game. The score is well-written and enjoyable. It was very impressive for the SNES system at the time as well.

DEPTH: As you play, you discover a number of inter-connection between the platform and the simulation play. You think "Oh, I see what they did there," and you smile at the game. It is full of small gems hidden throughout the game. If you don't spend time exploring and letting things run their course, it is best enjoyed with a game guide to save you a few minutes.

PLAYTIME: If you take your time and slow down and enjoy, ActRaiser takes 3+ hours. It's not a long game and it provides enough fun, enough action, and enough novelty to be played once, enjoyed, and revisited a few months later. I play it through once or twice a year and it's always a treat to go back and play. It isn't a Final Fantasy monster that takes 20+ hours and you can blitz through it in under two if you were in a hurry. It's fun, it's quick, and you can get on with your day.

DIFFICULTY: The only trouble is once you figure it out, the game isn't hard. There's not an option, once you beat it, to turn up the difficulty but even at the hardest levels it's still only moderately frustrating. Most people can handle the mechanics and understand the in-game physics. At that point, it is a matter of time before you beat it. The best way to challenge yourself is to not allow the towns to build up so you may deny the side-scrolling warrior crucial HP.

ActRaiser is one of those games everyone should play. It is easy to understand, it's fun to play, it's geared for single-player, and you can check it off your SNES list. It is often found in the Top 30 or Top 25 best games for Super Nintendo. It is well worth the experience and good fun.
Ah, Act Raiser. The Super Nintendo finally brings us a mixed-platform game, with both side-scrolling hackin'n'slashin and top-down simulation, similar to SimCity.

In a far-off world, demons and evil are taking over. People have been driven away from their homes and only you are able to free them, drive off the evil beings, and provide the people with support to help them thrive and grow.

The beauty of ActRaiser is the balance between the side-scrolling action and the top-down adventure. The game is set up with regions of land as levels and the player must first clear the land from the demons who inhabit it. This is done but jumping, crouching, and playing a side scrolling game with the intent to destroy as many baddies as possible and defeat a boss character. Each region is defined by its geography, so we have a desert landscape, a jungle landscape, snow, mountains, and the levels are designed to reflect the traps and pitfalls each of those geographies have. The scrolling action is not especially hard but it is fun to watch and some of the timing challenges and enemies can be frustrating.

The town building simulation is, for me, the more enjoyable part of the game. There's an overhead map with a temple from which people build and develop towns. Each town has its own unique problems and needs the help of the main character to direct the people to harmony. The avatar of an angel with a bow and arrow helps lead people to build and develop while protecting them from roving monsters. The ultimate goal is to lead the towns to monster lairs and allow the townsfolk to battle the monsters and eliminate them from the map.

The trouble with the maps, though, is there are geographical obstructions to the path of building. In the desert, large areas are covered by sand. The jungle and forest regions are covered by trees. The arctic region is covered by snow, and so on. The angel has a limited amount of mana to cast spells and eliminate these obstructions and allow people to continue building. Part of the game is simultaneously building and helping people and battling monsters. Those monsters fly and do different damage to the people's town, carrying off villagers, destroying buildings, burning fields of wheat, and so on.

Another clever aspect of the game is the connection between the action and the simulation. The number of hit points the side-scrolling warrior has is based on the population of the towns you grow. So the more people and the more successful the towns are, the more HP you have to battle enemies. There are also treasures discovered by people if you lead them to the right spots and those translate into spells and attacks for the warrior to use when battling new enemies.

Lastly, another fun element of the town-building portion is the development of the habitations, buildings, and farms. When towns first start, they have either primitive wood huts or stone buildings. As more and more demon lairs are destroyed by the people, their technology and their building skills improve. They can build better houses that increase the population and they grow better food to feed more people. It's fun to build a town, see the different buildings, and encourage your people to create.

MUSIC: ActRaiser came out for the SNES in 1990 and it was a game-changer with music. The score reflected the action of the side-scrolling with aggressive, quick-beat music and you could feel yourself actually in the environment, swinging a sword, casting a spell, and battling for your people in the middle of nowhere to help them establish a new village. The music of the simulation portion was slower based, enjoyable, and helped you focus on the building and defense parts of the game. The score is well-written and enjoyable. It was very impressive for the SNES system at the time as well.

DEPTH: As you play, you discover a number of inter-connection between the platform and the simulation play. You think "Oh, I see what they did there," and you smile at the game. It is full of small gems hidden throughout the game. If you don't spend time exploring and letting things run their course, it is best enjoyed with a game guide to save you a few minutes.

PLAYTIME: If you take your time and slow down and enjoy, ActRaiser takes 3+ hours. It's not a long game and it provides enough fun, enough action, and enough novelty to be played once, enjoyed, and revisited a few months later. I play it through once or twice a year and it's always a treat to go back and play. It isn't a Final Fantasy monster that takes 20+ hours and you can blitz through it in under two if you were in a hurry. It's fun, it's quick, and you can get on with your day.

DIFFICULTY: The only trouble is once you figure it out, the game isn't hard. There's not an option, once you beat it, to turn up the difficulty but even at the hardest levels it's still only moderately frustrating. Most people can handle the mechanics and understand the in-game physics. At that point, it is a matter of time before you beat it. The best way to challenge yourself is to not allow the towns to build up so you may deny the side-scrolling warrior crucial HP.

ActRaiser is one of those games everyone should play. It is easy to understand, it's fun to play, it's geared for single-player, and you can check it off your SNES list. It is often found in the Top 30 or Top 25 best games for Super Nintendo. It is well worth the experience and good fun.
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08-14-16 11:07 AM
janus is Offline
| ID: 1295420 | 53 Words

janus
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You started your review very well by giving in-depth explanations of how the game works. It's not my kind of game, but if it had been I would have definitely tried it out. Unfortunately, you spent (in my view) too little time evaluating the other metrics (music, depth, etc.) which is a shame.
You started your review very well by giving in-depth explanations of how the game works. It's not my kind of game, but if it had been I would have definitely tried it out. Unfortunately, you spent (in my view) too little time evaluating the other metrics (music, depth, etc.) which is a shame.
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