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original ActRaiser It was a really original release. With Quintet’s platform action launched with Super Nintendo at the end of 1990 PopulatedThe world-building of style was quickly hailed as a stone-cold classic, and thirty years later, it’s amazing that it never improved.Direct connection Actraiser 2 Indiscriminately abandoned the “God’s Sim” section and the recent “spiritual successor” SolSeraph I tried to catch the same magic but failed.Then, in September 2021, Square Enix suddenly dropped a shadow. ActRaiser Renaissance, Quintet (the studio has been disbanded for a long time), but a complete remake of the original game developed by Sonic Powered, the most well-known Japanese outfit for it. Boku wa Koukuu Kanseikan: Airport Hero series.
ActRaiser Renaissance holds a unique two-genre setup for the 1990 edition, allowing players to free the world from the evil clutches of Dark Lord Tanzura, who cruelly conquered several areas through his loyal submarines. Take on the role of the benevolent God-Lieutenant. Each area has two different gameplay styles. First, you need to take the form of a warrior character-essentially your physical embodiment on Earth-and work on the side-scrolling action section that culminates in boss battles. When you do this, the game switches to a top-down view of the region and directly controls the talkative angel helper. Here you can use angels to defeat the resurrected aerial monsters with holy arrows and guide the growth of your place of residence. The goal is to find and work on a second side-scrolling section, defeat the Tanzura champions in the area, and bring lasting peace and prosperity before moving to the next location and repeating the process.
Sonic Powered has significantly expanded the range of both Actraiser Renaissance gameplay styles. In the action sequence, the character’s move set has been expanded to make things feel more restrictive. For example, you can use the “L” button to backdash. This is great for dodging boss blows. The basic attack has also been upgraded. If you push forward while repeatedly pressing the attack, the character will perform a rush attack at the end of the combo, and if you push down and attack during the jump, a powerful downward slash will be executed. Pushing up and attacking triggers an aerial attack, perfect for dealing with enemies on the platform directly above. All of this contributes to a much more flexible and less “rigid” level of control than was found in the 1990 original.
Also new in the Actions section is the ability to collect gems from fallen enemies and boxes around each level. These enhance your attack and magical abilities, eventually boosting to 100% of the base level, as well as gaining additional “revival” at that particular level. This creates a system that becomes more powerful as it takes longer to find enemies at each level. Therefore, you are much more likely to defeat the boss in the end. Of course, you can simply dash to your boss and ignore the gems, but in the end the fight will be more difficult for you.
The side-scrolling stage itself has been completely modified, expanded more than before, and comes with an optional branch path to hide collectibles that enhance statistics. Bosses also boast a variety of attack patterns that require entirely new tactics when compared to the corresponding bosses in the SNES version.That means the original fans still find a fresh challenge here, even if some of the bosses do. a bit Due to its wide repertoire of movements, it’s easy to defeat this time (difficulty topics offer tough challenges with default settings, but you can switch between difficulty levels at will).
The meaningful changes implemented in the side-scrolling section are inferior to the overhauls designed by Sonic Powered in the strategic part of the game. The core mechanism is the same as it was in 1990, but it relies heavily on “miracles” such as lightning and sunlight to change the terrain and make it habitable for people. The scope of these segments has expanded dramatically. , Each region offers at least 2 hours of gameplay. This is a significant step up from the SNES version.
In Actraiser Renaissance, each location has its own character cast. This includes the townspeople and special “champions” that are essential to the overall plot of the game and can be leveled up as you reach your goals. After “quitting” the region, yourself. Your angels also have more powerful charge shots, and you can boost miracles at the expense of SP to improve their potency. Another neat wrinkle is that the HP, SP, and materials produced by your people must be physically collected by an angel to add to your stock.
In addition to the basic goal of expanding the town and closing the monster-producing hideout (with a neat touch, you are now short to achieve the latter, rather than being done automatically by your people. You can work on the action segment.) In the “Tower Defense” section, the most controversial element of the ActRaiser Renaissance, you need to build a fort around the town to withstand enemy attacks. During these parts of the game, your angels are powerless, instead you temporarily advance your aforementioned upgradeable fort (range from the gatehouse to the magic tower that shoots fireballs) and your enemies. You have to rely on a series of fences that can be blocked. You can use the power of miracles to attack your enemies, but the most powerful tool at your disposal is the “champion” character, who can guide you through the map to tackle the most pressing issues.
If there are any parts of ActraiserRenaissance that can annoy the original hardcore fans, it’s these sections. They’re fun enough and won’t last for years, but they feel too big as part of gameplay. At each location you will notice that you are playing them several times to advance the plot. This is repeated more and more. However, you can mitigate this problem by introducing different types of forts and fences. You can summon up to two additional champions from other areas you have released. Many strategies are also included here. You can use the Gatehouse and Palisade to stop the advance of enemies on the ground. You can also unleash the lightning bolts and dispatch them all at once when they gather. Similarly, you can use these structures to occupy enemies and assign champions combat missions elsewhere on the map. Much deeper than it first appears, it’s a lot of fun getting into the swing of things.
Actraiser Renaissance presentations can cause controversy among as many fans as enhanced gameplay. In most cases this is a significant improvement. The new anime style character artwork is great and every cast member has a very detailed portrait. This includes townspeople who are constantly engaged in surprisingly well-written conversations. In the SNES original, these were just small sprites, so it’s nice to see them given more personality here. Your champions are also interesting individuals, each with their own backstory and motivation to come to your help (some of these designs, such as cowboy Alonso, in other “high fantasy” casts. On the other hand, it feels very out of place). It’s also good to see different visual diversity between regions of the game. Buildings are almost unique to each location.
Unfortunately, the side-scrolling action section doesn’t work for the overall presentation. They look like 2.5D in nature, but in reality everything is pre-rendered. That is, many of the enemies and bosses show impressively smooth animations, but at the same time they look pretty rough. For example, the protagonist has a fairly pixelated, low-resolution look. The stage design is similarly inconsistent. Fillmore’s opening forest level has some impressive lighting effects, with sunlight shining through the trees in the background, but the stage has an ugly, pre-rendered look, like a cheaply made smartphone game. Looks like (we need to add that Actraiser Renaissance is also available for iOS and Android at this point).
To make matters worse, the action segment unfortunately suffers from jerky scrolling. It’s not enough to prevent you from actually enjoying it, but if you’re only looking at 2D sprites on a flat background, there’s no excuse for this kind of performance. Keep in mind that this isn’t just a Switch issue, as scrolling is patchy for other formats as well. I’m working on a topic of technical quirks, but the load times and the entire world map when moving between regions can be a bit terrible.
Part of the package that is completely and completely beyond rebuke is the soundtrack. Yuzo Koshiro, the legend of video game music, is back, offering a reconstructed version of his original music and some all-new compositions. With a neat touch, the SNES music is still included and can be turned on and off during gameplay-there’s also a 16-bit rendition of the new track. Both versions of the soundtrack are so great that it’s really hard to choose between them when playing the game.
The updated graphics style and jerky scrolling don’t give a great first impression, and some may feel that the “Tower Defense” section is given too much screen time, but Actraiser Renaissance is the final one. Since last year it has been successful as an attempt to update the Solid Gold Classic. Two completely different gameplay styles rarely combine this effectively. Extensions introduced by developer Sonic Powered actually improve things. Combat in the action section will be more fun, but the “god sim” part of the game will be deeper thanks to a thoughtful gameplay upgrade. To conclude, Yuzo Koshiro’s music, available in both SNES and reconstructed formats, is spectacular. Although not perfect, Actraiser Renaissance is favored by the original fans and gets a lot of new fans along the way.
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