Real time strategy, platforming, and pure action all in one package with a great soundtrack. What more could you ask for in a super Nintendo game?
I'm not sure who recommended it to me first, but a few years ago someone told me about a game called "Actraiser." Never heard of it before, but I that’s how you find out about new games. Just a random recommendation. They told me it was "like castlevania" and there was "this part where you're an angel." That was about all they explained to me and after a little searching I found my own Actraiser on Super Nintendo. What I found was a great action platformer with some real time strategy parts.
Actraiser stars you, a mythological being who has to build up this planet's societies and rid the world of evil monsters. Bet you’ve never heard something like that before! The game play is two fold. First you play as an Angel who acts as your avatar. During this mode you place buildings, get your people to stop monster spawns, grow plants, and work your way towards a nice balanced society. I didn't have much trouble with those parts, just have to figure out what your people want and then deliver it to them. Then you're told there was a cavern or mysterious pit and that worse monsters lurk within there. So you yourself step down into these action platforming sections and battle monsters. One button jumps, one button attacks. Another button uses your magic, when you get those later in the game. At the end of each action level you fight a boss. Then its back to the towns. Do that over a few times and that's the game.
Game looks great and holds up well. The strategy mode is a little basic sure, but once you hit into the actual levels of the game they look awesome. Everything has this really cool "gothic" or "mythology" aesthetic. I like that. I find that stuff cool. From a art design aspect you couldn't sell me on a game better. Your guy packs his sword upright behind him and that's cool. All the boss monsters feel appropriate, some like the star constellation monster are better than others sure, but you get more good than bad. The music is catchy and proportionately epic. The bleeps and bloops when you attack monsters is great too. This game has the look and the sound of a video game. Everything has this atmosphere to it that makes it feel that much better.
It can be a little unforgiving. Some monsters take off too much damage. Spikes are there to slow you down taking off damage. Things can get overwhelming. If you like old games, chances are you know to play cautiously and to expect to die. Another complaint is the overheard strategy stages want you to do something specific and I had a little trouble figuring out what they wanted me to do. You have to build so many houses or position the roads in just a certain way. I also had a little trouble defending my towns from later monsters. One in particular could wipe out almost your entire town and force you to rebuild everything if you didn't kill him off quickly.
Only had one sequel titled "Actraiser 2," that took out the real time strategy elements. Actraiser should be easy to find a cartridge of, pretty sure its on virtual console. Go play Actraiser if you like "like castlevania" and want to play "this part where you're an angel." I think you'll like it, if you can get into it. Takes a few stages to really get into, but once I got into it, I was in until the very end. Great game.
Did you ever play Actraiser on Super Nintendo?
Plenty more screen shots in the gallery below.