Actraiser

The other night, i simply had the itch to download and play some game on the Virtual Console. I wanted to go back to the past and unearth an old game that i loved playing. I wanted something with a lot of meat, that I could devote a couple hours towards and actually build something out of my time... which pretty much eliminated all systems except for the Super Nintendo.

I perused the selections. I had a real hankerin' to play Super Metriod, but the Virtual Console had a very surprising few games for the Super Nintendo and even less good ones to choose from. Actraiser just happened to be at the top of the list (it was alphabetical). Hot damn do I love this game. So, in went $8 to virtual land.

Actraiser, you say..?

Actraiser was either a launch title or a near-launch title for the Super Nintendo here in America. You basically play god and rid the world of evil monsters giving humanity a chance to develop and grow throughout the land.

The game is split up into 2 forms of gameplay. On one hand, your spirit descends to earth and inhabits a Valkyrie statue which you control in side-scroller fashion killing monsters and an ending boss. After that, on the other hand, your cherub partner floats above the surface as you direct the humans on which direction to expand their city.

Your level increases when the world reaches certain population milestones. As the human grow and evolve, they invent tools and things, such as bridges, music, warm clothes, medicines.. You can bring these inventions to other parts of the land which desperately needs advancement.

Bliss

Actraiser is an absolute pure joy... and part of what makes it so amazing is the wonderful soundtrack composed by Yuzo Koshiro, who got his start composing music for the Ys game series. Looking through his list of soundtracks, I think his most notable soundtrack just happens to be Actraiser. The music is quite powerful and engaging.

Other wonderful little tidbits of Actraiser is the sense of advancement in the humans. Once you initial expel monsters from a region, 2 humans are made and live in the main temple. When you direct them to build their town, they start off building little tents and huts. When they become slightly more advanced, they start building little houses out of wood and logs. When they reach their highest advancement, their homes are quite suited to the environment they live in. The desert region has stone houses capable of standing up against heavy winds and sands. The more forest regions have stronger brick houses.

A lot of love went into this game. ^_^

Overall...

If you have 800 wii points to spend and are looking for a game with a little bit of action, but a lot of building. Definitely check out Actraiser. It is truly a gem of the past.

___

Elsewise...

After playing Actraiser, I remembered that it was published by Enix, which is now Square Enix, which has openly said that they will NOT be releasing any Virtual Console games. Maybe they just changed their mind on Enix's properties during the 16-bit era and possibly other titles without the words Final or Fantasy in the title.

After playing this beautiful Enix title, I actually wanted to get my hands on Illusion of Gaia. Another game developed by the same team. I started looking some of this stuff up and Illusion of Gaia actually has several games in the series.

Apparently Illusion of Gaia is the second game of the series. Soul Blazer is the first game of the series and appears to present a fantastic link between Actraiser and Illusion of Gaia. I've never really heard of any of this before, so I'm quite exciting to see that Soul Blazer has the town building aspect of Actraiser, with the top-down action-rpg perspective of Illusion of Gaia. That's fricken amazing.

I've never played Soul Blazer before, but if this comes out on Virtual Console, I will buy it that Monday. I'm somewhat saddened that I hadn't heard of this game until now.

Wishlist..

Other games that I want to play on Virtual Console include: Illusion of Gaia (SNES), Super Metriod (SNES), Star Tropics (NES), Crusader of the Centy (Genesis), and Snatcher (Sega CD).

I'd also love to check out Terranigma, which is the sequel to Illusion of Gaia. Unfortunately, Enix lost its company in America before they were able to bring it over, or else we would have had it.

Also, I'll probably pick up Zelda: A Link to the Past and Castlevania 4 at some point. I'll probably make a stupid decision at some point and buy Super Mario Bros, as well.

Edit: Actually, i thought of 2 others games I'd like on Virtual Console: Secret of Mana (SNES) and SD Snatcher (MSX)

By the way..

In case you're wondering, I have 3 Virtual Console games with the recent purchase of Actraiser. My other two games are Gunstar Heroes and Sonic the Hedgehog 2




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