Review by MFields1978

Reviewed: 02/13/20

Oh The Mighty Has Fallen

When the first Actraiser was released, it was a very early Super NES title. In fact, it was advertised before the system even came out. The graphics were simply mind blowing. It was games like this that would make a kid salivate to have one of these systems. Then the game blew away our expectations as not only did it have superior graphics but the awesome sound and godly soundtrack was unmatched to this day. So naturally, they released a sequel.

So what happened?

Actraiser 2 felt like a step down to the series. Before I get into that, heres the story to the game. The final demon from the last game who I think is named Tanza or something is resurrected and is followed by thirteen demons to terrorize the land. Now the winged Cupid from the last game will put an end to these demons and save the world once and for all.

Now let me start by saying that I hated this game as a kid. Now as an adult, I like a lot of things about it. The main hero being this masculine angel with a sword and shield. The graphics and sound are still killer. The backgrounds especially as one stage has you in this town underwater where people are frozen in stone. Then the second part of it has this floating demon head roaming in the background and haunts you throughout the stage until you fight by a giant nun statue.

Like the first game, there are different towns you go through with a backstory given to you by this angel in a floating temple. Like one town has this king possessed king waging wars and the whole stage is fire and ash with guards attacking you every which way. It’s really pretty cool.

Just about everything is fine in the game including the music. It’s not as good or as memorable as the first game. The victory music doesn’t feel as powerful on this one either. It’s still good, though.

No, the main flaw is the controls. It feels very slow and sluggish. You’ll have to rely a lot on gliding down but even that can be difficult to master. It doesn’t help when your winged dude does this slide at the end. Then, to make matters worse, he walks so incredibly slow. He walks like an old man. For a game as hard as it is, it would help if your main guy was quicker to get out of the way. It’s more frustrating than it needs to be and makes the game a chore to play.

Actraiser 2 could have been a great follow up to a classic game. It focuses on more of the action stuff and omits the town building stuff in the last game. The company made this more for the American market but figured the town building was too boring for them. They also increased the challenge because there was a misconception that American gamers like challenge. Even on Easy Mode, you’ll be lucky to complete it. It would be a lot more fair if they fix the controls. Challenge is one thing, but having a character too frustrating to control is another.

Still it’s not a bad sequel and it’s too bad we never got a trilogy out of this. From the way it looks, the only way we will ever see a third game is through Kickstarter.

Rating: 6

Product Release: ActRaiser 2 (US, 11/30/93)

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