Review by Squid Z

Reviewed: 04/03/02 | Updated: 04/03/02

A dismally average platformer

The original Actraiser stands as one the best games on the SNES, and it's sequel stands as one of the most forgettable, average games on the SNES, a disgrace and a true letdown to fans of the original.

Graphics: Slightly above average, but falling below the original's. Colors are generally varied, but all have a ''washed out'' look. Enemies and your character are pretty poorly animated, consisting of one or two frames of animation, and the detail is poor. Some of the bosses move fairly well though. Overall, drab, average graphics that are watchable, though don't stand out.

Sound: The great music of the original has been replaced by bland, forgettable background noise. The music of Actraiser was one of its greatest features, and it's been completely forgotten in the sequel. However, the game uses many of the original sounds from the first game, like the fireball sound, the sword swinging sound, and explosion sound, to name a few. Poor.

Replay: None that I know of. It's a challenge enough to beat it, and I can't comprehend why someone would want to do it again.

Presentation: Tries to capture the feeling of the first with an overworld map and fancy text, but can't pull it off convincingly. It feels like a poor imitation the original.

Concept/Innovation: None. I have no idea why the development team scrapped the sim mode (more on that later) and the great level design of the first's Act mode. Lazy, lazy concept, with no innovation to make it stand out amongst the numerous other SNES action-platformers.

Control: The original's control was fairly stiff, and the sequel stiffens the control even further. Your character moves slowly, and jumps even slower. If you happen to hit jump again in the air, you dive downward through the air, more often that not right into an enemy. The magic system requires you to hold the magic button and press a certain direction to release a certain attack. It's stiff, difficult, and far too slow to pull off in a game where the enemies attack you mercilessly.

Gameplay: Don't get me started. As mentioned previously, the Sim mode has been removed, and the great level design has been thrown out the door and stomped on, then lit on fire and crapped on by a sumo wrestler. Meanwhile, the game just haphazardly throws enemies at you with no regard to their placement or value. You slowly trudge through the levels hacking and slashing, hacking and slashing, no cool jumps (only impossible ones), obstacles or anything cool (like climbing the ice tree in the final level of the original). Average, boring gameplay.

Final: A dismally average game with no outstanding features to distinguish it from dozens of other games just like it. I should give it a 1 or 2 just for being a huge disappointment to fans of the original. Stripped of the novelty, the charm, the fun, the music, and the grandeur of the original, all that is left for the sequel to bear is an average presentation attempting to mask average gameplay. A sad, sad sequel that should (as it will) be forgotten.

Rating: 5

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