Review by GSquared
Gather 'round kids! Today I'll tell you how to break a great game!
Alright, I love Actraiser. Actraiser 1, that is. This game is a horrible excuse for a sequel. Why? Well, I'll tell you why. Once upon a time, in the year 1992, a company named Enix made a classic game called Actraiser, which combined Sim elements with a healthy dose of Castlevania-esque action, with a dash of overhead shooter. The game was awesome, with rigid, but great, jumping mechanics, tight control, great pacing, and a killer soundtrack. The character, who was fully clothed at the time, was the Master, an entity sent from the heavens to rid the world of evil, and he did a really good job. Now, 13 demons have resurrected the Master's arch enemy, Tanzra, so now he has to break out the sword and introduce Tanzra to a world of hurt, and he also took his shirt and pants off for reasons unknown. Sounds solid, right? Yeah, it would be solid if they hadn't screwed up so badly.
Graphics: We'll get the superficial stuff out of the way first. The graphics are really nice, and you really get to appreciate them since the game pretty much runs in slow motion, but more on that later. The Master is animated pretty well, although he seems to have lost his clothes and taken an armored skirt in favour of them, like Simon Belmont, without the breastplate. The enemies all look pretty good with a lot of colour and detail, and the same goes for the backgrounds. If only the rest of the game were this good. The graphics get an 8/10.
Sound: Pretty standard classical, and the sound effects are all straight out of Soul Blazer, which are all out of Actraiser 1, and they were annoying there, and they're annoying here. The sound gets a 6/10.
Gameplay: How? How did things go so wrong? The control is awful, especially the double jump thing, which could have been cool had it been implemented properly, but no, it just adds a whole new level of frustration to the game. Trust me, I know the line between ''Requires skill to properly use'', like Castlevania and Super Ghouls and Ghosts, and ''What a stupid idea'' like this game. Basically, he jumps normally, but tap the button again and he flys up and up.... and does a nose dive into the ground. What? I thought the purpose of a jump was to elevate oneself, not face plant into the cold ground. But yeah, it is slightly controllable, but ot enough to make it useful in any way, shape, or form. This pretty much ruins the game, that and the pacing. The pacing... Dear god this game is SSSSSLLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW! The Master just sort of walks along absentmindedly, I can just imagine what's going through his head. ''Oh look, a flower, let me just slowly march toward it, it's such a beautiful day, there's really no need to run fast and miss anything, I mean, there are hoards of demons after me, it's only natural that that ninety year old man with a broken hip is beating me in this race. Dum de dum.'' Yup, slow. Too slow. I remember the master used to run at a pretty impressive speed. I guess his metal skirt is weighing him down or something.
Replay: Why? Don't even buy this game, let alone play it twice.
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