Revue “Actraiser Renaissance” – Do you believe in divine miracles? – TouchArcade
I did not expect to see ActRaiser again. A memorable and successful early release for the 16-bit Super NES in North America, ActRaiser hasn’t had much luck since. It was followed by an incredibly misguided sequel that seemingly killed off the franchise. Then its developer, Quintet, vanished under mysterious circumstances, taking much of its intellectual property with it. The game’s publisher, Enix, merged with Square and the new company seemed to have little interest in massive chunks of Enix’s historic production. ActRaiser got a port of its action scenes only in Japan for multifunction phones and an early-in-life version of the Nintendo Wii. And then there was silence.
There is a lot of talk about the legal status of Quintet’s library among fans of this developer who burned so brilliantly and briefly. Is it true that Square Enix does not want to re-edit the games? Or is Square Enix can not? At least as far as the original is concerned ActRaiser, this question received a fairly decisive answer a week ago. During one of Nintendo’s Direct presentations, familiar music started playing. Wow, a remake of the original ActRaiser, here we go today? And not only on Nintendo Switch, but more or less all including iOS? Cared for. Very, very neat.
This was just the start of the Renaissance actress ($ 19.99) roller coaster ride. Almost immediately after the initial excitement, people started to criticize his visuals. It has the appearance of a PlayStation Portable 2.5D game, far from completely modern, but also far from the attractive pixel art of the original game. Ah, but Yuzo Koshiro was brought back to do some new arrangements of the soundtrack, and they’re as amazing as you’d expect. But wait, who is the developer? Sonic Powered? The people from the airport and the railroad simulation? And wait, they amended some things? Why? Add in some slightly choppy scrolling in the action stages and mixed feelings on the extended simulation segments, and the first reports on this remake weren’t great. No more bad luck, it seemed.
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you Renaissance actress is perfect. That jerky scrolling is definitely there, although better in the mobile version than others. I don’t think the game looks terrible, but it certainly isn’t going to impress many with its chosen art style. It’s certainly a much longer game, with a few significant changes to several of its systems, and for those who liked the fast paced and simplicity of the original. ActRaiser these could be decisive. Specific to the mobile version, those who play without a controller are likely to find the action steps a little less enjoyable than with the button controls. At least we have controller support in this version. Thanks for that, Square Enix.
So yes, not perfect. But I will say this, having played the whole game twice on two different platforms last week: this is a parcel better than I expected. If you can put aside your ideas on how a remake of ActRaiser should be, I think you will find Renaissance actress be a great, bold take on the concept of the original game. This is a remake, but it doesn’t try to be strictly true to every aspect of the original. It feels like a point halfway between a remake and a sequel, and in that regard, I think it’s considerably more fascinating than the real following.
ActRaiser was still a strange duck. You embody the Master, who is essentially the divinity of the world. You’ve been sleeping for a long time, and an evil force named Tanzra has taken over the world during this time. Humanity barely clings to the monsters that roam the earth. Now that you’re awake, you need to give people a hand. Although you spend most of the game in your Sky Palace, you can send your Assistant Angel to act as a liaison between you and your followers to guide them and answer their prayers. You can also use your powers to generate miracles like rain, thunder, etc. And when it’s time to familiarize yourself a bit more with the legions of Tanzra, you can send your conscience to a warrior statue that is quite capable of taking down even the biggest of beasts.
You can either think of it as a side-scrolling action game with simulation segments between stages, or as a simulation game with side-scrolling action segments that pop up every now and then. I wouldn’t argue much with either interpretation. This unique mix made the game stand out in a meaningful way, even though neither side of the equation was best in class. He did both things well enough and elegantly enough to make the game a brilliant and singular whole. But putting the specs critical, you could tell the action scenes were a bit stiff and featured bosses that were too easy to chew with magic. You could argue that the simulation segments were a bit too simplified for their own good. There was room to build on this game.
Renaissance actress take advantage of this space to grow. The action scenes are smoother and more exciting to play thanks to improved enemy behaviors and an expanded set of moves for The Master. Boss fights in particular are much more interesting. Stages are redesigned and expanded, and you’ll also participate in brief actions during simulation segments when closing enemy lairs. I don’t like the bulky and deliberate nature of the original game, and it can be fun to easily clear bosses by spamming magic, but I’m also a huge fan of the approach. Renaissance took.
Simulation segments experience much larger changes. There are a lot more stories, on the one hand. They are also much longer. Although the main features are the same, a major new system has been added that completely changes the nature of these parts of the game. You will still have occasional attacks from monsters coming from lairs that you will have to take down with your angelic helper. But on top of that, there are times when you will have to defend yourself against full invasions. During these segments, your angel cannot use his weapon. Instead, you need to build defenses the best you can in advance, lead the city hero to fend off enemies, and use your miracles when and where you can to help turn the tide. Oh yeah, that’s tower defense, folks. And there is a parcel of it.
Most of the other changes in the simulation sections feed into this new system. Some buildings will generate certain resources, and you will need them to build and upgrade towers, keep your heroes healed, regenerate SP so you can use more miracles and place palisades. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about it all. I’m not a huge fan of tower defense games, so seeing this kind of gameplay take such an important place in a remake of a game that was nothing like it seemed strange to me. But in the end, I think it works. Thematically, it makes sense that these towns would be attacked by the Tanzra hordes. From a story perspective, it helps weave the new heroes into the fleshed-out narrative. And in terms of gameplay, it’s a solid way to expand the complexity and value of simulation segments. Now it matters to know what and where your subscribers are building. There are advantages to rebuilding with new structures beyond just increasing the population. These are all good things, in my opinion.
I certainly can’t deny that it makes for a very different game, however. It’s not the kind of remake that most video game fans will be used to, I think. And when such drastic remakes happened, they got bad enough that people were suspicious of the whole idea. But I watch what we got here in Renaissance actress and I appreciate not only its value as a game, but also as an idea of how this series could go forward. I’ll always appreciate the original game, but I can’t imagine a brand new full-priced game that adheres to its specifics. I can easily imagine the one that follows Renaissance actress. The one who improves his new ideas, builds on them and continues to grow. The key to a ActRaiser the sequel has never been to subtract, but at add. And that’s what this game does, even if it’s not strictly speaking a sequel.
If you’re looking for a carbon copy of the original game with an improved layout and nothing else important added, I’m afraid you don’t like Renaissance actress. It’s not that kind of remake, and personally I don’t think so should has been. But if you are okay with something with the flavor of ActRaiser, with the essence of the original but also a personality of its own, I think you’ll like this game. It has its flaws, especially in its visual presentation, and some of its new ideas might require a bit more work. precision. But, like the game it’s based on, it’s a rather unique game that draws you in powerfully as you spend time with it. There isn’t much like it out there, and it’s way better than other tributes like SolSeraph. And hey, this amazing music doesn’t hurt.