ActRaiser (Super Nintendo) Retro Review
Actraiser was released on the Super Nintendo in 1990 by developers Quintet, published by Enix.
You (the god like master) have lost a battle between Tanzra and his six lieutenants. The Master then was forced to return to the Sky Palace and went into a deep sleep to heal. During this time, the world was divided into six areas by Tanzra, One area for each of his lieutenants. This has lead the people to stop worshiping the master causing him to grow weak. You are set out to defeat the evil Tanzra after centuries of sleep.
Actraiser is a hybrid between a simulation game and platformer. Each of the 6 worlds of Actraiser is divided up into two sections called acts and a world simulation section. Think Sim City meets Castlevania.
In the act section, you mode 7 your way into the platformer portion of the game, taking form of a knight to battle the monsters from the world. You can slash your way through each enemy or use magic attacks to help you progress. The magic attacks vary from Fire, Aura, Light and Stardust. I find that the best magic to use in the game is the stardust attack.
Each act section will end in a boss battle. The bosses are extremely unique, from a manticore, centaur, zeppelin wolf, Khalia, fire wheel to name a few.
In the simulation section, your main objective is to control the angel to protect the people from different things such as dragons, daemons bats and natural disasters.
You tell the people how to expand their land. As you expand, obstacles such as rocks, deserts, rivers and fires will prohibit you from proceeding. You'll need to use miracles to protect the people from these obstacles and let them expand. An interesting part about the people expanding is that you can level up your health by increasing the population of the town.
The final platforming section is a classic boss rush where you will have to defeat Tanzra’s six lieutenants and finally face off against Tanzra.
After completing the game once, an extra mode "Professional!" is revealed. This variation of the game is every Act back-to-back with no Simulation sections of the game. The Master begins with maximum health, but all enemies have double health. There is also no longer uses of any of the magic abilities. If you lose all of your lives, the game ends and you will be brought back to the first level of the game.
I do wish that Square Enix made this game more available to the public. Between a Super Nintendo Cartridge, The Wii Virtual Console and Piracy, there is no readily available way to play Actraiser.
Actraiser is a true SNES masterpiece and was the first third party game released on the console. It is one of those classics that holds dear to our hearts.
Actraiser now has a digital re-release available for the Nintendo Switch!