What is Actraiser Renaissance game? Does this game worth playing? Does this game have any relevance to the classic franchise Actraiser? Here is the detailed review of Actraiser Renaissance.
With unique gameplay and a wonderful aesthetic, Actraiser Renaissance is the best way to experience an oft-forgotten classic of the SNES era.
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, iOS Android, PC
Developer: Sonic Powered
Publisher: Square Enix
Released: September 23rd, 2021
What is Actraiser Renaissance game?
Actraiser, Soul Blaser, Actraiser 2, Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma were all released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the first five years of developer Quintet’s lifespan and are still considered some must-plays for the console. Almost exactly 30 years after its original North American release, Actraiser has received a modern console remaster. Actraiser Renaissance was developed and published by Square Enix and aims to both recreate and update the original’s gameplay and visuals.
Actraiser Renaissance game story
The story of Actraiser begins millennia after the end of the world. Tanzra, a demon bent only on absolute destruction, managed to defeat the Lord of Light and forced him to retreat to his Sky Palace to slowly recover his strength. This opening left the whole of humanity completely unprepared, and they were systematically brought to the brink of extinction by the monsters that Tenzra brought forth. The game starts with the Lord using a mortal avatar in the form of a living statue and an angelic assistant, beginning to create a foothold for humans to start to thrive once more while their worship allows him to assist them with beating back the darkness little by little.
Actraiser Renaissance gameplay
ActRaiser was always an odd duck. Although you spend most of the game up in your Sky Palace, you can send your angel assistant to act as a liaison between you and your followers to help guide them and answer their prayers. You can also use your powers to generate miracles like rain, thunder, and more. And when it’s time to get a bit more hands-on with Tanzra’s legions, you can send your consciousness to a warrior statue that is quite capable of taking down even the biggest of beasts.
You could either consider it a side-scrolling action game with simulation segments between the stages, or a simulation game with side-scrolling action segments that pop up now and then. I wouldn’t argue much with either interpretation. That unique blend made the game stand out in a big way, even if neither side of the equation was best-in-class. It did both things well enough, and stylishly enough, that the game sat a brilliant, singular whole. But putting on the critical specs, you could say that the action scenes were a bit stiff and featured bosses that were too easy to cheese with magic. You could say that the simulation segments were a little too simplified for their own good. There was room to build on this game.
Actraiser Renaissance takes advantage of that space to grow. The action scenes have a better flow to them and are more exciting to play thanks to improved enemy behaviors and an expanded set of moves for The Master. Boss battles in particular are far more interesting. The stages are redesigned and expanded, and you’ll be engaging in brief action bits during the simulation segments as well as when sealing enemy lairs. I don’t dislike the chunky and deliberate nature of the original game, and it can be fun to obliterate bosses with ease by spamming magic, but I’m also a big fan of the approach Renaissance has taken.
The simulation segments see far more extensive changes. There’s a lot more story, for one thing. They’re a lot longer as well. While the broad strokes are the same, one major new system has been added in that completely changes the nature of these portions of the game. You’ll still get occasional attacks from monsters spawning from the lairs that you’ll have to shoot down with your angelic assistant. But on top of that, you will sometimes have to defend from full-on invasions. During these segments, your angel can’t use its weapon. Instead, you have to build defenses as best as you can beforehand, direct the town’s hero character to fend off foes, and use your miracles when and where you can to help turn the tides. Oh yes, it’s tower defense, friends. And there’s a lot of it.
Most of the other changes in the simulation sections feed into that new system. Certain buildings will generate certain resources, and you’ll 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 all of this. I’m not a huge fan of tower defense games, so seeing this kind of gameplay take such a prominent stage in a remake of a game that had nothing of the sort felt odd. But in the end, I think it works. Thematically it makes sense that these towns would be getting attacked by Tanzra’s hordes. From a story standpoint, it helps weave the new heroes into the fleshed out tale. And in terms of gameplay, it’s a solid way to expand the complexity and value of the simulation segments. It now matters what and where your followers build. There are benefits to rebuilding with newer structures beyond simply raising the population. These are all good things, in my opinion.
Is Actraiser Renaissance Worth Playing?
Actraiser Renaissance stays true to the original game, while building it out even further and keeping the essence of what made it so special intact. If you never played the original Actraiser, then you are definitely in for a treat as it’s not every day you don the mantle of the Lord of Light and defy the will of Tanzra.
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