ActRaiser was released for the SNES in 1991 by Enix and incorporated a mixture of strategy-simulation, action-platforming, and RPG-like experiences.
Players assume the rule of The Master who awakens fully healed hundreds of years after being defeated by The Evil One known as Tanzra. The world has been divided and is now ruled over by 6 of Tanzra’s lieutenants, who have turned a majority of the population to evil. Upon returning to this world The Master and his angel sidekick visit each of the 6 lands and begin to purge them of evil. Slowly the population is healed, cared for, taught to build shelter and grow crops, and in return they once again start to worship The Master thus providing him with a renewed source of power.
Each of the lands provides a similar experience of play. They begin with a graphically rich action-platforming experience. During these experiences The Master inhabits a warrior statue, which the player controls until reaching the end of each area. Once reached The Master returns to the clouds and the game switches to a strategy-simulation city-building experience. The player now controls the angel who aids The Master in clearing the land with the help of natural elements such as lightening, earthquakes, rain, wind, and sunlight. The population is then instructed to build roads, construct houses, grow crops, and eventually to seal the sources of evil. After a final platforming stage is conquered the land is free from evil. The player will then advance to the next infected area of the world and after completing similar sequences face off against The Evil One himself.
ActRaiser merged different aspects of gaming into a package that offered just enough from each area to feel adequately complete. Graphically, the game was an exceptional title that showcased many possibilities of the SNES, including Mode-7 graphical effects. In addition, the incorporated musical score by Yuzo Koshiro demonstrated a new potential for video game composition.
The game sold roughly 620,000 copies world wide, yet it has managed to slip under the radar of many modern gamers due to its odd mix of gaming elements. If you have never given ActRaiser a try, now is the time, we recommend it!
Genre: Action-platforming, Strategy-simulation
Release Date: 1991
Developed by: Quintet
Published by: Enix
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