Review: ActRaiser (SNES)

Take control of the Master, a dethroned deity whose once-idyllic world has fallen under the control of the Evil One.

When I saw the review of this game in the Mean Machines gaming magazine as a youth I was quite literally heartbroken. My Megadrive was (technically, at least) no longer the most powerful console in the world. Nintendo's new machine was special - the glorious screenshots splashed across the pages of the magazine proved that much at least - and the Mean Machines team gave this game a glowing review, too. I simply had to play this game.

When I eventually got around to doing so (I had to wait until the PAL release) the impact of the title had not lessened one bit. The game concept is genius and you have to wonder why no one has tried this since.

The platforming sections are as good as any other game you could mention, and coupled with the brilliant 'God Sim' portion of the game it made for a classic title. Some might say that the two types of gameplay don't sit together too well, but I personally loved it. It was unusual and unique and at the time it felt suitably cutting-edge. However, my dad hated it as he was into his God sims and he couldn't progress through the platform sections!


Even today this still plays like a dream. It's amazing how well the two portions of the game gel together and while the visuals have lost some of their impact, Actraiser remains easy on the eye. A special mention must go to the music - composed by Yuzo Koshiro (of Streets of Rage fame), it really is a generation apart from some of the Megadrive music around at the time.

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