Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Oct 27, 2021
    There’s nothing like Actraiser Renaissance‘s seamless genre-blending, and the surprising depth in each facet makes the game all the more timeless. The extensive main campaign is followed by newly added post-game content that keeps the surprises coming, including an additional area to develop and a score mode. The ways to approach Actraiser Renaissance are as boundless as the content it provides, making it a revival that is well worth experiencing.
  2. Oct 2, 2021
    The original Actraiser achieved cult classic status back when it first debuted thanks to its unique premise and gameplay. Fortunately, the promised Renaissance is able to more than give this gem another look for those who understandably missed its decades-old launch, and Actraiser Renaissance is an exciting, engaging experience in 2021.
  3. Oct 1, 2021
    Overall, 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.
  4. 90
    ActRaiser Renaissance is a meticulously crafted remake that genuinely improves on the original game in several respects while maintaining the spirit of what made it special in the first place. The simulation and tower defense elements are instantly addicting, and the sidescrolling sections really make you feel like God has come down to smite the wicked. ActRaiser Renaissance is almost the best-case scenario for a remake.
  5. Sep 28, 2021
    Not everyone is going to think that way, clearly. Each individual has their own expectations for a remake, and Actraiser Renaissance may have put hands on facets that were once sacred. Some will find the changes intrusive. It would have been nice if there was a classic mode included that strips out the tower defense to make everyone happy, but that’s not in the cards. In my eyes, however, Acraiser Renaissance was one of the biggest surprises and the most enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve had this year.
  6. Oct 11, 2021
    ActRaiser Renaissance is the definition of a pleasant surprise. From its sudden launch as a Nintendo Direct shadowdrop to its refreshing revival of the game, it’s the epitome of the unexpected. It respects the original game. Yet, Sonic Powered and Square Enix built it up to ensure it does even more in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Both people returning to it and those experiencing it for the first time could equally enjoy it. And one can only hope Square Enix will keep in mind what worked here and make any other SNES remakes as robust.
  7. Oct 4, 2021
    Some of its new ideas could use a bit more hammering out, and I’m not sure it needed as much expanding as it has received. But it, like the game it is based on, is a rather unique game that pulls you in powerfully the more time you spend with it. There isn’t a whole lot like this out there, and it’s handily better than other homages like SolSeraph.
  8. Sep 27, 2021
    While the updated graphical style and jerky scrolling don't make a great first impression and there may be some who feel the 'Tower Defence' sections are given too much screen time, Actraiser Renaissance is ultimately a successful attempt at updating a solid-gold classic from yesteryear. Rarely are two totally different gameplay styles fused this effectively, and the enhancements introduced by developer Sonic Powered really do improve things; combat in the action sections is more fun, while the 'God Sim' portions of the game are lent increased depth thanks to thoughtful gameplay upgrades. To cap it all off, Yuzo Koshiro's music – available in both its SNES and rearranged forms – is masterful. While it's not perfect, Actraiser Renaissance will nonetheless find favour with fans of the original, as well as pick up plenty of new fans along the way.
  9. Oct 1, 2021
    Actraiser Renaissance is a game with good ideas and a solid foundation for the new content, but it fails to deliver an experience that matches the divinity of the original SNES title.
  10. Sep 30, 2021
    Actraiser Renaissance is a skilfully made remake, but it does suffer from a couple of major technical and stylistic uncertainties. If you love Actraiser I recommend giving it a chance: the strategic portion has been significantly expanded and even those who know the original by heart will find new elements to play with.
  11. Sep 29, 2021
    An unexpected gift for fans of the SNES original and while the remake is seriously flawed in terms of both graphics and gameplay its sheer oddness is still highly compelling.
  12. Sep 28, 2021
    Actraiser Renaissance is certainly a pleasant trip down to memory lane but not all modernization works as it should.
  13. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Nov 30, 2021
    Nice remaster of an unusual game that successfully blends together platformer, strategy and god-sim genres. Playing as an omnipotent deity is a rare treat these days, and the great soundtrack makes it even better. [Issue#256, p.59]
  14. Dec 20, 2021
    The rearranged soundtrack coupled to new compositions is stunningly awesome, as Yuzo Koshiro recaptures brilliantly the spirit of the original and the gameplay of the side-scrolling sections is even better than in the original. However, the questionable choices in the art direction, the bugs, poor performance and the, at times, way too wordy expanded script, mar the experience in such a way that what should have been the masterful return of a masterpiece instead turns out to be a nice introduction to the classic for new audiences, but not much more. There's no shaking the feeling that this re-release was not treated with all the care that such an important landmark title deserved. The extra content sweetens the deal somewhat, and encourages fans of the original to come back for more, but the price of admission for such an end result is a bit too much perhaps.
  15. 60
    Actraiser Renaissance certainly is a SNES remake for better or worse. The 2D parts of this game have been remade poorly in regards to mechanics and visual fidelity. The gameplay loop of varying between action platformer and city-building sim did get its hooks in me but will be a harder sell for others. While it proves difficult to remain a strong recommendation, there are nuggets of character dialogue gold in there that are worth seeing through. On top of that, the visuals and music that come with these moments are special and remain evident why this is such a cult classic. If all else, I’m glad I got to check out a deeper cut in the Square Enix catalogue. Flaws and all, it’s at the very least got some heart.
  16. Sep 28, 2021
    Despite all the flaws, I still ploughed through Actraiser Renaissance, because, well, I love Actraiser, which is about the best that can be said for it.
  17. Oct 1, 2021
    While the core mix of action platforming and city building is a thing of beauty, this Renaissance version of ActRaiser is bogged down by motion sickness-inducing framerate drops, ugly prerendered character models, and far too frequent tower defense sections. If ActRaiser Renaissance is your only way to play ActRaiser, then please do yourself the favor, but I would highly recommend getting a Super Nintendo with a game cartridge, or a Wii with the virtual console download installed.
  18. 50
    Actraiser Renaissance, however, is a remake that should have simply stuck to the basics that made Actraiser great. Instead, what you get are moments of greatness broken up by far too many moments of mediocrity.
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  1. Oct 13, 2021
    A decent update of a memorable classic for SNES. It would have needed a more compelling effort in visual terms, but it is still a good option for retro gamers.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Sep 25, 2021
    Actraiser Renaissance is essentially a remastered version of the so called cult classic. I played the original but never completed it, but itsActraiser Renaissance is essentially a remastered version of the so called cult classic. I played the original but never completed it, but its unique combination of platforming and world building got me hooked from the get go. This remastered version came as a surprise and a highlight for me in the latest Nintendo Direct. I couldn't stop playing it, it's that good. They also got Yuzo Koshiro back to remaster and create a new soundtrack for this game, wow... A great purchase and with this version, essentially one of the best games on the Switch outside Nintendo's usual outings. Full Review »
  2. Sep 24, 2021
    I've played through the original countless times, changed the battery on my SNES cartridge once. Actraiser was the game, other than SMW andI've played through the original countless times, changed the battery on my SNES cartridge once. Actraiser was the game, other than SMW and Pilotwings, that sold me on getting the system back in 1990 when it launched. Saved up a lot of allowance for that and it was my first real purchase as an "adult" of 11 yrs old.

    I was HIGHLY skeptical of this remake, especially since the first that I ever heard about it was after the Nintendo Direct on 9/23/21. There was absolutely no hype or previews for this game in any gaming news whatsoever. I threw caution to the wind, and boy am I glad that I did.

    They did a wonderful job of preserving the nonchalant two styles of gameplay that consist of the action and strategy portions. It is by no means a difficult or complex game, but what it does have- what it always had- is a lot of charm.

    I truly appreciate the art in the cutscenes that elaborates on the text-based story portions. I really like the ways in which the gameplay has been expanded: horde invasions occur every once in a while and demand that you fortify your city with tower defenses. It is still very basic combat compared to many other strategy sims we have these days, but again, that is the charm of it. It isn't punishing to the level that the player becomes frustrated. The only small gripe that I have with the strategy portion is that there is a lot of dialogue. Every time I am about to use a miracle or upgrade a fortress, the action seems to pause and take me to the temple because they have something to tell me-- but it is a minor issue. The text could have been streamlined a bit, but it DOES serve to help flesh out the original's bare-bones story a bit more.

    Now the action sequences-- at first, the 3D style is a bit jarring. When you are so used to the old-school charming graphics of the 1990s classic, that is bound to be the case. The hero has a light trail that follows him (a la Alucard in SOTN) and feels a little floaty comparatively, but let's be honest... he controls a LOT better than the very stiff hero in the original. There was never a time that I was pissed because it was hard to hit an enemy. There are more attacks now. You can do an uppercut-style slice, forward 3 hit, ground pound, and magic can be changed on the fly. In the original, you had to choose your magic before you started and were bound to that for the entire level.

    Also, the levels have been tweaked so that they are not as punishing either. If you fall into the water you don't die, but you do take damage.

    There is a LOT of new content on display here, including heroes in each region that help defend your civilization. Altogether, I was very pleasantly surprised by this unannounced gem of a title. The team that put it together should be very proud. They did a wonderful service to Actraiser 1990 and added a large amount of new content that not only fits the game but adds a depth to it that I never knew it could have. I am only at the third region in the game (6 hours in maybe?) but I am loving it so far.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2021
    This is a fantastic budget remake but with lot of heart and care, very oldschool but with modern Quality life improvements il list some of theThis is a fantastic budget remake but with lot of heart and care, very oldschool but with modern Quality life improvements il list some of the pros, cons and Mixed:

    Pros: Combat has been expanded and improved

    The Sim town builder mode is even better and more involved, has a tower defense mini game intergraded.

    Expanded story and Lore

    Fantastic Music Great Artstyle Mixed:

    The master looks diffrent and more anime? i think he looks awesome but some people might not like it.

    2d combat graphics are a bit jarrin and look like HD ps1/Saturn style

    Sound effects lack oomph compared to the Snes version{his iconic grunt was removed :( }


    Switch version has a bit of frame rate issues specially on handheldmode nothing awful but it can be noticable for people sensitive to this, on ps4 and steam this does not to be a issue.
    Full Review »