ActRaiser Renaissance Image
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74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: Heaven, earth and mankind - Create and destroy everything according to your will!
    Experience the revival of the 90's classic hit "Actraiser".
    ABOUT Actraiser Renaissance combines 2D platforming action (Realm Acts) with a City-building simulation (Realm Management) in the ultimate battle
    Heaven, earth and mankind - Create and destroy everything according to your will!
    Experience the revival of the 90's classic hit "Actraiser".

    ABOUT
    Actraiser Renaissance combines 2D platforming action (Realm Acts) with a City-building simulation (Realm Management) in the ultimate battle between good and evil!

    Featuring the soundtrack that sent shockwaves through the gaming world when it was first released, composed by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro - now remastered!

    Help humanity flourish by playing as the Lord of Light and their loyal angel in a world beset by evil.

    NEW FEATURES:

    * Remastered 2D graphics present the game in beautiful HD
    * 15 new music tracks, as well as re-arranged original tracks by Actraiser composer Yuzo Koshiro!
    * New stories, expanded action and realm management gameplay, additional action stages, an all-new realm, and new more powerful bosses!
    * Auto-save and difficulty levels

    GAME SYSTEM
    Realm Acts: Strategically cast powerful fire, ice, and other magic in these 2D action stages. Humans return to reclaim the realm after you conquer these stages, allowing you to begin cultivating your settlements.

    New magic that was not available in the original game has been added along with the ability to dodge. Players can also attack with upward and downward motions for a more dynamic action experience. You will need every new trick in your arsenal to defeat stronger bosses at the end of the new action stages.

    Realm Management: Help humanity flourish by cultivating your settlements and offering guidance. Use your miraculous powers to summon lightning and trigger earthquakes to remove obstacles such as trees and boulders that impede the growth of your chosen. Play as the Lord of Light's angel and use your mighty bow and arrows to drive back the evil monsters that prey on your people.

    Protect your settlements from enemy raids in real-time strategic battles. The placement of your forts and timing of your miracles is key to achieving victory in these engagements.

    Experience all-new tales of humanity's struggles to overcome their flaws and failings as they learn to love one another and together grow stronger. Altogether, these new scenarios amount to more than twice the story present in the original. Explore the vast new realm and enjoy building your settlements for longer than ever before!

    MUSIC
    The original Actraiser composer, Yuzo Koshiro, has re-arranged all of the iconic original tracks and added 15 new tracks as well. Players can listen to the original music or switch to the re-arranged versions while playing the game. Tired from protecting and raising your villagers? Then just sit back, relax, and enjoy the tunes.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Oct 27, 2021
    90
    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 1, 2021
    90
    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.
  3. Sep 28, 2021
    85
    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.
  4. Sep 30, 2021
    78
    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.
  5. Sep 28, 2021
    70
    Actraiser Renaissance is certainly a pleasant trip down to memory lane but not all modernization works as it should.
  6. Dec 20, 2021
    60
    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.
  7. 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.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Nov 14, 2021
    10
    one of the pleasant surprises of the year, it keeps 100% of the original while including elements that in my opinion are very welcome.
  2. Sep 24, 2021
    9
    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.
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  3. Sep 25, 2021
    9
    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. Expand
  4. Oct 14, 2021
    8
    I was excited to play this remake and it didnt disappoint nor exceed my expectations but I am glad to support the attention to forgotten gemsI was excited to play this remake and it didnt disappoint nor exceed my expectations but I am glad to support the attention to forgotten gems like actraiser. I could have done with a bit less of the horde sieges and more sode scrolling but all in all I'm ha happy with the additions to the game and I hope square remakes or makes sequels to more of their underappreciated ips. Expand
  5. Nov 20, 2021
    7
    I adored the first ActRaiser on SNES and overall was pretty impressed with this remake. The overworld is beautifully illustrated and animated,I adored the first ActRaiser on SNES and overall was pretty impressed with this remake. The overworld is beautifully illustrated and animated, but the action (side-scrolling) sequences are awkward and somewhat ugly. I get that they were going for a sorta PS1-style graphical theme for said action sequences, but it doesn't always look good. The music is a solid 10/10. These are the tracks you remember and love, and they've been remastered beautifully. The gameplay of the overworld sequences has sadly been "enhanced" and these new tower defense style "missions" get extremely old extremely fast. Once you have the heroes you like, you deploy them and sit and wait to either win or lose - I often felt that my own input was meaningless beyond my choice of heroes and how many towers I had. Unfortunately, the majority of the overworld is overtaken by these missions, and you'll do dozens before the credits roll - none of which are particularly good. They've also padded out the story with tons of in-game dialogue, but it's all delivered in Fire Emblem/older JRPG-style written text with portraits of the involved characters. It gets old pretty fast and there is a great deal of this added story, most of which is devoted to the new hero characters and none of which is particularly interesting.

    Overall this is a pretty fun remaster/remake, lame tower defense and overdone dialogue notwithstanding. The action is fun, the town development is fun, the music is excellent, and some of the art is amazing. I'm glad I bought it and will probably play through it again, but it's not perfect.
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  6. Oct 8, 2021
    7
    Considered one of the best Super Nintendo games by a community of fans who have made it a cult (and very expensive ...) retro game for years,Considered one of the best Super Nintendo games by a community of fans who have made it a cult (and very expensive ...) retro game for years, Actraiser was one of those games for which we really weren't expecting a remake. With his arrival, all the wildest dreams are allowed when it comes to the Square Enix catalog. So yes, the game has mechanics that are sometimes archaic and have aged badly, that's a fact. But on the other hand, the proposal we are given takes us completely out of our comfort zone, and Actraiser Renaissance is sometimes "fresher" and more original than some modern games. Available in a very well optimized Switch version, and at a low price, Actraiser Renaissance is one of these important titles in the heritage of video games, and I can only recommend it strongly.

    Full review, in french, on my blog Nintendo Legacy. You can follow me on Twitter @NintendoLegacy1
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  7. Oct 10, 2021
    4
    Someone seems to be downvoting even moderate reviews (normally it's only negative reviews that get blindly downvoted) so I doubt anyone willSomeone seems to be downvoting even moderate reviews (normally it's only negative reviews that get blindly downvoted) so I doubt anyone will be reading this, but here goes:

    Actraiser was one of the best early video games. It made a relatively simple sim game, made interesting by the inclusion of a relatively new idea: Lots and lots of characterization, fables, and dialogue! Also, the plot is a beautiful story about the unity of people in bad circumstances, and people should hear it out.

    Did you know that one of the very first video game music concerts was of Actraiser? Look up the Orchestral Video Game Music concerts from the 90s. It was THAT big and influential.

    But there were a lot of parts that I didn't like and that my family and friends didn't like either. For example, there are a couple parts where you get dumped into the sim engine for 20-60 minutes (depending how long you chase butterflies) with nothing happening except for watching people cultivate the land, which forces the player to get to know the engine's limitations very intimately. The pauses in the action mostly take place in Kasandora, although early Fillmore and all its tutorials count too.

    For another, the action game engine is just bad. Diagonal jumping is somewhere between hard and impossible, and there's no momentum curve (like in any Super Mario) where your character slowly picks up speed and gradually slows down when you're not moving. Momentum was added to the first Mario game to make it feel more lively and less like you're piloting a robot. Without that, Actraiser has always felt like you're guiding a fighting game character over long distances. Have you ever walked from one side of the screen to the other in Street Fighter? Even that feels like a long way to walk with that kind of a movement system. So, walking through massive levels with lots of enemies feels less lifelike than it could, and it takes a while.

    Someone else on here complained that this game was changed too much from the original. I actually disagree; this release could have added a lot more than it did and fixed a lot more than it did.
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See all 13 User Reviews