In 1991, one of the Super Nintendo showcases was Enix’s ActRaiser. This title combined the action of platformers (Castlevania) and the construction of worlds (SimCity) in a way that was unique for the time. With its stunning soundtrack, unique combination of play mechanics and entertaining design, it still enjoys cult status today. But for some reason, there haven’t been many attempts to copy it so far with the release of SolSeraph by ACE Team and Sega. We could call it the spiritual successor to ActRaiser, but we all know that sometimes it doesn’t work so well. Did it hit the bull’s-eye?
At the heart of history is the reconstruction of humanity. The ancient gods of the world became bitter towards the people and tried to ruin them. Helios takes on the role of protector of mankind and wants to defeat the gods who conquer the earth. He doesn’t want to do everything by himself, he wants to help people and learn to take care of himself. Helios will fight battles that are too important for humans, but more importantly, he will make them fight monsters that are on their way to their village.
The gameplay is divided into three parts: A 2D platform game in which you embody Helios, a mode of construction of isometric world in the height and part of the defense of the tower. In the side-scrolling sections, you’ll attack with your sword, do a double jump in the air, run backwards with the push of a button, and repel enemy attacks with your shield. Additional abilities are linked to your display and allow you to shoot arrows or even heal injuries. You also have certain skills that you ad use, such as B. Archery and archery or healing.
In the defensive part of the tower you build defences to ward off the evil creatures that try to spread across the land. You will be able to place buildings such as arsenals and towers in strategic locations to take down hordes of enemies. Instead of fighting enemies directly, you can use your mana to hit them with lightning or activate a light fighter for a short period of time.
There is also an element of urban planning. On each level you build houses, farms, sawmills and other buildings to rebuild the village in the area. This is related to the tower defense game, because the house gives you people to manage the defense structures, and the sawmill provides you with wood to build the aforementioned structures. While most scenarios will revolve around building your village and setting up defenses, you can also build temples near areas of dark fog so the Helios can fight. In the Helios levels, you must either walk around the stage until the end, or run the gauntlet of monsters. Defeating these treadmills will break the barrier around the lair of the evil god. Once it’s destroyed, save the village and you can move on to the next area.
If the mix of tower defense and action platform game is excellent, the urban setting is very disappointing. It never feels like building a village. Instead, it always seems like you’re trying to adjust the defensive segments of the tower. Part of the problem is that the playfields are too small, so you can’t put many buildings in them. You can build roads far from the city, but the terrain is too narrow, so the location of the buildings is never ideal. Not to mention the fact that you only have a short window of time before the next wave of enemies starts, so you don’t have enough time to properly plan the structure of your village. Maybe if the area was bigger and the buildings smaller, it would be a good planner. But now that he’s awake, he feels out of place.
However, the rest of the game is, for the most part, excellent. There are many interesting details in this game that make it a fantastic experience. From small things like being able to move around in the clouds with your cursor, to big things like the fact that enemies can jump from the foreground or background. A.I Enemy is actually challenging, the level design is great, and the music and sound are phenomenal. The only minor problem I have with the sections on the platforms, particularly the movement of the characters. The animations seem very stilted, so simple actions like swinging a sword or jumping don’t seem to carry any weight, and that just seems unsatisfying. The animations of the enemies are wonderful, I don’t understand why the animations of the characters are so sloppy.
ActRaiser’s art largely reflects its gameplay. The building portion of the city was greatly simplified with pixel art, while the action platform segments had sprites and much more detailed environments. This game avoids pixel art for the 3D models and the artistic style remains almost the same for the parts of the defense tower. While it may disappoint some, the game still looks good. The graphics are very bright and colorful, and even the darkest parts of the game are simply elegant. If you go through the levels, sometimes you’ll see scenes where the villagers talk about their current situation. The 2D portraits of these characters aren’t bad, but they don’t stand out as much as the rest of the game.
This game does so many good things, but as a spiritual successor, it’s fair to compare it to the original and see if it improves on the source material. While this game is an improvement over ActRaiser in many ways, it is also flat in others. In the original game, once you have defeated the monster, the spawn point is provided there. However, in SolSeraph, defeating mist will not prevent monsters from spawning in the area. The original game tracked the number of people in the city, and your character’s energy increased as the city grew. In this game the size of the village has no effect on the player’s progress, in fact it makes little difference except that you get more units for defensive structures. A little more attention to detail would have made it even better. I still had a lot of fun with this one and I hope the genre continues to be updated and we will have more games in this vein.
- Charts – 7.5/10
- Sound – 7/10
- Gameplay – 7/10
- Late Call – 7.5/10
Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE
SolSeraph takes the ActRaiser formula, updates it for today’s gaming audience, and for the most part, is successful. The fantastic combination of platform action and tower defense is something you won’t see anywhere else. Fans of the Enix classics or newcomers should have fun here!
Jordan is a gaming fanatic who grew up in a house shaped like a shovel. Years of cheap horseplay have made this man the quality researcher he is today.
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