Title : Actraiser 2
Publisher : Enix
Genre : Platformer / Action / Simulation
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1993
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10-$15
For the most part, sequels are a double-edged sword. You're getting a new game based on something you've already loved, but publishers have the habit of making changes when they really didn't need to. I don't know why this occurs so much. Maybe they're trying to make things different, in fear of their customers thinking the sequel is just a rehash of the original with better graphics. Sometimes, there's nothing wrong with that. Other times, I think they BELIEVE that they are heading in the right direction, when in actuality, they aren't.
Unfortunately for Actraiser, it suffered this fate with it's second game.
Actraiser 2 takes the side-scrolling platforming action of Actraiser 1 and takes it to an entirely new level. Both in terms of difficulty and game play. Unfortunately, Actraiser 2 also removes the GOD-simulation element completely. Myself, and countless others felt that this was a huge mistake. The God-simulation portion was a good break of a traditional platformer and included some "level-up" elements that were different from any other game out there.
But, Enix changed their mind and focused entirely on the side-scrolling action. The question is, how does it hold up to the original? Let's jump into the Master's body and find out.
We're back in the role as the Master, but I'm just not sure where this game takes place. I don't know if it's a sequel, a prequel, or in some other universe. Who knows, but the idea is the same. Tanzra is causing trouble, and it's up to you to kick his ass. You also get further proof that Taznra is actually the devil. I mean, the entire back story is that Tanzra was once your servant and was banished after he started a rebellion against you.
I'm not a religious man, but come on. It's the bible! We are living an action-packed, side-scrolling action adventure of God vs. Satan. THE EPIC BATTLE OF GOOD VS EVIL! Wow, I'm too excited over this haha.
When you start the game, you're back in your sky palace. But you're not performing any miracles, or setting up villages. This is just a navigation screen now. It's a damn shame, I know, but that's what we're left with. So you control your sky palace, hovering over villages which give you some information about them, or what sort of territory you're in.
Then you'll also hover over areas where you need to swoop down and defeat enemies in. That's when you are thrust into the side-scrolling sequences, which are basically what this entire game is all about.
Unlike the first game, the platforming portion of Actraiser 2 is a lot more involved. There is more depth to the environments, a lot more enemies, and you are given a lot more abilities to assist you. In the first game, you only had a select number of magical powers which had to be acquired during your God-simulation events. You really need those powers, as the game was almost impossible to beat with out them. In this game, you charge up your magic power and unleash it which uses up a scroll. Power is varied, and you only have a select number of scrolls per level to use. It's very much an arcade-like feel.
You've also got the ability to travel a bit differently in the platforming section thanks to your angelic wings. Certain jumps can only be mastered by flying and or floating down to where you need to go. This adds a bit more depth and challenge to a semi-typical platformer game.
Graphically, the game is beautiful, just like the first one. Once again, the music is superb. If you think about it, the game is doing everything right....IF...you are just looking for a typical platformer. But the thing is, the God-simulation really brought something different to the table, and I don't understand why Enix thought it was under-appreciated. Maybe they felt it was slowing the game down too much. Who knows. But to me, if this game kept that in there, it would have been just as brilliant as the first game, and that's the only reason why I'm deducting points.
Still, if you're looking for a difficult platformer that'll cause you to break your controller during some battles, don't miss Actraiser 2.