Praised as “A Game of Two Halves” in the second edition of Super Play, gaming magazines such as CVG and Mean Machines in the early 1990s consistently applauded SNES ActRaiser for combining two opposing gameplay styles. This effective structure is maintained in PS4 Actraiser Renaissance as this remake maintains the variety of changing from an action platformer to in The legendary ax Mold to follow Populous’ God Game Bible by clearing paths to build more advanced buildings and happier civilizations in an easier alternative to SimCity.
With developer Sonic Powered adding a third element to the tense Settlement Siege Tower Defense, the tighter pace of the original is changed, especially since a story that praises your battle as the Lord of Light to defeat the Dark Lord Tanzra ceaselessly, however Dialogue text is narrated in a skippable manner – which interrupts the flow of the game.
It’s a huge experience in six ancient realms, with one additional secret to discover. There are difficulty peaks in managing three prophesied heroes in later settlement siege stages, plus an expanded movement set makes the 14 platform acts easier than the SNES game on Normal difficulty. It is especially rewarding to feel godlike in the unlockable special mode with your overpowering master of level 25, for everyone who wants action like in ActRaiser 2.
Yuzo Koshiro’s glorious rearranged soundtrack blends the three styles of gameplay as his majestic music shifts from dramatic to serene to elevate the package. Actraiser Renaissance also includes the classic SNES sound chip tunes, but any prayers that Square Enix would contain the original SNES game have not been answered.
There is a generous amount of content that, at 20 hours, is four times the size of the completion of the original. Since this retro remake is a three-thirds game, it would be a disservice if adherents of the original beliefs were lost to first impressions of unsightly side-scrolling action and an overly talkative God game. Fans won’t be on cloud nine, however, when a lack of support for Actraiser prevents Renaissance Square Enix from dedicating ActRaiser as a promising series.