This is a place where achievement creators (and sometimes their fans) can advertise their work and tell the community why they should play those games.
Our idea is to post up to 10 “Play This Set” per month. If you want to advertise your set (or a set you’re a big fan of), write a couple of paragraphs and send us a message (go to RAdmin page and then “Send Private Message”).
NOTE: don’t get frustrated if your article isn’t published in the next issue! If yours is not present here, it’ll probably be present in a future RANews issue.
Zelda Phantom Hourglass (NDS)
|Legend of Zelda, The: Phantom Hourglass||Nintendo DS||Action-Adventure|
Set and Writeup by AlmightyXor
Sit back, dear readers, for I have a bit of history to tell.
2007 was a bit of an odd year for Nintendo, when it was playing tug-of-war with the dichotomy of “hardcore” vs. “casual” gamers. Just a year before, it had released Twilight Princess, meant especially to placate the former after the explosive outcry following the previous console game in the series, The Wind Waker. And then, the following year, it had released a sequel to the very game that had split the fanbase by the seams.
Perhaps no game exemplifies a snapshot of this pivotal time in Zelda’s history than Phantom Hourglass, where it can very much be said to have been designed more for the “casual” end of the spectrum. This audience choice can be felt in many aspects of the game’s design: its lack of difficulty, its status as a direct sequel to a game then perceived as “kiddy” (a label it never really deserved and has since, fortunately, mostly been rid of), and its playful urge to experiment with new control schemes to a fault.
Despite all that, the game still ended up being a generally delightful experience. Nintendo took the feeling of high-seas adventure from The Wind Waker and distilled it into a handheld. And even on top of that, there’s enough different about it that it still yet has its own identity that’s worth checking out.
Yes, there are flaws–and for some, it won’t be your birthstone–but a diamond is a diamond.
Editors Note: If you plan to play this gem you need to read the forum instructions as there are saves you’ll need
G.I. Joe (NES)
|G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero||NES||Platformer|
Writeup by meleu
Set by exar
This game has a big nostalgic load for me, not only because I played it a lot as a kid. But also because when I joined this project the game had no achievements and I suggested some, and right after an achievement creator came and implemented my ideas. It gave me that feeling of “wow! they’re really implementing my ideas! such a cool community, and now I’m part of it!”.
OK, that’s not enough to convince you to play the game. Let me focus on the actual game.
The cool part of this game is the variety of characters you can play, each one with their own characteristics. Each mission starts with one character as the leader, and you can choose 2 more team members.
Hint: you will soon realize that Snake Eyes has the highest jump and Rock&Roll has the more powerful weapon. So, a nice team usually is whoever the leader is plus Snake Eyes and Rock&Roll.
The stages are mostly side-scroller ones, with some of them being like a maze. In the maze ones you have to plant some bombs and then find the door to the boss.
The fact you can upgrade your weapon and use different vehicles in some stages, add some spice to the game.
The achievement set is still the one I suggested when I was a n00bie around here, so it’s a pretty basic one (progress-based, score-based, upgrade weapons achievements). But the game is fun by itself and definitely worths a play.
Cookie Monster Munch (Atari 2600)
|Cookie Monster Munch||Atari 2600||Education|
Set and Writeup by theanxietybuster
So, this writeup will probably be a bit different than what is expected, and I hope that it reaches out and touches someone who’s reading this. Gaming and development have been passions of mine since I was a child, but as an adult, both have become more difficult to fit into my life in a healthy, sane way. When I joined RA several months back, a spark ignited in me the day I started developing sets as a jr-dev. Recently, I saw the same spark in one that had a love for Sesame Street and I wanted a piece of that. I grew up with an Atari and played quite a few kid’s games on it, but I never expected to boot up a Sesame Street game years later. I’m glad I did because, despite this game being fairly simple with not that much content behind it, developing a set for it was one of the most satisfying and fun experiences I’ve had yet here.
The game stars the blue, furry, always on the prowl, lovable monster formerly known as Cookie T. After his days are spent collecting cookies off the ground, not caring about the conspicuous nature of the whole situation, and dropping them in a jar bigger than himself, he miraculously grows several times in size to become a Kaiju bent on consuming all the cookies. These events may or may not be slightly exaggerated, but the game play is at least true for the first half of the game.
If you are looking for any kind of story here, there really is none outside a brief mention in the official manual of who you’re supposed to be and what you’re doing once you start playing any of the modes in the latter half of the game. You see, there was an exclusive puppet named Cookie Puppet made that’s sole purpose was to offer a challenge to Cookie Monster and his binging ways. His motivations would make Doom Guy’s entire purpose for slaying Demons sound like it would fit in practically anything that Peter Jackson has made in the last two decades, but the game play and conceptualization of my imagination more than made up for it. You see, Cookie Monster becomes a literal monster chasing you through a maze, foaming at the mouth and raging, only to not remember that today was his birthday, and you were only saving the cookies for him as a gift.
This game is a serious blast to just pick up and play and imagine these kinds of things. And getting feedback from members of the community the day I released my set was something I hope happens more. As it stands, there are four masteries so far and I hope to see more people play this game. Thank you, all you lovely people and your intense desire to master them all. :D
Pokemon Dreams (GBA)
|~Hack~ Pokemon - Dreams||Game Boy Advance||Role-Playing Game|
Set and Writeup by SpaceRaton
Pokemon Dreams is a story overhaul hack for Pokemon Fire Red. It’s built on the “Complete Fire Red Upgrade” framework, which includes a plethora of QoL features like a Dexnav, reusable TMs, Mega Evolutions, trainer level scaling, and Gen7 battle mechanics/movesets/etc. This is not to mention a massive Pokedex with 844 Pokemon: all of Generations 1-7 plus 35 originals. The real highlight of this hack in my opinion, though, is the brand new story and region. For a Pokemon romhack, Dreams has a surprisingly well-written cast of characters, including a team of villains that are satisfyingly morally grey without straying into edgelord territory or world-ending catastrophes (as so many other Pokemon stories do). The new region is dense and varied without being overly sprawling; it rewards thorough exploration with tons of nooks and crannies containing TMs, Mega Stones, and other goodies.
I’m happy to report that the achievement set for Dreams was developed with direct feedback from the author of the hack, who provided some great suggestions and encouragement. I was also thrilled to discover that the CFRU framework outright removes pointers and encryption that have created hurdles in achievement development for other Fire Red hacks. It was thus fairly straightforward to deliver things like gym challenge and collect-a-thon achievements; special thanks to the folks who worked on R/B and HG/SS last year, as those were big inspirations for my design in this set.
If you’re looking for a fresh Pokemon experience with a variety of challenges, I hope you try out Dreams!
Revelations: Persona (PS1)
|Revelations: Persona||PlayStation||Turn-Based, Role-Playing|
Set and Writeup by Bearfax62
Revelations: Persona is a turn based JRPG and the first game in the Persona series, part of the larger Shin Megami Tensei franchise. You control a high school student whose world gets turned upside down as demons invade their hometown of Lunarvale, and bestowed with “Persona”, the power to summon ancient deities from the depths of your soul, you and your schoolmates fight back against the rampaging demons, the scheming SEBEC corporation, and the mysterious Girl in Black, Maggie.
The game follows a traditional turn based combat system, with a few twists; your party members can all equip different Personas, and depending on the one they’re using they’ll not just be able to cast different spells, but also alter their stats and even their resistances/weaknesses to certain elements. Many attacks have different ranges, and you’ll need to place your party members in different formations to maximize the offense of more close up fighters while keeping your less bulky ones in a good defensive spot. You also have the option to talk things out with demons: if you fail to grab their attention, they may ignore you or even skip your turn and go on the offense; but if you succeed, you can make them flee the battle, turn against their allies, or give you items, such as the spell cards needed to fuse new Personas in the Velvet Room. Nearly a hundred different Personas can be created, each with their own strengths and abilities.
The set is primarily progression and collection based, encouraging the player to experience everything the game has to offer, trying all the different routes and options, taking their time exploring the dungeons thoroughly, and experimenting in the Velvet Room to get new weapons, of both physical and metaphysical kinds. You’ll also have a few moments where you need to stop and smell the roses and/or reflect on how poor the early Atlus USA localization efforts were. Who knows, you might even get an achievement for thinking your character is that cool guy from Smash. Just be warned; this is a PS1 RPG, and the road to 100% is wrought with grinding. Lucifer isn’t gonna summon himself, y’know.
Overall, for those who want to see how the Persona series began, or those who just want a very different RPG from everything else that came out at the time, Revelations: Persona is a game that’ll keep you busy for many hours to come.
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (GBA)
|Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town||Game Boy Advance||Simulation RPG|
Set and Writeup by lordpsycho
Harvest Moon, the farming lifestyle simulator by excellence since 97, now in its portable version for the GBA! If you’ve played any farming simulator games before (Farmville, Stardew Valley or the original SNES version) you know what this game is all about: Take a run down farm and get it back to its glorious days while you get to know the different residents from the town and enjoy your new life on the countryside. Plant crops, raise animals, collect items, go fishing, learn recipies, work with the harvest sprites, meet new friends, go to festivals and find your loved one in the process.
Friends of Mineral Town takes most of the elements, mechanics and characters from both HM64 (N64) and HM: Back to Nature (PSX), adding content and quality of life improvements like a bigger inventory, a better way to switch tools, save anywhere, more items, more events and more to do. This game got a recent remake with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town on the Switch, with even more content than the original.
For this set I’ve added some of these improvements so you can see your actual stamina/fatigue values on the Rich Presence, as well as how much the different girls and townsfolks like you, so you know how close you are to unlock everything.
Just a sidenote that, as the time of writing this article, this set is only available in RAlibretro and RAVBA.