Play This Set

Reel Fishing | Fish Eyes (Playstation)

Game Console Genre
Reel Fishing | Fish Eyes Reel Fishing | Fish Eyes PlayStation Sports - Fishing

So many games are meant to be pedal-to-the-metal, super-adrenaline-filled experiences, with something to blow up or some bad guy to defeat. Reel Fishing is the opposite!

This game is meant for a nice, soothing experience that tries to replicate the soft sounds of nature and the relaxing hobby of fishing. Play with the sound on, don’t hit fast forward and ease back into your chair while playing this great game. While some of the later fish can be difficult to reel in, it still retains its atmosphere of peace. Fishing games are always in a weird spot, either they try to make things over the top to retain player interest, but this game smooths everything out and gives the player minimal-to-no HUD and is still entertaining!

The fishing mechanic is very similar to Legend of the River King, with a simple strategy: When the fish slows down, hold X. When it runs, let it go. When it tries to shake off the hook, hold a direction to keep the tension. Rinse and repeat. Often I’d lose myself in the ebb and flow of the fight, and it’s so satisfying to bring in a winning fish. Keep your best catch, feed it, and raise it in true Natsume life-simulator style. The set was just added, and the first mastery spot is still open! Take a trip to the river, earn some cheevos, slow down, and experience some PS1 tranquility.

Final Fantasy VI (Game Boy Advance)

Game Console Genre
Final Fantasy VI Advance Final Fantasy VI Advance Game Boy Advance Role-Playing (RPG)

After many a patient year, complete with several months in the Most Wanted for a handheld game (and surviving a few dropped builds no less), the “Final” Final Fantasy on GBA has Final-ly gotten an achievement set (and zero apologies for the pun). Was it worth the wait? In my opinion, absolutely. It is difficult to make what is essentially a second set of tasks to complete when another version of the game already has a set itself. Does one just make points for the same story beats, and challenges, or avoid altogether that which came before?

Final Fantasy VI for GBA strikes a wonderful balance. There are nostalgia-filled sections, hidden items and boss fights, a small number of repeats, but also takes what makes this version different than it’s SNES original and creates a set that I believe is a wonderful companion to the game. Sitting at 85 total Achievements, the tasks themselves are fun, with only a few landing in the RPG staple of RNG / grinding. You will not be disappointed with dedicating some time with this version of one of the most iconic RPG’s of all time.

Samurai Deeper Kyo (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Samurai Deeper Kyo Samurai Deeper Kyo PlayStation 2D Fighting

Samurai Deeper Kyo is a 2D fighting game developed by Bandai in 2002. Kyo is a manga/anime based game and it would be more interesting to the player if you already knew its plot, because the game was only released in Japanese. I really recommend checking it out if you like Japan’s feudal age mangas/animes.

Don’t be scared! The game has few menus and you will memorize them very quickly. I also made a good rich presence and translated a lot of them which you can see in real time using the RALibretro emulator. The games mechanics are very simple and you will not need to search for the battle moves like in other fighting games.

There’s 9 playable characters for the story mode. You can unlock the 3 bosses for the versus mode, and there’s a lot of assist characters. Besides having good pixel art, in my opinion, it reminds me of ‘The Last Blade’ game. Unsheathe your Katana and take down all your opponents, because only the strongest one will survive in the battle of Sekigahara.

Paper Mario: Black Pit (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
~Hack~ Paper Mario: Black Pit ~Hack~ Paper Mario: Black Pit Nintendo 64 Turn Based, Role-Playing

Paper Mario: Black Pit is a hack of Paper Mario that restructures the entire game into a non-stop battle gauntlet similar to the sequel’s Pit of 100 Trials. The entire progression system has been overhauled, with the EXP-based level up system replaced with HP/FP upgrades being acquired from a dangerous randomly-generated maze, and Star Spirit abilities granted by an in-game achievement system. Delving deeper into the pit unlocks badges and partners, opening up customizations over time.

Also included is a “Roguelike” mode, where you’ll start with 10HP and no items or equipment, but have the chance to acquire upgrades, badges, and other goodies on every floor. Careful planning and resource management can result in becoming godlike by the deepest levels, but fail to assess your risks or make poor decisions, and you’ll find yourself restarting from the very beginning.

Of course, for the toughest, most rip-proof Marios, there are plenty of neat surprises hiding deep in the Pit’s darkness. Getting to the grand finale will be a real trial, but I promise the ending is excellent and very much worth the effort.

Platypus (PlayStation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Platypus Platypus PlayStation Portable Shoot ‘em Up

Shmups is a game genre known for high difficulty and fast gameplay. Many players tend to avoid them for obvious reasons. But, there are games on the easier and more relaxing side, playable even for first-timers. Platypus for PSP is one of them. I wouldn’t call myself a good shooter player, but I enjoy the challenge. Platypus is not really a masterpiece, but an average one with simple mechanics and colorful graphics. The whole world, the ship, the enemies, and the explosions were created with the art of claymation. So everything was made with clay, like ClayFighter or The Neverhood (if you know them).

Your little yellow clay ship can be upgraded with five different weapons by getting a colored star. A spread-shot, fast shot, rockets, a quite useless shield-gun-bullet-absorbing-thingy and a lightning gun later in the game. Each star gives you a limited time of benefit. More than enough to demolish the fleet of evil defenseless putty-enemies.

The game contains six worlds with five levels, while the fifth level each has a boss fight. The learning curve is low, if you are able to beat the first and second worlds, you’ll beat the whole game with no doubts. Even the easy, normal or hard choice doesn’t make a huge difference. After every success the game saves. A full run needs around one hour.

So why should you play the set, if it isn’t a really good game? The achievement set is a challenge. It starts with some simple things like getting all the powerups and beating all levels on normal or hard. Unfortunately for veterans and luck for the average player, the difficulty choice doesn’t make a huge difference as already mentioned. So you can even start with beating all worlds on hard to get a good collection of achievements in no time.

So the whole set shouldn’t be a big problem to master, right? Wrong! The real challenge starts after beating the main game. At first, try to get a perfect score in a any level of each world. That means, you aren’t allowed to miss an enemy. I’ve tried many times, and even in good runs, I always miss one or two. And by the way, the boss stage with fewer enemies don’t count. Thank you developer ;-P.

The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is the survival mode. You have to finish five phases of a very, very long level (infinite length) based on the main game themes, with just a single life. Be prepared for almost eleven minutes of no damage without any checkpoints.

It’s just an average game, but even inexperienced Shmup-players will get a feeling of success after one or two hours of playing. The game is never unfair, a player almost doesn’t have to remember patterns to win, and the unlimited continues help a lot to have a relaxing Sunday afternoon. If you want more, try to beat the challenges. I still have fun with the game.

Aldynes: The Mission Code for Rage Crisis (PC Engine)

Game Console Genre
Aldynes: The Mission Code for Rage Crisis Aldynes: The Mission Code for Rage Crisis PC Engine Shoot’em Up (Horizontal)

Aldynes: The Misson Code for Rage Crisis is one of 5 specific games made for the PC Engine SuperGrafx. This makes it a lesser-known game due to the console’s commercial failure, and very underrated as it’s a great horizontal Shoot-em-up in terms of visuals, music, gameplay and challenge. This game really makes use of the SuperGrafx’s higher specs, with great sprites and detailed backgrounds with many layers of parallax. The soundtrack is composed of many memorable chiptunes and they don’t get old even after playing the game many times.

In terms of gameplay, the player collects pickups to upgrade weapons, pods, and speed. There’s 4 types of weapons, and while some of them are basic, some are not as conventional but are powerful if used correctly (for instance, a laser that splits directly up and down when shot, but bounces forward when hitting the upper and lower walls). The player can collect up to 4 pods and use them in 3 configurations: staying next to your ship shooting the same type of weapon, roaming around shooting enemies that they see, and rotating around the ship destroying enemies that come in contact with them.

For the more veteran players, this is also a very challenging game. The first level is easy, but anything after and the player will have to rely heavily on reflexes, making it a very intense and addicting experience. The game has infinite continues and they place the player at specific checkpoints rather than the start of stage, but the loss of weapons coupled with the hard gameplay makes it a challenging experience to learn sections of the game while low on upgrades. The set is simple, with progression through first and second loop, point milestones that give lives, upgrading weapons to their max level and a low upgrade challenge on the first stage. However, this is pretty understandable as implementing any other level-specific achievements would be hard, since I don’t believe a level select exists.

Overall, this set is a must-play for fans of the genre and a solid entry for newer players that really shows what the PC Engine family of systems is capable of.

ShockMan (PC Engine)

Game Console Genre
ShockMan ShockMan PC Engine Platformer

Unknown year? Check. High-tech world with robots? Check. Jump and Shoot gameplay? Check. Rival character with similar abilities to the player? Also check. What makes this different from Mega Man again? Oh right, the alien invasion, linear stage order, shmup stages, and no boss weapons. Welcome to ShockMan on the PC Engine!

Originally released in April 1991 (between Mega Man 3 and 4), it is the second entry in the Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman series, and was apparently the only one released outside of Japan. A couple years after the events of the first game (not quite sure what those are), humans turned cyborgs Arnold and Sonya go on a search and rescue mission to save the Doc that will turn them back into humans after having saved the world, along with putting a stop to the Ryo Empire and their Instant Death Plan… whatever that might be. Just like the similar Mega Man games, the plot is not the main reason to play this game (although some of the weird dialogue is hilarious). There is also a small amount of voice clips for things like firing a charge shot (which one of the characters sounds like they’re saying “Gream” or “Cream”, good luck unhearing that) or falling into a pit and being sent into the air.

The game allows you to play as Arnold or Sonya. While both share the same base abilities: charge shots, crouching, and shooting straight up, their only difference aside from sprites is their super, which can be activated by charging their attack a bit longer once you’ve picked up an oval crystal from an enemy. While Arnold gets a screen nuke of four lasers, Sonya gets a shower of stars that lasts longer, still damages enemies, and can even heal you! It’s mainly because of this super that Sonya’s run is slightly easier (as you can only get the oval crystals in some stages, mainly the later ones).

Like most Mega Man games, I found the stages to be quite challenging on the first playthrough (especially the three shmup stages, a genre I am bad at), taking about 2.5 hours to finish (Keep in mind, I am more used to the non-classic Mega Man series games, like X and Zero, so you may find this game to be a lot easier than I did). But the game gets a lot easier once you’ve begun to memorize the stage layouts and enemies, along with which ones drop minor or full health recoveries and the previously mentioned oval crystals (all drops are predetermined, unlike Mega Man’s randomness). Possibly the biggest difference between this and Mega Man is the lack of lives and E-tanks. No matter the stage, dying once will always be a game over. Thankfully, the game seems to have unlimited continues, so you don’t need to worry about beating the entire game deathless, just each of the eight/nine stages.

The game also allows for two players, but I never tested it out, nor know if you can get achievements outside of single-player. If you do decide to try this out, I strongly suggest using the Beetle SuperGrafX core, as the Beetle PCE Fast core had a glitch on the underwater stage and also crashed there.