Wish This Set

Pac-Man: Special Color Edition (Game Boy Color)

Game Console Genre
Pac-Man: Special Color Edition Pac-Man: Special Color Edition Game Boy Color Action

Pac-Attack, also known as Pac-Panic in Europe, is a Pac-Man based puzzle game that draws heavy inspiration from Tetris. Like Pac-Man, there are ghosts that must be eaten by a powered up Pac-Man. Like Tetris, random blocks fall down and must be placed strategically. The game is fairly simple but tons of fun, especially on a Game Boy while stuck waiting somewhere.

Pac-Attack does one even better, though, and adds specially designed puzzles with set block placements and block fall order. Figuring out where the blocks need to go and setting up Pac-Man in just the right way to eat them all… brings back waves of nostalgia just thinking about it. And there is so much achievement potential! The fact that not one of the several versions of this game has a set is baffling to me. I personally would love the GBC version to get the cheevo treatment, but even the original Game Boy version would be fine to me. You can bet I’d play it on my phone all the time if it was made!

Dynasty Warriors (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Dynasty Warriors Dynasty Warriors PlayStation Fighting

Many would know Dynasty Warriors as a hack-and-slash series based on the Three Kingdoms era of ancient China and famous for its huge roster of characters, over the top feeling of taking on hundreds at once, and a nearly bottomless pit of spinoffs that take the combat and slip it into other settings, from Sengoku era Japan all the way to The Legend of Zelda’s own kingdom of Hyrule. But significantly fewer would know that the very first Dynasty Warriors game, all the way back on the original PlayStation, was… not that. No, the first taste the world would get of Dynasty Warriors took the form of a 3D fighter composed entirely of one-on-one battles; a far cry from the long running series of action games we know today.

From what I’ve seen, the game shares many similarities with Soul Calibur, from the cast of weapon users to the limited 3D movement. The biggest thing that stands out to me are the number of defensive options; alongside the guarding and sidestepping you’d expect from a 3D fighter, you also have the ability to hard counter specific moves, responding to slashes with parrying or thrusts with redirection. While I think knowledge of how these characters are portrayed in later games would deepen one’s enjoyment of the roster, people new to the series will still recognize at least a few of the characters in the cast if they’ve read Romance of the Three Kingdoms or have a solid grasp on Chinese history, as all of the main cast hails from it; from the ambitious conqueror Cao Cao to the legendary strategist Zhuge Liang, and of course, the infamous general Lu Bu, whose strength was only rivaled by his treachery.

While the game has been largely forgotten by fighting game players and DW fans alike, it’s an extremely interesting snapshot of video game history, and it deserves to have an achievement set that encourages full experimentation with its mechanics and characters, not to mention would give me and many others an excuse to try it out. In a way, DW1 feels more like a spinoff than an official first entry, and that’s kind of cool; it makes you wonder where the franchise would have gone and how it would have evolved if it had stuck with this style rather than adopting the “1 vs. 1000” style we all know and love. It’ll probably never make it to EVO, but it’d certainly be good material for RA.

Pop’n Twinbee: Rainbow Bell Adventures (SNES)

Game Console Genre
Pop'n Twinbee: Rainbow Bell Adventures Pop’n Twinbee: Rainbow Bell Adventures SNES Platformer

The Twinbee series developed by Konami is best known for being of the vertical shoot ‘em up genre, but it also had a platformer for the SNES that was never released in America. It is a very colorful and beautiful side-scroller, in which you can either spend some time exploring the levels which have many things to discover, or you can finish the levels as quickly as possible and be rewarded with maximum power-ups if you finish them below the target time. You can even play the main mode with a friend via co-op, or fight against him/her in battle mode.

The game contains 3 different characters (TwinBee, WinBee and GwinBee) each with different attributes and abilities. You can charge your punch which can turn into a projectile giving more distance and destroy blocks that a normal punch wouldn’t, and you can charge your jump, in which you can be boosted in 8 different directions, in a very similar way with the Sparkster series made by the same developer.

Each level has a certain amount of goal doors to find, some containing just one, some containing two, and in some rarer occasions containing three. In the Japanese version the map is non-linear and you can navigate through it, and each goal door unlocks a different level (very similar to Super Mario World). This is the version I recommend if anyone wants to develop the set of this game with a translation patch, because besides that you can also save your progress, it has multiple endings and has trophy potential that wouldn’t be possible in the European version. This game is a lost gem which I recommend anyone to try out.

GameCenter CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2 (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
GameCenter CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2 GameCenter CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2 Nintendo DS Compilation

Having already enjoyed Retro Game Challenge, I was thrilled to check out its sequel, which did not disappoint. GameCenter CX 2 has an even stronger selection of games, from platformers and beat ‘em ups to puzzle and adventure games. I also loved the variety of hardware that got parodied, expanding from Famicom pastiches to the Game Boy, MSX, Sega SG-1000, and more. The store, housing alternate versions of past games, completed the package.

As for a set, CX2’s larger number of games (15 total including the trainer) could offer some key opportunities for achievements. If possible, the daily challenges could be another source, along with the outfits they unlock. Like the first game, I suspect they would start at Arino’s challenges and expand from there, encouraging players to really dig through them.

To conclude, I would very much like to see this set be created (or finished in this case) someday.

Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (PlayStation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble PlayStation Portable Fighting

Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble is what I would consider the black sheep of the family. Rather than a stylish character action platformer, it is a stylish character action… Platformer Fighter/Party Game. Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble pits you and up to 3 other people in a series of weird mini challenges. Sometimes you are collecting gems, sometimes you are defeating enemies, sometimes you are shooting lasers at giant spaceships, look there’s no time to explain, just go. While trying to do these insane minigames you also have to avoid getting your butt kicked by the other opponents.

Not only does each of the 21 characters have their own movesets but there are also VFX power ups around the field that can give you a strong advantage. Your main goal however is not to complete the most challenges, but to get the most money, which you get from clearing challenges, taking out opponents and completing button minigames (yes, we have minigames on top on minigames here). There are 6 Worlds each with 3 stages and a Boss Stages, on top of that each World has a Special Edition and there is also a Final Boss Level, totaling up to 50 Stages. While the GameCube game has more of a focus on multiplayer (to the point where the Single Player options are kind of lacking), the PSP version adds a lot more and is honestly the better version. Not only does it add a Smash Bros.-esque Event Mode, but the game is now Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series (as well as adding some Devil May Cry themed costumes and challenges). This game is pure chaos and could make for a good set.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light Nintendo DS RPG

This is a game I’ve played before, but never managed to beat. Yet, it’s something I NEED to cross off my bucket list. For those who love the Bravely Default games, this is sort of a spiritual predecessor of it. The Job system has Crowns and can be used by anyone. They are upgradable with gems that are looted off monsters. The story goes that Brandt, a young man who just turned fourteen is now recognized as an adult and as tradition, must present himself to the king. But when he does so, the king is in despair as his daughter has gone missing, having been abducted by the wicked Witch of the North. Brandt goes on to save her and thus, the adventure begins! The four protagonist come and go at various points during the story, but eventually they stick together for the rest of the game with the power of FRIENDSHIP! It’s not the biggest one out there, but for what it’s worth, it fun to play.

Beatmania (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Beatmania Beatmania PlayStation Rhythm

While some people view Konami as a swear word now, back in the day when arcades ruled, they were kings, especially when it came to music games. Not only did they make great music games, they revolutionized the genre. From Dance Dance Revolution, GuitarFreaks, to even a game about para para dancing (Para Para Paradise), it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t a good time in gaming. From this era came one of my favorite music game series of all time, Beatmania.

A game where you get to be a DJ with a big turntable and keyboard, blasting out to weird (but wonderful) techno and classic Konami music. The arcade machine is awesome, but we’re not talking about that. Nope. I’m talking about the home console port for the Sony PlayStation. You know what? For a home console port, it’s pretty good. Actually… It’s near arcade perfect.

With the exception of load times and some graphic compression, it looks great, it sounds great, and most importantly, it plays great. While playing with the proper DJ set-up is best, the controls have been converted well for the home market. You can enjoy this game without spending the extra money on the turntable peripheral. Plus, there is a lot to play. A LOT TO PLAY. The home version has a feature that allows add on expansion packs via append discs. Think of it as DLC in disc form. This leaves a lot of potential for a very huge and satisfying achievement set.

Tales of Eternia | Tales of Destiny II (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Tales of Eternia | Tales of Destiny II Tales of Eternia | Tales of Destiny II PlayStation RPG

Namco’s early ‘Tales of (x)’ games set themselves apart from traditional turn-based JRPGs of the 90s and early aughts. Tales of Eternia, renamed Tales of Destiny 2 in the States to boost brand visibility, is my favorite. The battle system features real-time action on a side-scrolling screen, handing the player control over one of several characters, each with different play styles. The story is about two flat worlds separated by a blue sky, eventually allowing the player to move between them. How do these worlds exist so close without gravity slamming them into each other? This universe is just different, although, like nearly every ‘Tales of (x)’ game, it includes elemental spirits that unlock new magic skills as you explore.

For me, the characters stand above those of the previous games in the series, Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny. Although the ‘main’ character is fairly generic, one of the first new party members is Meredy, a mysterious girl from the world hanging in the sky above. It takes some time for the party to learn how to communicate with Meredy, and vice versa, leading to several wonderfully silly scenes where Meredy tries acting out what she wants to tell you. After the party finally reaches her world, a few more interesting characters await as late-game members.

Tales of Eternia is also one of the last gorgeous PS1-era 2D RPGs showcasing the beauty of classic pixel-art. The two worlds are painted with different palettes, one which is primarily Red-Green-Blue and the other primarily Cyan-Magenta-Yellow, reflecting the different elemental spirits living in each (Undine is blue, Gnome is yellow, etc).

I’d love to see a RetroAchievements set encouraging players to explore all the nooks and crannies of both worlds of Eternia: cooking all foods, mastering all skills, finding the secret elementals, etc. Maybe that’s somewhat boring, considering how many JRPGs already have basic completionist sets, but I think this is one of those gems a lot of JRPG fans may have missed by sticking to the more traditional turn-based suspects of the era.

Mizzurna Falls (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Mizzurna Falls Mizzurna Falls PlayStation Adventure

Have you ever watched Twin Peaks or played Deadly Premonition? Then you’ll love this.

Finally, 22 years after its initial release, a full English translation is available for this unique PS1 gem. One of the first open-world adventure games ever made, the story resolves around the mysterious disappearance of a fellow classmate and the dark secrets of a mountainous town in Colorado. You’ve got 7 days to resolve the town’s woes and get one of the 3 endings available.

The game is shockingly realistic for a game from before the turn of the millennium. You can eat at diners, focus on keeping your VW Beetle fueled up and travel by car or boat to help keep up with the time-sensitive events. You can call other characters and businesses which incidentally all have their own individual daily routines. You’ll have to be mindful of the full weather cycle as you collect information from the townsfolk and fight to defend yourself against the various creatures impeding your progress.

A fantastically experimental game that was very ahead of its time, and much deserving of achievements as very few people outside of Japan have ever heard of it, let alone played it.

Wonder Project J - Kikai no Shounen Pino (SNES)

Game Console Genre
Wonder Project J - Kikai no Shounen Pino Wonder Project J - Kikai no Shounen Pino SNES Simulation

It’s another bright and sunny day in a quaint countryside, and a young boy is spending his free time snooping outside his family home. A well in the middle of the yard proves to be irresistible, and the little scamp makes several attempts to climb onto the stony rim and prance along the edge - both of his caretakers are distracted, and he is determined to take advantage of it. One step, then another, then his foot slips, and he plummets down into the watery depths just as his conscience fairy shouts out a warning to her partner-in-child-wrangling, but both of them are too late.

Fortunately for everyone involved, this is not the end, as the boy, Pino, though very human-like, is actually a robot! The day is cut short by the accident, but by tomorrow the repair bills are paid, and the misbehaving automaton is grounded and told to study.

Instead he gets bored of his books, and starts wandering around the house. His nannies catch him just in time as he tries to eat the cat.

This is… Wonder Project J. Half a point and click adventure (with SNES mouse support, too!), half a raising sim (sometimes probably close to what it’s like to be an actual parent), this whimsy and charming and eerily Ghibli-like loose adaptation of Pinocchio puts you in charge of looking after the not so wooden boy and making sure that he gets through the plot in one piece instead of ending up in several at the bottom of the well. For that, he will need to be taught essential life skills, proper manners, and, of course, right from wrong.

Not only a set would draw much needed attention to this charming little adventure, the simulator part of it (Pino can develop in different ways, he has a mind of his own at times, and there are optional disaster events he can get into) will provide opportunities for fun achievements beyond the simple story progression, and- wait a second-

Pino! Pino, spit that cat out!