- G.O.D.: Mezameyo to Yobu Koe ga Kikoe (SNES)
- Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PlayStation)
- Cannon Spike (Dreamcast)
- Donkey Kong Country 3 (Game Boy Advance)
- Rocket: Robot on Wheels (Nintendo 64)
- Mega Man Powered Up (PlayStation Portable)
- Wario Land 3 (Game Boy Color)
- ~Hack~ Pokemon Regulation Red | Pokemon Regulation Blue (Game Boy)
- Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (Nintendo DS)
- Vagrant Story (PlayStation)
G.O.D.: Mezameyo to Yobu Koe ga Kikoe (SNES)
|G.O.D.: Mezameyo to Yobu Koe ga Kikoe||SNES||Role-Playing Game|
Imagine my surprise to see a set this extensive for a game I’ve never even heard of before. G.O.D.: Mezameyo to Yobu Koe ga Kikoe is a Super Famicom RPG, released late in the system’s lifespan, that got a fan translation just a few years ago. And what a game it is!
While I expected an Earthbound-style RPG, with psychic kids fighting aliens, what it actually is is a time-spanning post-apocalyptic tale of human resistance. It’s still pretty goofy, but there are a couple of truly gut-punching emotional moments. It’s rare that a SNES game will make you tear up, but here it is. The RPG aspects are fairly standard, though well-balanced, and there’s a very interesting mechanic for upgrading your psychic skills through various trees. It really gives back what you as a player put into it.
The set is incredibly thorough. Not only are there achievements for fighting bosses under special conditions (and which don’t involve limiting your party’s level - one of my less favorite run types), but also for finding all, and I do mean ALL, of the hidden treasures. I had to consult not only an English-language walkthrough but also a machine-translated Japanese FAQ website, and even with that much help I still ended up checking every interesting looking square in the whole game, trying to find the last few items. There’s so much to do and discover here - it will keep you busy for many hours, and it’s very satisfying to complete.
Anyone looking to get mastery on their first playthrough will want to keep an eye out for missable enemies, buns for the bun collection, and the special boss fight achievements. Missables aren’t marked, but it’s not hard to figure out as you go - just make a backup save every now and then, and make sure you get all the items you can during the intro! G.O.D. came out of nowhere to earn a place as one of my top 16-bit RPGs, and I’ll be forever thankful to Alena for crafting this set.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PlayStation)
|Klonoa: Door to Phantomile||PlayStation||Platformer|
What exactly gives a game its charm? Maybe it’s related to its story, whether it has a simple yet complex gameplay system, a graphic design that is not often used anymore, or maybe it’s a combination of all of these and more. No matter what it is, I know Klonoa has this charm (or that could just be my love for sprite-based characters in a 3D environment talking).
Much like Kirby 64 on the competing console of this generation, Klonoa is a 2.5D platformer that lets you use your enemies as both weapons and to aid in platforming. But unlike the pink puffball, Klonoa doesn’t inhale his enemies, but rather grabs onto them to throw to the side or towards the foreground or background as a projectile, or they can be used as a platform to double-jump. This enemy carrying has its downsides as well, as you cannot use your mid-air hover when holding an enemy. Some bigger enemies, however, cannot be picked up and will instead become harmless in an inflated state (which I am just now realizing is possibly a Dig Dug reference … clever Namco).
The game itself is not too long, with only twelve main stages, a final boss stage, and one extra stage to test your mastery of the controls. With enough practice, you can beat the main story in about an hour. One suggestion I do have if you play this using RetroArch is to at the very least enable the timer for leaderboards to help keep track of your time when attempting the boss speedrun achievements. You don’t want to just miss it and need to play through the entire stage again.
And with that remake for both this and Klonoa 2 announced for later this year, why not explore the world created almost 25 years ago?
Cannon Spike (Dreamcast)
This game is really unique. It’s kind of hard to put this game into one genre, as Cannon Spike for Dreamcast mixes a little bit of beat ‘em up into arcade shooter genre, and does it perfectly. There is only Arcade mode to play, as the game is almost a 1:1 port from Psikyo’s arcade game. The game features Capcom-designed characters and maybe some Street Fighter fans can deduce from this info that Cammy is also featured here, Cannon Spike being Cammy’s trademark move.
The game itself is a bit like a top-down arena shooter (Smash TV) but the focus in this game is more in boss battles. Difficulty can be adjusted as you like, but to earn the majority of achievements it needs to be set to at least normal. Everyone can enjoy the game though, as there are 7 difficulty settings. Every character has 5 different ways to attack enemies and usually heavy/light attacks can be comboed together. Controls are easy to learn and can be remapped.
Cannon Spike isn’t an easy game, though. I’m writing “Play this Set” for a game I won’t master anytime soon, as the 1CC (one credit clear) run is really tough. It’s usually that one tiny bullet that kills the run totally. I’ve heard Arthur (Yes, that Arthur from Ghosts’n Goblins) has quite powerful melee attacks, so he might be a good choice for attempting that. So, if you haven’t played any Dreamcast games yet now that we have support for it, this is a very good and unique choice to try out!
Donkey Kong Country 3 (Game Boy Advance)
|Donkey Kong Country 3||Game Boy Advance||Platformer|
You think you may know Donkey Kong Country 3 but on the GBA its a whole new party. First off if you are a fan of DKC1 and 2, the great David Wise is back to make a soundtrack for this GBA port. The sad news is his work sounds a bit like it went thru a blender just like the other two GBA ports. But if you can track down the uncompressed versions you can hear what are real bangers of his take on the ‘American themed’ soundtrack.
What if I were to tell you that DKC3 on GBA also adds in a brand new world and boss? Well it does! An underwater/sinking world based off Atlantis is added and the Urchin boss from the last world moves over to this world. As for the last world it gets a new boss Kroctopus that fits that world a little better.
But for those of you that have never played DKC3 what awaits you is an adventure on par with the previous two. Dixie Kong is still a blast to play as and Kiddy Kong exists! Seriously Kiddy Kong isn’t the most exciting character to play as but hey he can bounce on water for reasons.
Rocket: Robot on Wheels (Nintendo 64)
|Rocket: Robot on Wheels||Nintendo 64||3D Platformer|
- Set and Writeup by: ShadwSonic
I did not grow up with this game, never even saw it played before trying it out, but after hearing that Suckerpunch (of Sly Cooper fame) got their start with this, I had to try it. The result? I was so impressed that I HAD to contribute to it gaining a set, and eventually did it all!
You play as Rocket, a robot on a single wheel (so close to fitting the title!), who needs to rescue the primary mascot of Whoopie World (a very lazy walrus) from the secondary mascot Jojo (a sneaky raccoon, ironically enough). Apparently he’s jealous, and wants to remake the park in his own image.
This involves scouring every corner of the place for Tokens and Tickets. The former is used to obtain new moves and (if a world is cleaned out) a Ticket. Think Banjo-Tooie’s notes. The latter are the expected Star replacements, only there’s twelve of them to a world instead of SM64’s seven or Banjo’s ten. The game also contains “Machine Parts” that can be used to expand each world further, kind of like Yooka-Laylee … only here, each set is specific to each world, and thus doesn’t come across as an extra loading screen for no reason. Every world is incredibly diverse in its aesthetics, and also plays a bit different as well. Never enough that you’re lost, but you’ll never feel like you’re playing World 1 when you’re in World 3 for instance.
All in all, this is a very solid 3D platformer made in the time of that genre’s heyday. And if you’re anything like me, who cannot get enough of that? You’re in for a treat.
Mega Man Powered Up (PlayStation Portable)
|Mega Man Powered Up||PlayStation Portable||Action Platformer|
If you’re at all a fan of Rockman games, this is an absolute Cannot Miss. It’s a chibi-style remake of the original NES Rockman, and it goes all out. There are now fully-voiced cutscenes, and every character has a distinct personality, with banter before every boss fight. There are three difficulty levels now: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Depending on difficulty, the stages will be shaped slightly differently and enemies will have different patterns. I’d argue Hard mode is even harder than the NES original. Boss fights in particular have been heavily revamped, featuring more complete movesets. There are even two entirely new bosses with their own entirely new stages: Timeman and Oilman.
This would be great on its own, but where this game really shines is the next tidbit: all 8 of the starting bosses are unlockable playable characters, with their own separately tracked campaign progress where they play through the story from start to finish in a what-if scenario where Wily didn’t see fit to reprogram them. Each has their own unique quirks and gimmicks. Some are relatively simple: Cutman, in addition to being locked into Rolling Cutter, can perform wall jumps. But others are more complicated: Oilman’s weapon isn’t really meant for combat, plopping an extremely weak oil droplet with almost no range. But if you walk on it, you’ll start sliding on it like a skateboard, giving you tons of speed and the ability to jump off in midair for a defacto doublejump. Gutsman is my absolute favorite: since his original weapon is based on picking up blocks found throughout the levels, he’s able to summon blocks directly out of the ground. It effectively turns the entire game into a puzzle platformer and makes you completely rethink every screen.
And if you were wishing they’d made a more faithful remake: they did that, too! Old Style Mode is a block-for-block recreation of the original game running in the new engine, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio. If you REALLY want to die, there’s also a massive Challenge Mode featuring 100 separate challenges: 10 each for the main 9 characters, plus 10 separate Boss Rushes with different combinations of mode and difficulty.
And if you REALLLLLY really wanna die, the game had a level editor à la Mario Maker with tons of official levels available as free DLC. These levels are all represented in the achievement set, and some of them require skills way beyond the main game to complete.
If you want to complete the set, you’ll be seeing everything the game has to offer: one full playthrough of the game with every character on at least Normal (including some extra characters I haven’t mentioned), all characters unlocked, all collectibles obtained, a full playthrough of Old Style, the entirety of challenge mode completed, every DLC level completed, and a few miscellaneous challenges along the way such as damageless boss fights and individual feats with each character. This game is absolutely stuffed, and the set is stuffed to match. If you haven’t tried it before, please do! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed~
Wario Land 3 (Game Boy Color)
|Wario Land 3||Game Boy Color||Platformer|
The premise of Wario Land 3 is that Wario is exploring a world inside of a mysterious music box. Taking cues from Wario Land 2, Wario has a similar moveset and is invulnerable to death, so there’s no need to hunt for extra lives or continues. Where it differs from Wario Land 2 is that it makes the levels more open and explorable with multiple goals in the form of treasure chests. Each treasure chest has a corresponding key hidden somewhere in the level. You’ll gradually unlock Wario’s moves and other items to help you navigate through the levels, so you might come across a key or a chest before you’re able to use them, but in due time, you’ll be an unstoppable powerhouse.
On top of the treasure to find, there’s also some musical coins hidden in each level. These are hidden in more devious places and for the most part, you won’t be able to get them all on your first trip through the level. Which is just as well, since the coins won’t do anything for you unless you collected the whole set from the level.
Alright, so you’ve gone through the level collecting all the treasure and you’ve done another run where you got all the coins, so what’s next? By the time you get to that point, the game will have opened up a Time Attack mode where you can zoom through the level collecting all the keys and getting out of there as fast as possible.
If you’re an experienced Wario Land 3 player, the basic treasure chest playthroughs and the tricky musical coin playthroughs might already be ingrained into your playstyle, but if you’re like me, then you probably didn’t give too much attention to the Time Attack runs. This set gives you some times to hit and put the finishing touch on truly mastering these levels one final time. On my part, it felt very satisfying to go through these levels again and again for different reasons and I certainly think if you’re also a Wario Land fan, you’ll be satisfied too.
~Hack~ Pokemon Regulation Red | Pokemon Regulation Blue (Game Boy)
|~Hack~ Pokemon Regulation Red | Pokemon Regulation Blue||Game Boy||Role-Playing Game|
The Pokémon series is usually a fun, light-hearted experience for youngsters and adults alike, though many agree that the entries are somewhat easy to complete. Players who want an extra challenge usually abide by some personal rules to make the games more difficult and, in a certain way, even more enjoyable. Speedrun, Nuzlocke, Soul Link, Monotype, and Randomizer are some of the challenges that players do, but they are nothing more than self-imposed rules which the system can’t recognize and has no way of tracking.
Now, this is where Pokémon Regulation Red/Blue comes in. In this Hackrom you will have a list of challenges that will test your might on the original Red and Blue games. The challenges are inserted into the game by plugging in a Regulation Code that, if broken, you will be forced into a blackout. In exchange for your hard efforts, you will gain some precious achievement points!
The challenges include Monotype for each of the types, two extra difficult settings for the game, No Exp Gain, Ditto Challenge, Team Rocket, and even some short yet sweet modes that are sure to keep you more than entertained.
That’s not all, you also have different Leaderboards for each of the challenges including Speedrun, Least Damage Taken and Least Exp Gained. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start playing, I’m sure you’ll love it!
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (Nintendo DS)
|Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies||Nintendo DS||Role-Playing Game|
This game is… massive. Incredibly massive. If you ignore everything else and just go through the main story, (but do make sure to grab all the missables) you still have hundreds of hours of content to go through! Especially the grottos. Grotto after grotto after grotto! It’s a fun experience with tons of customizable options. But be warned though, a lot of it is gonna be an RNG nightmare! So if you want to spend about a thousand hours of exploring a fantastic world with your friends, (since if you fancy and they fancy, you can create custom characters to represent your friends) then take the plunge into the world of the Celestrians!
Vagrant Story (PlayStation)
|Vagrant Story||PlayStation||Action Role-Playing (ARPG)|
Vagrant Story has it all. A gripping story, a world that will suck you in and not let go, beautiful art and rewarding gameplay that is as complex as you want to make it. You explore the Lea Monde, an ancient city ravaged by the Dark 25 years prior as three groups compete to control its treasure. As a Riskbreaker for one of the groups you are sent into situations you aren’t expected to survive, all in the name of peace. Everyone, including the protagonist, are hiding secrets that cannot remain secret in a place that corrupts the intentions of all who enter. As you crawl through dungeons of a civilisation eradicated overnight, you’ll slowly start to wonder if you what you desire is actually worth the price it will cost.