- Dante’s Inferno (PlayStation Portable)
- FlatOut: Head On (PlayStation Portable)
- Cool Cool Toon (Dreamcast)
- Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code (Game Boy Advance)
- Dark Spire, The (Nintendo DS)
- Tweety & the Magic Gems (Game Boy Advance)
- Paperboy 2 (SNES)
- Alcahest (SNES)
- Bomberman 2 (Nintendo DS)
- Super Robot Taisen: Alpha Gaiden (PlayStation)
Wish This Set is a showcase for our passionate community members to write about the games they love that aren’t yet represented on the site. Is there a game you’d like to see receive an achievement set? Let us know by sending a private message to RANews. We encourage you to explain what makes the game so special to you, and you may be featured in a future issue of RANews!
Dante’s Inferno (PlayStation Portable)
|Dante’s Inferno||PlayStation Portable||Action-Adventure|
- Write-up by: Cadaxar
This game is right up there with the great PS2 beat-em-ups Devil May Cry and God of War. The PS3 offered us something great with Dante’s Inferno with the classic formula we’ve all loved. Beat the snot out of devils and demons through the seven layers of hell to save your wife after you were sent on a conquest to cleanse a land of sinners. Tons of customization options are on offer here with your badass scythe and cross as a ranged weapon with epic bosses to bring low. And if you have played this mature title before how can you deprive new players of Cleopatra’s bees?
FlatOut: Head On (PlayStation Portable)
|FlatOut: Head On||PlayStation Portable||Racing|
- Write-up by: Blazekickn
I asked my parents for Burnout and they accidentally gave me a copy of FlatOut 2 instead. While I think Burnout is probably the better game, this was far from a scam. FlatOut 2 plenty satisfied my thirst for high speed destructive car game action. The usual races are here, but there’s also the Destruction Derby modes and the Minigames which set it apart from other racing games. This is essentially a port of an enhanced port of the PS2 game - it’s the same game I grew up with, just with all the extra content added in FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage, which is nice and gives this version a reason to be supported besides “More Points”.
Cool Cool Toon (Dreamcast)
|Cool Cool Toon||Dreamcast||Rhythm|
- Write-up by: freezestar
Cool Cool Toon is a Rhythm Game made by SNK, in it you dance against other people using the stick and the buttons. You use the stick to navigate a circle and press the buttons when they show up. The game has a pretty good cell shading style and some good music. I think the problems that might arise when making the set is the menus could be confusing as they are all in Japanese, and as the game is developed by SNK it gets rather difficult pretty fast. Despite that I still think this game’s graphics and music are good and the game as a whole would make for a good set.
Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code (Game Boy Advance)
|Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code||Game Boy Advance||Collectible Card Game|
- Write-up by: Shaoden
Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code is arguably one of the best trading card game adaptions ever made. Shadow of the Code is actually the 3rd Duel Masters game that was released for the Game Boy Advance, which is one of the main reasons why the game is so polished. While most TCG-based video games have at least one major flaw, Shadow of the Code is one of the very few that does nearly everything right.
I suppose I should mention the mechanics of the actual card game in case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with Duel Masters. It’s essentially a more streamlined version of Magic the Gathering. Once during a player’s turn, he can put any card in his hand onto the field as a mana source (i.e. land) of whatever civilization (i.e. color) the card happens to be. Players can then use this mana as fuel to cast spells and summon creatures. Instead of life points, five cards from each player’s deck are placed face down as shields at the start of the game, and the attacking creatures have to break the opposing player’s shields before they can declare a direct attack to win the game. Broken shields are placed into their owner’s hand, but they can also be immediately played for no mana cost if they contain the special keyword “Shield Trigger”. Duel Masters is just complex enough to provide a decent amount of strategy and deck diversity while also keeping individual matches short and sweet.
Like previous card RPG’s, such as Pokemon Trading Card Game and SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash - Capcom and SNK Versions, this game has you assume the role of an up and coming card player, traveling to different locations in order to defeat new opponents and gather more cards. Shadow of the Code includes numerous characters from the Duel Masters anime, and while they feature prominently in the plot of the game, no prior knowledge of the anime is needed to play Shadow of the Code. The overall balance within the game is quite good. Computer opponents definitely know how to play the card game, even if they do sometimes make a mistake, such as attacking and blocking when it would have been smarter to hold back. Both the size of the card pool and the acquisition of new cards are also well-balanced. Shadow of the Code includes the first eight sets of the Duel Masters TCG, which add up to a whopping 600 cards. The later sets become available as you play the game, and you can either earn cards by buying booster packs or else by completing special challenges put forth by the other duelists that are scattered throughout the city. Each duelist will award three different higher rarity cards, and the challenges can be anything from defeating that person in a duel (usually under special circumstances) to beating their high score in one of a handful of mini-games. Even if you ignore the somewhat forgettable story, there’s always something to do in Shadow of the Code. There are numerous locations to visit throughout the city, each one packed with countless duelists and its own tournament featuring a unique set of restrictions. My one complaint with the game is that you can only have two decks built at the same time, an aspect of the game which was never updated after Sempai Legends, the very first Duel Masters game for the Game Boy Advance.
A good achievement set for Shadow of the Code would likely require a great deal of work and an intimate knowledge of the game, so I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that no one has stepped forward to attempt it. It’s just strange to me that nearly every Yu-Gi-Oh game, at least prior to the 7th generation of consoles, has achievements when none of the Duel Masters games do.
Dark Spire, The (Nintendo DS)
|Dark Spire, The||Nintendo DS||Role-Playing Game, Dungeon Crawl|
- Writeup by: AuburnRDM
The Dark Spire is heavily inspired by the classic dungeon crawler, Wizardry. The inspiration even goes as far as to let the player change the graphical style to match that of old-school sprites, sounds, and wire-frame dungeons. Otherwise, the modern style does a great job at adding mood and character to the setting. Like the classics, this game is vague about information and much needs to be figured out through exploration and experimentation (or looking at an FAQ). Although, while encounters will be challenging and puzzles cryptic, the game throws a small bone to the player by allowing them to save anywhere. That said, don’t expect this to make the game easy. I personally enjoy how it respects the player’s time while still maintaining an old-school feel overall.
The game may seem basic at first, but don’t let it fool you. Gameplay is heavily based on dice rolls — from character creation to attacking an enemy. Systems, in general, are very reminiscent of older Dungeons & Dragons rulesets. Spells use charges instead of MP, characters can multi-class, skills range from acrobatics to painting, and more.
If you’re looking for a throwback dungeon crawling experience with a fresh coat of paint, definitely give The Dark Spire a look.
Tweety & the Magic Gems (Game Boy Advance)
|Tweety & the Magic Gems||Game Boy Advance||Board Game|
- Writeup by: BahamutVoid
I have fond memories for Tweety and the Magic Gems for being especially silly. Tweety Bird is slowly turning to stone so the Looney Tunes gang have to scrounge up the titular “Magic Gems” found all over the world to undo the curse. You use a deck of cards to move across the board while trying to outdo your opponents because honestly, Tweety can wait while you decide which of you can jump on mushrooms the fastest. Your performance in minigames can earn you points that can be used to buy items to help yourself or hinder your friends. You can even just outright steal one of the gems if you happen to run into an opponent and win a minigame versus them. The music is insanely catchy and you will find yourself humming it even when it’s not playing. It’s a Mario Party clone brimming with its own charm that definitely needs some love on the site.
Paperboy 2 (SNES)
- Writeup by: Enagonius
Conflict is a primordial source of narrative. And even some of the most arcade-y games out there thrive on at least a primeval storytelling concept, which, on its own right, generally stems from conflict. You have to BEAT an adversary. You have to FIGHT evil. You have to KILL monsters. And it’s all right. That is true for other forms of media as well, since even soap operas without violence need some degree of antagonism to move the main characters forward: they want to achieve something and someone or a situation is on their way.
With video games, specially older entries, the source of conflict tended to be simple because of the need for narrative to take a backseat sometimes so player agency becomes central to the gaming experience. Unless we’re talking about text-heavy or dialogue-centered games, generally the story is perceived through exposition while the game mechanics focus on how to act on said conflict and go against the antagonism: kick the ass out of bandits in beat-em-ups, jump on turtles in Mario, shoot space pirates in Metroid, confront a rival team in sports games.
All of this is noticed by us even as children, even if we are not aware of this. But Paperboy 2 was the one to break that notion for me.
I remember my Saturdays as something special because I went to visit an aunt of mine so my mom could drink coffee with her while we chit-chatted and then came in the boys time! And most of it was playing video games, of course. My cousins owned a Super Nintendo and we could play for hours, and then go to a game rental store to play a bit of PlayStation there, and then rent a SNES cartridge to bring home (when I got my own Super Nintendo from my parents we then brought home two cartridges and decide who would keep it during Sunday).
The memory is very clear to me of a certain weekend where we were playing some Bloody Roar in the game rental store and we chose two cartridges to bring home to our respective Super Nintendos: Contra III: The Alien Wars and Paperboy 2. We decided who would keep each of them with a best-of-three JoKenPo dispute. And I remember being pissed because I got Paperboy 2. Come on! I wanted to shoot aliens and be angry because the game is hard!
What a delightful experience it was! I got home and immediately inserted the cartridge on my console … And became hypnotized by the game. It was so much fun seeing the small silly ways you could affect the streets, houses and citizens by throwing papers; and, of course, the primal craving for getting bigger and bigger scores.
But something else popped in my mind: “hey, who am I fighting against?” Of course, as a kid I didn’t know how exploited the working class is, so my answer nowadays would be “the capital!” (hahaha). But jokes aside … The game is beautiful in its simplicity, specially taking in consideration how you are just a dude delivering newspapers.
I see a lot of potential in a set made for this, since you can go full arcade with the hi-score based achievements but also reward players for interacting with the many possibilities within the game, from saving babies to running from angry mummies or simply throwing an old man into a pool. But in the end, it’s all about delivering papers.
- Writeup by: Rohsiph
I thought I knew just about everything regarding SNES through PS2-era RPGs. Alcahest slipped under my radar. What is it? A Squaresoft-published, HAL Laboratories (of Kirby fame)-developed action RPG that was never localized for other regions. Gameplay is similar to Soul Blazer, which is another favorite of mine that released closely to Alcahest. Although the game lacks the open exploration of other early action-adventure favorites (ahem), it’s a vibrantly-colorful romp that deserves recognition beyond Japan. I’d love to dig in with a meaty achievement set based on boss and progression challenges.
Bomberman 2 (Nintendo DS)
|Bomberman 2||Nintendo DS||Action|
- Write-up by: NickGoat1990
Bomberman 2 for Nintendo DS is a game that may have flown under the radar for many as it was never released in the US.
This game tries to put a spin, not only on the traditional gameplay, but also on the character and setting. Bomberman now is an antivirus program sent out to protect a network from a malicious external attack, very reminiscent of Mega Man Battle Network.
The difference with MMBN though, is that Bomberman 2 does maintain the core gameplay the series is known for: top view, soft blocks that can be destroyed, enemies to blow up, it’s all there. But it also adds RPG elements, you can gain experience which allows you to equip different parts to Bomberman, parts that you encounter within the levels. These parts grant Bomberman different abilities or an increase to his stats, many like the traditional power-ups, which are still there, but their buffs only lasting during the level you find them in, whereas the buffs granted by parts are permanent while the part is equipped.
As for levels, they are now composed of different rooms, each room having its own goal to meet in order to progress, from the standard kill all the enemies, to finding a keycard, to killing tougher enemies within a time limit, among others. Levels might even offer branching paths.
This game can make for a rich set, not only there are all the parts to collect, you’re graded according to how well you did on a stage, also, different challenges could be implemented by forcing certain equipment in certain stages.
Super Robot Taisen: Alpha Gaiden (PlayStation)
|Super Robot Taisen: Alpha Gaiden||PlayStation||Tactical RPG|
- Write-up by: heintsi
I love mechas, crossovers and turn-based strategic RPGs, and Super Robot Taisen: Alpha Gaiden has it all. Featuring mechas and characters from over 20 well-known anime series combined into one storyline, this game is one of the biggest crossover games of its time. The game plays like any Super Robot Taisen game: You battle it out on the isometric map and you get to choose and upgrade your mechas before each big mission. It’s what you’d expect from a mecha strategy game, but it’s quite easy to access. This game also introduced the support system to the series. But arguably the best part of these games is the animations and character themes that play during each mecha’s attack/special attacks. Alpha Gaiden also is one of the first games to have fully animated special attacks, instead of just basic attack animations. I never get tired of Mazinger Z shouting “BREAST FIIIIRE!” while his theme plays in the background. The story also has branching paths, so the set could potentially be quite large, but isn’t that what we love here?
So, the series is basically a love letter to mecha and anime fans in general, and Alpha Gaiden would be the most modern entry to have in RetroAchievements, having full CD-quality sound and pretty good graphics, too. I know the language barrier is there, but Aeon Genesis has released a pretty complete and competent translation, which only lacks Character/Mecha database entries and Karaoke mode. If you aren’t familiar with the series, I suggest giving a try on Super Robot Wars J which is also a crossover entry to the series and already has a set. It should give you an idea of what the Super Robot Wars is about and get you into the mecha anime spirit.