Wish This Set

Word on the street is a new console is coming to RA very soon. You know what that means - Wish This Set is now accepting PS2 write-ups! Check out the PlayStation 2 Launch article in this very issue to see what’s already on the way, and let us know what else you’d like to see.

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 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!

Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil (PlayStation 2)

Game Console Genre
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil PlayStation 2 Platformer

One of my most desired games is Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil. Klonoa is a series that I would have never tried if not for RA, but has since become one of my favorites. Heck, I loved it so much, I sought out a physical copy of the first game for the Wii, something I rarely do for previous gen games!

However, it’s been a long time since I mastered the last game in this series (no, the RPG doesn’t count, nor does the Volleyball spinoff), and I’d love to return to this unique gameplay style once again. Plus, Lunatea’s Veil was, from my experience emulating it outside of RA (another thing I normally don’t do: non-RA emulation), the toughest game in the series… and you know how I love me a good challenge!

The Wii remake, while it would also be appreciated on RA, is not as high on my list. For one, it’s a remake of the original, which already has a set (not that such would disqualify it by any means). Not much got added in terms of challenges either (though it IS a non-zero amount). For another, it’s a 7th gen game, and thus would take far longer to be supported than Lunatea’s Veil, as that’s a 6th gen game.

PS2 is my most desired console in general, and most likely to become official next, so… yeah. Give me one more journey with the rabbit/cat boy!

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PlayStation 2)

Game Console Genre
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories PlayStation 2 Action-Adventure, Sandbox

This is a pure nostalgia wish for me. I wrote a GameFAQs guide for this. I got a job at EB Games thanks to this game (and a memorable story involving a thunderstorm, pre-ordering, and being polite to the guy behind the cash who happened to be the manager of that store and remembered me). But this isn’t just about me.

It’s about a game that has almost all the trappings of a full console release, made on a handheld console. Sony’s first handheld console. This is one of the best examples of what the PSP represented when it came out: A home console experience playable on the go. Taking the best elements of Vice City but placing them in GTA III’s Map, and a story that takes place before the first PS2’s Open World behemoth, Liberty City Stories is proof positive that just because a game can be played on a system that fits in your pocket does not mean that it will be lacking. We take for granted now with cell phones having full game capabilities, and the Nintendo Switch being a console/handheld hybrid, but in 2005 when this game launched, it blew the doors off what gamers across the world thought handheld consoles were capable of. If you are a fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, you owe it to yourself to give this game a shot.

Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor’s Path | Gyakuten Kenji 2 (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor's Path | Gyakuten Kenji 2 Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor’s Path | Gyakuten Kenji 2 Nintendo DS Visual Novel

I’m frankly surprised there’s still no set for this, the final mainline Ace Attorney game on the DS. Prosecutor’s Path expands on the first Investigations game with more fun features, amusing characters, and a solid set of cases. Like the other games, the set should be straightforward: an achievement for each major investigation benchmark, one for each set of rebuttals, and a damageless run for each case. Here’s hoping the set can finally be completed someday.

Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
Freshly-Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland Nintendo DS Adventure

Honestly, I’m still surprised that this weirdo got a spinoff game. It’s a surprisingly charming game, with tons and tons and tons of rupees! You gotta spend them to make them, but don’t get cocky, cause if you run out, it’s game over! Don’t fret though, you can hire bodyguards to keep you safe and brew a ton of things to aid you in your quest to enter the fabled RUPEELAND! I hope a set for this gets made soon!

Melty Blood Actress Again (Arcade)

Game Console Genre
Melty Blood Actress Again Melty Blood Actress Again Arcade 2D Fighting

A very underrated fighting game that has perhaps seen more popularity in recent years because of it’s latest incarnation “Type Lumina”. Actress Again has it’s own charm, a robust arcade mode with unique scenarios for every character, including dialogue inspired by the games visual novel routes. Aside from Actress Again’s unique air centric gameplay, it also benefits from a 1 of a kind moon-phase system that essentially turns every character into 3 ones that each play uniquely. Every character also has multiple supermoves, including a glorious final move called a “Last Arc” that activates in unique situations for each character.

An excellent dev for this game could choose to make a player play through everyone’s arcade modes in each moon phase, or perhaps just one moon phase for each. There is also of course activating everyone’s hidden Last Arc abilities. This game also features the popular character Neco-Arc (unlockable through the system menu) who is very cute and silly. A set for Melty Blood Actress Again could perhaps be a massive and unique set, maybe even a cornerstone of fighting game sets on RA.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (PlayStation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together PlayStation Portable Tactical RPG

There is blood on my hands, how long till it lies on my heart ?

It is with those ominous words that the game begins. Tactics Ogre walked so that Final Fantasy Tactics could run. If you are familiar with the latter, you will be right at home here: turn-based tactical combats in a medieval-fantasy setting, deep customization options, and political intrigues to rival Game of Thrones. While no one can agree on which is the best version, my vote is on this PSP remake that provided a glow-up to the presentation, more content, and a new “Turn-back time” mechanic to help newer players undo mistakes. Completing TO:LUCT implies pouring hours into the main campaign, including wildly branching paths, before moving on to the post-game for more content, bonus dungeons, what-if scenarios, and tons of rare equipment to collect for those willing. With the recent announcement of a remake coming soon, there has never been a better time for wishing this set!

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness Nintendo 64 Action-Adventure, 3D Platforming, Platforming

“What a horrible night to have a curse”

In 1996, this ‘curse’ was a polygonal mustachioed juggernaut of cultural force. Donned in a familiar red cap but granted a new exotic playable dimension, Mario 64 hit the scene and forever altered what it meant to be a modern day videogame release; publishers as well as developers alike took notice.

The following two annual release cycles saw a whirlwind of returning and fresh IPs explode onto the scene. Some of quality, some banking far more on quantity, in a mad dash to stay relevant and compete in this evolving landscape. Deep in the offices of Konami, however, Koji Igarashi was entering his third straight year of pouring sweat and bloody tears directly into his passion project, that which would ultimately become Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This wasn’t a project of polygons and joysticks, however, but firmly rooted in the next evolution of pixel art. While hindsight is 20/20, this understandably caused Konami to enter into a development fervor, reaching out to other creative inputs and minds in an attempt to metamorphize Castlevania into their own 3D tour de force. Enter director Yuji Shibata.

The year after Mario 64 released, Konami was prepared to show off “Castlevania” (Under Shibata’s tutelage) in a teaser format during the Tokyo Game Show: Dracula is back, you have four playable characters of which one is even a werewolf, and there is even a Mortal Kombat styled fighting mode to be included! While the reveal was met with praise, and reception would lead Konami to believe this to be the way forward, fans were not being given an accurate representation to the state of affairs. The game at the time was critically underdeveloped at only 10% completion - Igarashi and his team were still pouring their souls into what would cement Castlevania into Sony’s history, this would have to be handled by Shibata, and him alone.

What started as a promising and exciting excursion into 3D development quickly turned to a lesson in frustration. At most every turn the Nintendo 64 proved to be a difficult console for this under-experienced team, and almost immediately they began having to pare back features talked about at the previous years Tokyo Game Show. No more fighting mode, trimmed back and linear stages, and in a staggering blow for the time, no more werewolf. From here things began to quickly unravel, from music to actual gameplay controls and mechanics, constantly playing “catch-up” resulted in a losing battle. In January 1999, almost three whole years after Mario 64; Castlevania 64 released, crashing on impact. While initial publications offered some silver linings, it would come to be known as one of the weakest entries in the series.

“The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night”

While Konami was figuratively licking its wounds at large from the fallout of this foray into 3D development, Shibata would not let this be his last effort to make the experience he initially envisioned. The team was re-assembled, or more accurately never dismissed; as development got underway in “Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness” almost immediately. We will have more characters. We will get to have more fleshed out beautiful French vista inspired castle stages - and dammit we WILL GET TO PLAY AS A WEREWOLF!

Time was immediately spent in wiser departments. Controls were streamlined, camera focus became more reliable and needed less babysitting, previously silent uncanny areas were upgraded with not only better music tracks, but the addition of the N64 Expansion Pak ALSO allowed a higher resolution on textures throughout. Having already suffered the defeat of his previous release, Shibata’s team wasn’t crunched for time and demand as much to compete. It allowed them to perform to their own standard, rather than try and raise themselves prematurely to another’s. In December of the same year, “Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness” was released as a follow-up attempt to define Castlevania in the third dimension.

While the all the above doesn’t mean “Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness” is a “good” game per se, the tale of its tumultuous development brings a sense of perseverance and making a stand despite previous shortcomings. When you should for all intents and purposes be defeated or discouraged, don’t forget to dig deep, set your teeth, and fight like a wolf.

bit Generations (Game Boy Advance)

Game Console Genre
bit Generations bit Generations Game Boy Advance Puzzle

The bit Generations series was released in Japan in the summer of 2006 for the Game Boy Advance. Each entry weaves together simple visuals and delightful sounds to make up a set of seven games that prove you can do so much with so little. While there were hints the games would get localized, they unfortunately never left Japan, though a few of them did come through internationally on WiiWare and DSiWare under the new banner of Art Style. With one exception, all games in this series were developed by Skip, who you most likely know as the developer of Chibi-Robo!

The first game we’re taking a look at, Boundish, is something of a toybox compared to the rest of the series. Essentially, most of the modes here are different takes on Pong. One mode has you playing with paddles head-on with bubbles filling the field that can slow you down. Another has you on a constantly spinning record as you try to keep up with which direction the ball is going. And one of them has uh…people with stretched out limbs bounce the ball between each other. Hey, no one said being a human paddle was going to be easy, right? The least Pong-ish mode is Box Juggling which has you seeing how many times you can bounce a box in the air. While Boundish is probably the most minimalist of this minimalist series, it gives you a good sense of what bit Generations aims to do.

Next up is Coloris. This is match-three puzzle game with a grid full of a spectrum of colors. And I do mean a spectrum! Each level uses a different color palette ranging from 4 to 12 colors. For example, if a 4-color level has red and yellow tiles with two colors in between, your cursor will swap between red and yellow to add that color to the tile. Before you know it, you’ll start to notice patterns where you add a touch of red here and a dash of yellow there. Of course, it’s got that satisfying feeling of chaining combos and the occasional items to help clear the board. If you’re wasting time changing colors without making any matches, some of the tiles will instantly become garbage blocks and you won’t be able to clear the level unless you get them out of the way. Coloris is the kind of game that will add color to your life!

But maybe you’re tired of match-three games? Then you might want to try Dialhex, a match-six game! This time, little triangles will fall down and you use your cursor to rotate and match six of them together in a nice little hexagon. Your cursor also doubles as a container of sorts and can hold onto triangles while ignoring gravity, which can help you piece together your hexagons. The main game starts you out with two different colors to work with, and as you create more and more hexagons, more and more colors get added to the field. With Dialhex, you’ll have a heck of a hectic time with hexagons!

Here at the midpoint we have Digidrive, and this one is made by Q-Games, who you might know for the Pixeljunk series. This entry is as much about traffic control as it is about traffic jams. Different colored cars drive towards the center of a cross-shaped intersection and you’ll direct them to park down different lanes. The more matches you make, the more a fuel gauge of sorts fills up. It’ll keep building bigger and bigger until you send a police car down that street to clear traffic and collect the fuel, which is used to boost your score. As you get higher and higher scores, you start unlocking customization options like different skins and more ambient music to choose from. Digidrive won’t steer you wrong and it might just be up your alley!

Dotstream brings us to the back half of the set, and this one is a racing game. In it, you play as a colored line of your choice. There’s no special stats at work here, just whichever floats your boat. The thing about playing as a line is you’re not exactly driving a car, so you can’t really step on the gas. You’ll want to drift along the other lines to build up speed and eventually you’ll be in the lead. The courses are naturally filled with obstacles to carefully navigate around and power-ups to pick up. Besides the races, there’s also Formation mode where the course keeps going for as long as you’re picking up energy pellets. As it goes on, more lines will show up, but these are actually allies who you can control while holding down a button. While it may make picking up pellets easier, it also increases the likelihood one of your lines will crash while trying to remain in sync. If you’re raring to play Dotstream, then get in line!

The next game is Orbital and this one has a gravity gimmick. You’ll play as a tiny little space object traveling between galaxies. All you can do is push and pull yourself into different orbits while collecting more space objects to increase your size. As you get bigger, smaller objects will simply absorb into you instead of contributing to your mass. If you’re just careful enough, you can get them to be in your orbit for a score boost. You know you’ve hit your target size when there’s a yellow planetoid for you to pick up. And by “pick up”, I mean add it to your orbit. There’s also an extra challenge of trying to get special moons in your orbit to unlock some extra levels. It’s not hard to see that Orbital is out of this world!

The last game is Soundvoyager. I know I said before that bit Generations relies on simple graphics, but when it comes to Soundvoyager, the graphics are more or less a courtesy. You could honestly play some of this game with your eyes closed. It’s basically a collection of audio-based mini-games. The most common one is Sound Catcher where you collect sounds to enhance the background music while following the audio cues. At first it seems simple since they’re represented by dots on the screen, but as the game goes on, they become invisible and you’ll need to have an ear for where the new sound is coming and how to navigate to it. Needless to say, headphones are an absolute must for a game like this as you’ll need to be aware of what’s coming from the left and right. Soundvoyager’s stage select also has branching paths and how you proceed will depend on what sound you pick up at the end of the Sound Catcher stages. Other mini-games include using audio awareness to avoid oncoming traffic when you can’t see any of the cars, rotating a cannon to shoot approaching noise, and listening for clucks to catch invisible chickens. Soundvoyager is truly one of the most unique games you could ever play and I hope it sounds as good to you as I made it out to be.

And that concludes this look at seven charming GBA games. I feel like there’s a bevy of interesting sets that could be made here, which will hopefully create more fans for this innovative little series.