Play This Set

Play This Set is a showcase for our passionate community members to write about the games and achievement sets they love. Whether you’re an achievement developer looking to promote your work or a player wanting to spread the word about your favorite hidden gem, we’re always looking for new Play This Set submissions. If interested, submit your write-up as a private message to RANews RANews.

~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Master of Time (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Master of Time ~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Master of Time Nintendo 64 Action-Adventure

The Nintendo 64 Zelda hacking community has come a long way, but most entries can be summed up in one of two ways: do you want a short, highly polished quest, or a longer experience that feels a little too similar to the base game? Master of Time is the rare hack that offers the best of both worlds, featuring a full length adventure in a brand new world. The land of Abello feels about as distinct from Hyrule as Termina did, thanks largely to the beautiful N64 style original textures and models found throughout. The dungeon design blew me away, recontextualizing mechanics from Ocarina in some seriously smart ways. Be warned it does veer into frustrating territory once in a while, however, particularly with some janky platforming and sequences requiring a bit too much precision.

It’s impossible to discuss Master of Time without addressing the story. You’ll quickly realize that the residents of Abello are downright hostile toward Link for no good reason. This, combined with the frequent misspellings and grammatical errors, ends up making for an unintentional gold mine of comedy that’s impossible to take seriously. There’s a clear attempt to tell an ambitious story here, with lots of subversion of expectations, but the execution falls short. Strangely enough, I found that this actually improved the hack for me. Rather than just another mediocre story that likely wouldn’t have elicited any strong reactions from me, Master of Time offers something truly unforgettable. Every time I booted up the game there was always at least one moment that made me either laugh out loud or stare at the screen in utter disbelief. Believe me when I say you’ll never be able to predict some of the outrageous events that transpire in this game, and I mean that in the best possible way.

Master of Time is the most fun I’ve ever had playing a Zelda hack and earns my highest recommendation.

Myst (3DO Interactive Multiplayer)

Game Console Genre
Myst Myst 3DO Interactive Multiplayer Point-and-Click Adventure

Myst, a classic adventure game, features an ingenious use of RA’s design conventions. Each piece of information needed to solve a puzzle is given a “note” achievement, and the achievement’s icon displays a condensed version of the info in bright blue on a yellow background. This blue text is completely invisible while the icon is in grayscale, effectively making it so that the “note” doesn’t appear until you get the achievement. In addition to being terribly clever, this makes the set an exceptionally useful guidance tool for anyone who’s approaching an opaque game like Myst for the first time. There’s also a decent amount of creative challenge achievements, which is a real trick to pull off in a mechanically simplistic game like this. Excellent set all-around!

~Homebrew~ Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment (NES)

Game Console Genre
\~Homebrew~ Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment ~Homebrew~ Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment NES 2D Platforming

Prior to discovering RA, very early on in my Let’s Play days, I was sent several I Wanna Be the Guy games by a fan. Completing some of these was my first real foray into “masocore” gaming, and I had a blast even though I didn’t know most of the references. Why am I talking about a PC game that can’t likely have a set? Because the creator of Battle Kid 2 was heavily inspired by that game, and it shows! This game isn’t a bag of references, though; it instead goes for a mood very much like Blaster Master, which it also nails beautifully.

To win, you must defeat about a dozen bosses, obtain the seven Orrexium Crystals, and become a true platforming master! But the fun doesn’t stop after the final boss! There’s three Special Zones, wholly separate from the main game, that are sure to test your mettle! And what’s more, each ends in a boss fight, either augmenting or completely distinct from those in the campaign!

The one blemish on this set, in my opinion, is the achievement for beating the campaign without passwords. This took me nine hours and 900 deaths, though admittedly it was my first playthrough. Still, anyone seeking to Master this better have a full day to dedicate, and/or be reasonably sure the emulator won’t hang if left on overnight. To fellow CL100 players though, pulling off said Mastery will automatically grant you AuburnRDM AuburnRDM’s challenge, so it may be worth it for that. Either way, this will definitely be a jewel on your gaming wall if you can earn it!

New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
New Super Mario Bros. New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo DS 2D Platforming

This was the first game I got as a wee lad. I had played it for hundreds of hours upon hours. Replayed it dozens of times. Speedran it before I even knew what speedrunning was. Played it so much I was utterly sick of it, and then replayed it because it was one of the few fun games I had even despite getting bored of it.

The game itself was solid then, but then I discovered RetroArch actually had a set on this too. And boy does it actually add an element to the game that rejuvenized my passion for it. We all know of the usual “get every exit” and “get every coin” types of progression achievements that appear in every game, the usual first urge for a developer to focus on 100% a mastery, but one of these cheevos actually sort of added a nice challenge. Playing to jump to get the top of every flagpole in a single session was a neat addition that, despite how small an idea it is, actually made my night every time I tried it. Since the cheevo was sort of long to do in a singular session, it forced me to prioritize the way I switched between powerups (although I did end up using the Mini Mushroom a whole ton).

The addition of minor sparse challenges such as jumping from one section to the other without touching the ground, such as the cheevo titled “Tiny Man and great Danger” as well as “Tropical Clear Condition”, added a sense of danger that was missing to my mind as a pro at this game. An actual challenge managed to set itself in. That’s not even mentioning all the rest, where the developer demonstrated creativity in the challenge development process, ranging from collecting a set amount of coins in a level that really punishes you for missing them and pushing blue shell physics to their creative edge in terms of trying to challenge the player to use it.

It remains one of my favorite sets on the site.

South Park Rally (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
South Park Rally South Park Rally Nintendo 64 Kart Racing

South Park Rally is a fun racing game game that came out in an era where other racers such as Diddy Kong Racing, Mario Kart 64, and Crash Team Racing were all coming out. As a kart racer, it’s difficult to suggest this over any of those games. However, from a challenge and unlockable standpoint, this game really shines. Don’t get me wrong, the game is not bad by any means at all, in fact it is quite fun, it just came out during a golden age of kart racers when the genre was really starting to pick up.

I’ll start by saying the amount of unlockable characters is incredible. And you don’t unlock them from simple “win this grand prix” challenges. Each racer has a very unique way to unlock them, including finding hidden items during a certain race, or winning a race with certain conditions. Some are very challenging, but it feels rewarding. Another thing I love about this game is that not every race is a simple race to the finish. Almost every race is a unique challenge, including “collect X items in a large area”, “win by going to checkpoints 1-4”, and many others. It prevents the game from getting stale which is a problem I have with some kart racers. This also came out during a time when South Park was relatively new, so it’s quite impressive that we got this amount of content. The developer Jamiras Jamiras also came up with additional challenges for the set. Overall, if you enjoy N64 style kart racers with fun and unique challenges, I would highly recommend this set.

~Hack~ Super Mario Bros. Peach’s Adventure (SNES)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ Super Mario Bros. Peach's Adventure ~Hack~ Super Mario Bros. Peach’s Adventure SNES 2D Platforming, [Normal / 61 Exits]

What would happen if Mario and Princess Peach swapped places, so they switched roles? This entertaining and unique hack would come out in its own way: “Super Mario Bros. Peach’s Adventure”.

Solid and high-quality made in the spirit of old classic games, with its own special features, a special and original history, and, of course, an original presentation. It provides original bosses, secrets, locations and Easter eggs.

This set of achievements is not just there, but completely reveals an amazing hack from all sides, and may even make it one of your favorites, or one of the pearls for your collection.

Twisted Metal: Small Brawl (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Twisted Metal: Small Brawl Twisted Metal: Small Brawl PlayStation Vehicular Combat

Twisted Metal: Small Brawl is an often overlooked part of the Twisted Metal series, with a lot of fans calling it the worst game in every aspect. I heavily disagree with that statement, however, and think that this is a very worthwhile time for anyone who wants to try out the series with a respectfully difficult (but not too straining) game, an easy to get through set, and plenty of good aspects such as the level design.

In the game, unlike the other Twisted Metals, you are controlling RC Cars across different modern locations hosted by the playground bully, Billy Calypso. Each driver controls a vehicle with different stats, which includes its own unique special weapon that regenerates ammo on its own. You get plenty of vehicles to pick from the start such as Twister, Slamm, and Sweet Tooth, though there are a few to unlock through the various levels. Weapon items are back, with many ones from earlier games returning such as fire and homing missiles, though one new weapon is the numerous Roman candles.

One of the highlights of the game is the levels itself. Each one has a lot of interesting interactivity to mess with alongside the main fight. You can unlock a few additional fighters from this alone, but other ones will sometimes give you additional items for the fight. Sometimes you can just do it for kicks, like launching a kid off a spinner or turning a duck ride into a cooked chicken in the first level alone. For a late PS1 title they are quite dynamic. Other notable levels includes a death trap kitchen with a plumber’s crack to flame, a minigolf level where you can get the balls into holes, an unlockable bowling alley level where bowling lets you earn items, a meat grinder level with a near insta-kill obstacle you can use to your advantage, and a treehouse level that lets you bounce from one side to another.

Compared to Twisted Metal 2, this game is a lot more forgiving in the difficulty. With a lot of maps having 5 opponents and there being fewer “pile ups”, a casual player is more likely to get through the game. Additionally, it’s the only PS1 Twisted Metal game to actually save your progress and let you keep unlockables. Be sure to give this “hidden” gem a playthrough soon.

MediEvil (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
MediEvil MediEvil PlayStation Action-Adventure

There aren’t many games where the protagonist is a loser, to be mostly safe in making a protagonist that is loved and brings interest in the game as a whole. But MediEvil proves that a loser that has a chance to finally prove themselves to be the hero that they are supposed to be makes it just as charming. The trait of the character is also well translated in game, be it how Sir Dan wields his weapons, how he moves, or how he interacts with the other characters and how basically everyone dislikes him and are reluctant in helping him. This simple premise and the many levels makes this game a joy to play through. The eerie kingdom of Gallowmere is just as beautiful as it is terrifying to venture into.

Moto Racer (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Moto Racer Moto Racer PlayStation Racing

After being hard at work on my motorcycle license, my interest in more motorcycle racing games is at an all-time high. But to get more motorcycle racing games with achievements, I figured I need to get more people interested in this subgenre in the first place! Therefore, allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of Moto Racer, a series published by Electronic Arts that started life on the PlayStation 1. It is a franchise consisting of seven games, with only the first one currently having an achievement set.

Fortunately, this first game proves to be an excellent introduction to the series, not only in terms of the game itself but also the achievement set it comes with. The game features a total of ten tracks, split evenly between motocross bikes and street bikes. This may sound like a short campaign, which is… not false, but the achievement set makes sure you are not leaving before having mastered each of these ten tracks. Not only do you have to simply win the race across various difficulty modes, but also with the various unlockable modes and mechanics to alter the tracks - or bikes, such as racing on the track in reverse or doing so on a silly pocket bike. If that wasn’t enough, become good at racing in first-person as well and say goodbye to automatic transmission. Make sure you don’t ever crash in a race either, and knock out some time trials while you are at it.

Truly, this achievement set covers every single corner of Moto Racer, which I truly feel is one of the best motorcycle racing games from this era. While the track count is on the low side, I think they are good enough to compensate for that, like driving on the Chinese Wall or through the icy mountains. Choosing from the variety of motorcycles is also going to be your key to success, especially since some specialize more on the rougher terrains of the motocross dirt tracks. Fortunately, this achievement set is designed to gradually get you better at the game and more accustomed to the variety of tracks and bikes, so that will all work out in the end!

Taz: Wanted (PlayStation 2)

Game Console Genre
Taz: Wanted Taz: Wanted PlayStation 2 3D Platforming, Collect-a-thon

So you and your girlfriend have been kidnapped, and the guy responsible is also trying to turn your home into a tacky theme park. You’d have to have a pretty calm temperament to not rage at this, and Taz is most certainly not that. Of course, Taz is also a natural force of destruction, leading to an easy escape. Now his face is on Wanted posters all over the place, but not if he has anything to say about it!

This is Taz Wanted, a game where you take control of the dizzy devil to destroy literally everything (don’t worry, it all belongs to that sinister Sam anyway). Of course, the Wanted signs are usually protected, meaning Taz will have to exercise his least-developed muscle (his brain) to do the job. And for Mastery, when I said you destroy “everything”, I literally mean everything. This makes for some rather challenging tasks, even if you’re using a video like I did to ensure you’re not missing anything. Plus, you’ll need to become an expert at disabling Taz Catchers, and overperform in the minigames.

But then again, a great game needs to have some bite to it, correct? And the dopamine rush that comes from all that carnage, plus the excellent OST, is certainly worth it already. So what’re you waiting for? Stop Taz’s Land from becoming Taz Land already!