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.

Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider | Sheep, Dog ‘n’ Wolf (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider | Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider | Sheep, Dog ‘n’ Wolf PlayStation 3D Platforming, Puzzle, Stealth

Sheep Raider (or as it’s less creatively known, Sheep, Dog, ‘n’ Wolf), is a 3D platform puzzle game, and a favorite of mine in the early PS2 days (I skipped PS1 initially). You are Ralph Wolf, a near identical cousin to the infamous Wile E. Coyote (the nose is a different color), whose day job is to try and steal sheep from Sam Sheepdog… and always fail. But maybe the problem isn’t your skills, but rather that the environment is way too plain. Enter Daffy Duck, host of a brand new game show where the entire point is to steal sheep! Of course, you can’t let the sheep get hurt, that kind of defeats the spirit of the endeavor. To do this, you’ll need to sneak, hide, and use a variety of gadgets to fool everyone you come across. And while you’re at it, maybe find the Bonus Time Clock in each level, or even entire secret levels! But that’s just general 100% stuff, and this set has a bit more going on, including speedruns of each level. It’ll be an intriguing balance of cautiousness, creativity and crazed speed, really getting you to look at the game in a different light! So, can you claim the Grand Prize and buy all the muttonchops you want, or will your age-old adversary wipe away your winnings?

Death Jr. (PlayStation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Death Jr. Death Jr. PlayStation Portable 3D Platforming, Action-Adventure

I played this game as part of the Unwanted event on the site. It was left behind by most, because PSP games are usually seen as taking way too long to manage getting done within the 30 day time limit, along with 3-5 other games, but for reasons that were still unclear to me, I had given it a shot.

I absolutely loved it.

Back when Sony was trying to sell the PSP for the first time in 2004, this was one of the first games to be developed for the thing in the first place, and was part of every ad campaign to get players interested. Fans of collectathons with 3D platforming mechanics such as Psychonauts or Banjo-Kazooie will find a familiar type of playstyle here, with scythe gliding off of overhanging rails, scythe wall climbing, scythe wall sliding, etc.

This set doesn’t have too much in the way of creativity in terms of the achievements given to it (although the badge icons themselves are top notch), but it forces you to become good at almost every single one of the game’s agile combat mechanics individually with their combo meter maxed out, and truly complete it at 100%, and at the end of the day, isn’t that the best use of a set?

Mr. Bones (Saturn)

Game Console Genre
Mr. Bones Mr. Bones Saturn 2D Platforming, Minigames

This game is hard to generalize with one genre. It starts off as a platformer, than it becomes a rhythm game, then it becomes some weird stuff that I’m unable to describe without ruining the surprise. It transitions into many different ways to play, many weird things happening, all accompanied by a really sweet soundtrack, mostly good old blues, composed by Ronnie Montrose. Actually, the music plays a really big part in this game. Not to sound just something good to listen, but to actually make you feel anything. A truly unique adventure.

~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Archipelago (Game Boy Color)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Archipelago ~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: Archipelago Game Boy Color Action-Adventure

This Zelda hack for Game Boy Color is a fun, self-contained adventure. It is also an adventure that you should be able to complete (and master) in about an hour. The base gameplay does not vary at all from the other Zelda games on the Game Boy/GBC so that is not really worth getting into.

What you get in this hack is a small group of islands, an archipelago, to explore. Link (or whatever you call your little elfish character) hears a voice and feels compelled to explore the small islands, perhaps to someday finally leave them. There are periodic story updates urging you to go onwards and a handful of NPCs you can speak to round out the environment. Like the Game Boy Zeldas there is an open world connected by caves and waterways to explore. Unlike most Zelda experiences on the same system, the scope is very limited. Even so, the hack still manages to squeeze in some heart containers and, as highlighted by the set, it is possible to acquire items out of order.

Topping it all off is a dungeon and final boss. The boss is a recycled enemy from the base game and not much to write home about. The dungeon on the other hand feels like the tightest part of the hack and does not feel out of place in the series. It is a full dungeon, complete with overhead and 2D sections, just not all in the way you might be used to seeing them. The combat is not very difficult, it is the puzzles that shine. There are a few that may make you pause and think about what you need to do. At the end the small story comes to a satisfying conclusion, if a little artificial as after the final story beat there is no ending screen, just a message saying, “This is the end of the hack.”

In addition to highlighting an instance where you get an item out of order, the achievement set takes you through everything on offer in the hack. Get all of the items, see all the secrets, and of course beat the last boss without getting hit. That last one might cause some people to skip this, but I can assure you that if you get every item, you will see why that cheevo is only worth five points. After mastering the set, I did not feel like I had failed to do something on offer in this short hack.

This is a great set if you feel intimidated by some of the larger Zelda sets and want to try a Zelda game on RA or if you just want to have a tight and contained Zelda experience and do not have a lot of time.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Nintendo DS)

Game Console Genre
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Nintendo DS Beat ‘em Up, Metroidvania

I don’t remember why I clicked on Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions while looking through DS games, but I’m glad I did. I was worried as it was an older set with no masteries (heck, no one more than 5% in), but I jumped in anyway, and I have to say, it was a fun time. There is nothing incredibly difficult to earn in this surprisingly competent Metroidvania, and both the movement and combat feel pretty good (absolute necessities for a Spider-Man game, IMO). This all makes for a satisfying run through an infected New York City as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, so run out there and claim your spot on the first 10 masteries!

Bug’s Life, A (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Bug's Life, A Bug’s Life, A PlayStation 3D Platforming

Hey everyone, I can think of no better way to start off writing my first ever Play This Set than by recommending a game that unexpectedly became a favorite out of the games I discovered here on RA.

If this game hadn’t been selected for AotW, I don’t know that I’d have tried it – but whether or note you’re part of that event, or even if you played min progression for the event – I really think that A Bug’s Life has a ton of fun for anyone to experience. Many classic games have mechanics that are unintended and maybe even a bit janky by modern standards but ultimately add to the charm and the fun – think Mario’s wall jump in SMB, Badge Boosting in RBY, and more. This game has its handful of unintended mechanics – one notable example being that ground-pounding in midair actually increases your horizontal jump distance and gives you better momentum for controlling your landing – but getting the feel for some of the odd mechanics (intended or otherwise) adds a sense of discovery and mastery to the game.

The level that most blew my mind in this game actually came after the AotW point in the game – a boss battle towards the late game made extremely creative use of the way your ammo is determined to make a normally beneficial mechanic into an obstacle to avoid while fighting the boss – and that exploratory twist on what’s become a familiar mechanic by this point in the game took this game up ten points on my hundred point scale on the spot.

Each level in this game has a base objective to clear the level, along with three “medals” – one for collecting 50 hidden grain, one for collecting 4 hidden letters, and one for permanently killing all enemies (with a gold berry). If you’re playing just to complete the last stage and not aiming to get quite a few of these medals along the way – the game will play extremely fast and snappy. If you want a more medium experience time-wise try to grab as many medals as you can along the way – it will definitely enhance your experience. And if you’re a complete masochist, there’s also some absolutely grueling speedrun achievements in the set for individual levels – though those are a bit of a downside if you are a mastery-or-bust player, pursuing a few of them on levels where the targets seem reasonable definitely added to my fun.

The other notable downside is one intended but somewhat hidden mechanic – in addition to cycling through plant colors, you can also cycle through plant types within a color while you’re carrying a seed, or while you’re doing a headstand on a seed. Plus, non-embedded seeds can be blown to higher ground using wind plants. While the tutorial for this game is pretty good overall, the omission of these two advanced mechanics will definitely be a frustration point for players who don’t stumble across them.

On the whole, however, this game was a huge joy to play and to get a significant chunk of achievements on, even if I didn’t choose to go for all the speedruns needed for a full mastery – and at this point, it’s my favorite of the games I’ve played for RA that I’d never played before RA – coming in at an 83, with only one other game so far reaching the 80/100 threshold. While the game may have a reputation for its strangeness, glitchy walls, and slidey physics, on the whole it’s an amazing experience that deserves an open mind.

Fighters Destiny | Fighting Cup (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
Fighters Destiny | Fighting Cup Fighters Destiny | Fighting Cup Nintendo 64 3D Fighting

Fighters Destiny is a fighting game that I feel needs more love. It’s a 1-on-1 fighting game that only uses 4 buttons: An Upper Body Attack, A Lower Body Attack, Block, and Hirari, which in combination with either Up or Down, will let you sidestep either left or right, based on your current position.

Rather than have the traditional “Best 2 out of 3 Rounds” setting most fighting games normally have, Fighters Destiny uses a point-based system where you will earn anywhere from 1-5 points based on how you win a round, and the first to 7 points wins. There are 6 ways to win a round:

  1. Knockdown, which is simply knocking your opponent down by beating them to critical health, then hitting them with a strong attack, or by connecting with a move of yours to take them down instantly. (3)

  2. Counter, where you hit with your fighter’s Counter move right when your opponent goes for an attack. (3)

  3. Throw Down, where you hit a Command Grab by pressing both Attack Buttons together and you opponent fails to escape in time. (2)

  4. Ring Out, which… is self-explanatory. (1)

  5. Special, where you beat your opponent to critical, then pull off the character’s Special while the opponent is still dazed. (4)

And 6. Judge, which is where after 30 seconds, if neither person has won by the first 5 methods, the Judges determine who performed better and the point goes to them. (1)

The point values of each can be changed in the Options, but the numbers in parentheses are how much they are worth by default.

There are 9 characters to start, with 5 more to unlock. Each of them have different fighting styles, and HP. Some are bulkier, like Bob and Tomahawk, some have average HP, like Ryuji (doing just enough to avoid a lawsuit) and Abdul, while Meiling and Pierre have low HP, but can be fast and (in Pierre’s case) pretty tricky to deal with. Also just because you have 2 attacking buttons, doesn’t mean that this game doesn’t have Combos or even slightly complex moves (look up a Move List to this game sometime).

Modes: Fighters Destiny has Arcade (Vs COM), where you go through 10 Stages, defeat the final boss, and unlock a new move for your fighter upon completion, a VS mode for 2 players, Training, Record Attack, and Master’s Challenge.

Master’s Challenge is where you go to unlock your fighter’s true potential (by playing Russian Roulette). How this mode works is there’s a wheel with 12 boxes on it, 8 of them being the Master, and the other 4 being the Joker. If you land on the Master, you fight him. Beat him and you’ll unlock a new move. Land on the Joker, however, and you fight him instead. He is a bastard who knows every move in the game. Lose to him and all the moves you unlocked will be gone and you fail the challenge.

Record Attack itself has 3 modes within:

  1. Survival, which tests you on how many fights you can win in 1 sitting.

  2. Fastest, which tests how quickly you can win.

3 (and probably the weirdest one). Rodeo, where you test how long you can stay in the ring… with a cow. And yes, one of the unlockable characters… is a cow.

There might not be too many fighting games on the N64 (don’t expect any Street Fighters or Tekkens here), but Fighters Destiny handles itself differently enough from a lot of other fighting games that you should at least give it a shot. There’s also a sequel that doesn’t have a set yet, but that’s for a different topic.

Pepsiman: The Running Hero (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Pepsiman: The Running Hero Pepsiman: The Running Hero PlayStation Action


Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

Anyway, this advertisement of a video game actually remembered to BE a video game, as it’s a decent challenge to complete this 3D autorunner! What’s the plot? Who cares! The game sure doesn’t! Just run through the levels collecting Pepsi and avoiding obstacles by jumping, sliding, and dashing past all obstacles in your way! Or… maybe don’t collect Pepsi? This set isn’t simple completion, oh no, we’ve got some special challenges as well! Speedruns, low%, avoiding damage, and a few less obvious feats to boot! Even if you’re just going for a simple Beat though, this game won’t be a pushover! The final world will definitely test your mettle, between the traffic in the first half and the sewers in the second! But you must prevail, for the sake of Pepsi everywhere, for YOU! ARE! PEPSIMAN!!!

~Hack~ Pokemon Kalos Crystal (Game Boy Color)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ Pokemon Kalos Crystal ~Hack~ Pokemon Kalos Crystal Game Boy Color Turn-based RPG

So you’ve played all the mainline Pokemon games, maybe even nuzlocked a few, or done some challenge sets, but you don’t really feel like dealing with Emerald Kaizo, Run & Bun, or RenPlat? It’s often felt like there’s a shortage of quality near-vanilla difficulty hacks in the Pokemon community - with most hacks focusing on either absurdity, kaizo-adjacent difficulty, or expansiveness. But I finally found one hack that hits a sweet spot - Pokemon Kalos Crystal.

Kalos Crystal is one of the truest tributes to the original Pokemon games - replete with quality of life improvements like access to all 3 (6 if you count Unova) starters, the ability to complete the Pokedex in a single playthrough without external trades, improved access to certain items, and the recategorization of dark type to physical - while still serving as a one for one translation of the Johto games using Unova and Kalos mons to replace every mon. The sleeping Snorlax is now a Landorus, the Sudowoodo is now a (single stage mon) Sylveon - after all, Eevee doesn’t exist in this timeline - custom events or overworld trades are added for the mythicals, and there’s even an Elite Four round 2 at level 70 once you get your 16th badge!

Not only is this a fantastic romhack, it also has a truly fair set. Hidden items are never required, and a stable party of roughly 10 mons will let you complete all the gym challenges over the course of the game, not requiring you to train an entirely fresh team for each segment - though still giving you plenty of freedom to use various team members along the way and chip away at your Pokedex. Be prepared to leave a few dark types lower level (especially Malamar - having a level 39 or lower Malamar post E4 is a lifesaver if you’re going for mastery - Hypnosis + Light Screen gives you a realistic shot to take down Janine within cap and using only 3 mons - making your training much less of a hassle), but on the whole, experience a parallel timeline of the Pokemon universe without the brutal unfairness, but keeping all the fun.

~Homebrew~ Böbl | Bobl (NES)

Game Console Genre
\~Homebrew~ Böbl | Bobl ~Homebrew~ Böbl | Bobl NES Action, 2D Platforming

Bobl is a unique little Metroidvania, whose mechanics are entirely based around managing the buoyancy of a bubble in water. Touch something other than water or a collectible, and you die. You can’t exactly jump, but by diving into the water you can then launch yourself out. More powerups increase your dive depth (and thus jump height), or lets you dive in midair once (allowing a safe touch of non-water surfaces. Eventually you’ll be able to reach the clouds (good thing those are made of water!), and eventually reach the tube in the sky to finish the game! If you’re really skilled, then try to pick up all the Rubber Ducks along the way!

The only fault I can levy against this game is that it’s… well, short. I’d really like to see something longer, but on the other hand I’m not sure how much more you could do with this mechanic. Even so, just talking about it makes me want to play it again, which really speaks volumes I suppose.