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~ Pokemon FireRed: VR Missions (Game Boy Advance)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ Pokemon FireRed: VR Missions ~Hack~ Pokemon FireRed: VR Missions Game Boy Advance Puzzle, Role-Playing Game

There’s many ways to explore the mechanical depth of a game/series you think you know. Sometimes it’s the rare competitive strats needed to clear a hard Kaizo hack, a nuzlocke run with competitive rules, or even to win matches on ladder. But some mechanics and hidden depths will almost never be relevant to winning strategies - until now.

Pokemon FireRed VR missions is a unique hack - based on a series of missions, each with their own goals, and each showcasing mechanics that may never come into use in a normal play, even of challenging hacks. Whether it’s the use of rare moves that depend on the type of ground you’re standing on, gym battles with clever shoutouts to the show, or even forcing you to get good at dodging trainer vision - you’ll learn things about the game you never knew you didn’t know, all with a backdrop of fun experiences.

The cheevo set takes this vision to an additional level too - with cheevos that force you to solve some of the missions the “hard way” - effectively adding an additional layer of puzzle to the existing puzzles - and making the gameplay even better. The nature of the challenges - and the game itself - are fundamentally bite-sized in nature, making it a perfect choice for chipping away at over a period of days, weeks, or even months. But if you need a binge night of weird Pokemon, it’s also suitable for that. For a game customizable to your desired playstyle, and a game that shows everyone new things about Pokemon, no matter how much you already know, Pokemon FireRed VR Missions is an excellent showcase feature.

Firemen, The (SNES)

Game Console Genre
Firemen, The Firemen, The SNES Action

It’s Christmas Eve in the far-future year of 2010. A fire breaks out at the Metrotech Chemical Company building, and is blazing out of control! Only firefighting experts Pete and Daniel can prevent the fire from reaching the building’s dangerous chemicals and causing untold damage.

The Firemen is an arcadey top-down action game where you take on a blazing fire with your trusty hose, rescuing stranded citizens and securing safe routes along the way. The game’s only “enemies” are fire (or things that are on fire), but each fire formation has its own behavior that you’ll learn how to identify and neutralize as you progress. You’re also accompanied by Pete’s assistant Danny, who follows you around with his trusty fire axe (yes, he uses it to put fires out - don’t think too hard about it) and provides support by investigating points of interest, opening doors, and escorting rescuees. Honestly, he’s probably one of the best AI companions in gaming, he’s incredibly helpful.

On top of being fun, The Firemen carries the cheesy air of 90s American action flicks, and at times it really feels like you’re playing a classic movie. The story may not be terribly involved, but the bits of dialogue between stages and during the lulls in gameplay are just enough to keep you engaged.

I think anyone looking for some good old-fashioned SNES action should give the game a shot. And if you’re a bad enough dude looking for a challenge, getting the Legendary Firefighter rank is quite a task. There’s also a sequel for the PlayStation, but that one never left Japan.

~Homebrew~ Amoeba Jump (Atari 2600)

Game Console Genre
\~Homebrew~ Amoeba Jump ~Homebrew~ Amoeba Jump Atari 2600 Endless Runner

The Atari 2600 is known for having games with janky controls and graphics that don’t look like what they should be. Some games, however, avoid both issues, and Amoeba Jump is one of them. Doodle Jump is a wide known game, and Amoeba Jump took lots of inspiration from there. It’s an endless “Jumper” where you jump higher on small platforms while avoiding falling down. There are also trampolines along the way to catapult you to new heights! Upon reaching a certain height, you will start to see letters being on some platforms. They are bacteria the amoeba can eat to collect them. Upon collecting enough to spell the word A-M-O-E-B-A, you will gain a massive boost while flashing in rainbow colours. At some later point more types of platforms get in your way like the moving and breakable ones. The screen also wraps around, meaning you can leave one side to go to the other. It’s a really well-done game for the Atari 2600 with it’s smooth controls and basic graphics, which is really worth a try!

~Hack~ P Rank 64 (Nintendo 64)

Game Console Genre
\~Hack~ P Rank 64 ~Hack~ P Rank 64 Nintendo 64 3D Platforming, Collect-a-thon

Once upon a time, earlier this year in fact, the newest indie darling hit the scene. Going by the name Pizza Tower, it immediately caught the attention of the Internet, and cyberspace still hasn’t become bored of it. Truly, one could say that the best game of the year was released right at the start! However, like all good games, it had to end. This saddened many, but of particular note was a SM64 hacker by the name of CowQuack. Then he got an idea: “Could I add the combo system into SM64? Would that be interesting? Would it even be possible to complete?” As it turns out, the answer to these questions were all yes!

Welcome to P Rank 64, the hack of the base game that challenges you to complete everything in one continuous run to procure the pizza palisade’s proudest prize with the primary paisano! The rules are simple: every course has been edited so that all of its Stars are available at all times, and you won’t get booted out until you’ve got all six of them! Once you enter though, a combo timer will start counting down. Refresh it by collecting items, defeating enemies, or triggering secrets, because if it runs out, you lose! Avoid that fate while obtaining all the Stars, and you win the P Rank for that course! But it doesn’t end there! Avid SM64 fans know that there’s actually seven stars in a full course, not six. That last one, the 100 coin Star, is not part of P Ranks, but if you fit it in, you’ll go beyond Perfect and into Mastery, becoming Mario, and earning the magnificent M Rank!

So if you’re looking for an excuse to play SM64 again, but don’t want to delve into the insanity that is some of its subsets (or already completed them), then this present from Peppino is exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Need for Speed: Underground (PlayStation 2)

Game Console Genre
Need for Speed: Underground Need for Speed: Underground PlayStation 2 Racing

This is one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had here at RA. Need for Speed: Underground is a game that I played a lot when I was a teenager and it in itself is a wonderful game to play, one of the best in the franchise, with epic soundtracks that are instantly recognizable. What made me more impressed was that I increased my skill in the game, achieving extreme and giant scores that are at least 50x higher than the machine on hard. If you thought you knew how to play, try to achieve these achievements, and I’m sure your mind will explode at how much you can improve in the game. You need to go through this experience in these achievements - either you give up or continue until the end.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (PlayStation 2)

Game Console Genre
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus PlayStation 2 3D Platforming, Stealth

Sly Cooper is a PS2 game made by the folks at Sucker Punch Studios, which became one of the big 3 mascot platformers for the PS2 era. The game is based around the titular character named Sly Cooper, a master raccoon thief from a lineage of raccoon thieves. He was orphaned at a young age when a group of enemies known as the Fiendish Five showed up and killed his father and stole the heirloom of the Cooper line, the Thievius Raccoonus. The Thievius Raccoonus is a tome of knowledge written by every single member of the Cooper line, detailing maneuvers mastered by each member and new ones they make themselves. Sly ends up in an orphanage with 2 other people, Bentley the turtle, and Murray the hippo, and they become friends. After growing up they become the Cooper gang and go on heists to steal from other criminals - after all, there’s no honor, no challenge, and no fun in stealing from ordinary people.

You spend the game tracking down those who killed your father in order to get the pieces of the Thievius Raccoonus back from them, going through some varied scenery along the way. From wrecked pirate ships in the Welsh triangle, to voodoo magic filled swamps of Haiti. The platforming, while simple, is very well made and focuses on utilizing master thief techniques learned from your book, such as being able to walk on ropes, land on spires, slide on rails, and even how to become invisible to enemies and more. The design of the game is a cell-shaded style, which helps it age very well as even when played nowadays it looks as good as it did when it came out. Gotta love when people don’t always go for realism. Never ages well when compared to future games.

As you recover parts of your book and defeat the bosses that killed your father. You start to become aware of a looming threat that has haunted your lineage since the dawn of the Cooper line, and eventually confront it. Which is real Hoot. All in all, it really makes you feel like a devious, Thievious Raccoon.

Point Blank (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Point Blank Point Blank PlayStation Arcade, Adventure, Minigames

Many light gun games share sort of the same experience, only diverging from that ever so slightly. When many of these games tried to be the best light gun game, Point Blank instead tried to be the most unique light gun game, and it did so with strides. You’ll be shooting, of course, but you’ll be shooting in a set of different mini-games, all very colorful and wacky! You’ll be shooting many different kind of targets, like chickens, UFOs, Skeleton, anything BUT the bombs with a skull, or you’ll lose a life! This version of the game also comes with the console exclusive quest mode, in which has you explore an island in the form of a gun, Point Blank Island, to find a treasure and get rich. This game is a prime example of a fun and inventive experience. And it does so tremendously well, so much that it shouldn’t be missed if you’re a fan of shooters, or just wacky experiences like this one.

Klonoa Beach Volleyball (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Klonoa Beach Volleyball Klonoa Beach Volleyball PlayStation Sports - Volleyball

Get ready to serve a punishment, and have a ball of fun while doing so, as it’s time for Klonoa and friends to play some volleyball!

Klonoa Beach Volleyball is a spinoff of the Klonoa series in the sport of, well, volleyball. The game includes multiple characters from both the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance titles, each with their own stats and classified under the types Attacker, Balanced, Speed, Technique, and Super. Every match is a 2-on-2, so you can choose between picking a secondary character to cover up the faults of your main, or doubling down with the same type.

Now there’s an extra mechanic to these volleyball matches: special attacks. For scoring a point by having the ball hit the ground on your opponent’s side of the field, squares will fill up in your special icon, which is broken down into nine squares (have the ball land in the top-right corner to fill in the top-right square for example). Once you have three squares in a row, you can perform a special attack that can be faster than your normal strikes and will give you additional points for every line currently in your special icon, up to nine points from one move! However, just because it can give you those points, doesn’t mean it will. If the opposing side stops the attack, all of your squares that were part of lines will vanish, with no points earned. It’s a high reward play that can end up being nothing unless you’re nearly guaranteed to score.

I will warn you, however, that the game has a bit of a learning curve to get used to the controls and finding the best way to win matches. My first championship clear took about 40 minutes to do, while the rest took around 10-20 minutes to finish. Once you get past that start, the rest of the set shouldn’t be too tough to accomplish. Keep in mind, however, that even though you pick two characters in championship mode, only the first one counts as a clear (the second one is more of a support to you), resulting in having to play through the mode 12 times, one for each character. Be careful with which team duos you use, as not having a good attacker can lead to struggling to win.

Some of the achievements I really liked with the set were the challenge achievements (like winning a match without letting the opposing team score), and the concepts for the exhibition matches, like winning a match against level 3 CPUs with a small ball while everyone is tiny, or winning a match using the boomie ball (essentially a timer, as it explodes after a while, giving a point to the side that didn’t have the ball when it exploded).

However, my one criticism with the exhibition matches is their length. In comparison to the championship mode, which is a single set of first to 10 points, the exhibition matches requires doing best of 3 sets of first to 30 points. This longer match will test you on how long you can keep going, although it does feel a bit excessive (and to think the game allows for best of 5 sets). But even with that, the game is still quite fun to play. Wahoo!

Tekken 3 (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Tekken 3 Tekken 3 PlayStation 3D Fighting, Beat ‘em Up

Christmas Eve, 2000. After visiting my grandparents, my family and I come home, and we eat Christmas dinner and open our gifts. I remember two gifts in particular: a green lava lamp, and Tekken 3 for the original PlayStation. In the light of said lava lamp I played Tekken 3 in my room until I fell asleep with literally a controller in hand. That’s the kind of hold the game got of me immediately. To this day I’ve kept Tekken 3 as a part of my Christmas rituals; what better way to burn off the holiday meals than kicking some butt with my favorite character in the game, Ling Xiaoyu. 23 years later, we still got it.

Tekken 3 is in fact the third game in the series and in my opinion it is a much bigger leap from the second game than 2 was from 1. Gone are the ridiculously gigantic jumps and the less than ideal character models of the games that came before. Tekken 3 looks great, sounds great, and plays fantastic, even by today’s standards not bad at all I dare say. The player has an option of 10 characters in the beginning, which can be increased to 21 by completing the arcade mode enough times. The classic team battle, time attack and survival modes make a comeback, but there’s new additions too. Tekken Force is a Streets of Rage type beat ‘em up where the player takes their character outside of the arena to smack the enemies around in four different stages with a boss in each of them. Tekken Ball is an incredibly fun beach volleyball mode where the player does special attacks to the ball: the harder the hit, the bigger the damage. There’s also Theater Mode, where the player can watch the characters’ endings and jam to their favorite tunes.

When RA first got PS1 support, Tekken 3 was the game I was most excited to get my hands on and I swore to my RA friends that I would master it fast enough to get on the leaderboard. The set offers achievements for players of all types: the people playing the game for the story get achievements for every character’s arcade mode run, the completionists get achievements for unlocking all characters and costumes, and the challenge seekers can go for achievements such as beating arcade mode without losing a round or winning 25 times in survival among others. A challenging set with lots of fun to be had, and even the more difficult achievements can be earned after a reasonable amount of practice. Enter the Tekken!

Space Invaders (PlayStation)

Game Console Genre
Space Invaders Space Invaders PlayStation Shoot ‘em Up

Do you find classic Space Invaders too slow or boring? Or are you a fan of this classic game and looking for more? Did you ever heard of when Space Invader turned into 3D?

Well, not really. It still is a 2D shooter game, but this time with 3D graphics. What actually makes this game stand out for me is the gameplay additions. Each world (of 10 stages and a boss) brings a new power up you can get from killing 4 aliens of the same color. With some strategy you can clear some stages really fast, specially when you get vertical blast or the powerful laser just to names a few. Each world also brings some cool huge bosses where you just keep shooting projectiles at them until they die while avoiding their attacks. There is also a classic arcade mode that brings nothing new, but I know a lot of users here like juice and this set has plenty of it. It also has a pretty fair 100 pointer when you find decent strategies.