ActRaiser was a Tremendous Nintendo sport during which gamers took management of a god-like entity who not solely listened to the prayers of the folks and acted upon them from on excessive, however would additionally take management of a statue on Earth to instantly kick ass when the scenario known as for it. The mix of metropolis planning and platforming felt novel on the time, and nonetheless does; few video games ever adopted this specific blueprint to success.
Which is why SolSeraph, the non secular successor to ActRaiser, out now on Nintendo Swap, PlayStation 4, Home windows PC, and Xbox One, felt like such a giant deal when it was introduced. However, sadly, the completed sport is extra of a reliable however stodgy remake than a second coming.
Whereas ActRaiser tasked the participant with guiding the trail of the folks in a extra basic means through the planning phases of the sport, SolSeraph presents me with a flame in the midst of city to defend from always encroaching enemies whereas I construct buildings to offer employees, and pave roads to forests to maintain up the availability of wooden. Defensive buildings and buildings that can create troopers to struggle on my behalf are additionally essential for survival. I must construct farms to maintain everybody fed, and in the end the objective is to disclose the enemy bases so I can decide up my sword and clear them personally within the side-scrolling sections of the sport.
However it’s all so cold and uninspired as soon as I get previous the plain homage to ActRaiser. The planning sections require vigilance greater than creativity, and the side-scrolling fight feels heavy and gradual with out giving me a way of energy. Lifeless minions typically flash for a second, are reduce in two, after which disappear. Is it an excessive amount of to ask for dying animations? Or enemies that reply to being hit by a holy blade in a means that feels extra consequential than a quick flash of sunshine?
I’m locked onto a single airplane on every side-scrolling degree — which looks as if a wierd limitation for a god — whereas enemies can are available from the fore- or background, giving me a very long time to observe them earlier than I can really assault them.
Ace Workforce, the developer of SolSeraph, added complexity to the ActRaiser formulation however none of that complexity made the sport extra satisfying. There have been bins that needed to be ticked off for this to really feel like a non secular successor, and people options had been dutifully created and barely expanded upon, however to what finish?
There aren’t any new concepts right here, and neither of the 2 sport modes are satisfying sufficient to face on their very own for very lengthy. I typically discovered myself pleased to be again engaged on a settlement or clearing out a lair not as a result of it was enjoyable, however as a result of I was glad to flee the monotony of the earlier activity.
ActRaiser followers are seemingly hungry sufficient to need to at the least do that — and the $15 asking worth doesn’t really feel like theft — however I left SolSeraph after just a few hours, upset on the missed alternative.
SolSeraph is now out there on Nintendo Swap, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Home windows PC. The sport was reviewed utilizing a Steam obtain code offered by Sega. Yow will discover further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.