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Title: Act Raiser
Rom Player: ZSNES
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie

Synopsis: Now here’s a real oddity: A game with religious overtones that doesn’t suck. In Act Raiser, you play an astral being that goes down to the world to slay monsters and help the people build towns and prosper, and are more or less guided by a little naked cherub through your quest. As things begin, you awake inside your flying sky palace and are told by your little helper monkey that the people can’t build things on account of all the monsters. You start things off by flying over the nearest town and beaming yourself right into a platform action sequence. The action part of the game is odd, because you begin them by beaming right into a statue, and then bring it to life. Fortunately, you are pretty cool looking, with gold and blue armor, topped with little wings on your helmet just like The Flash! After you get done chopping your way through the scene and wipe out the boss, the religious element really begins, as you help your followers build their town. You accomplish this by telling them where to build and clearing obstacles for them with “miracles”; big spells that affect the weather, such as Lightning, Sunlight, and Earthquakes (ok, so and earthquake isn’t a type of weather, you can still do it.). The tricky part of it is that there are monster lairs nearby that keep spawning nasty monsters that impede your people by kidnapping them, blowing up their houses, and destroying their crops. Fortunately, your little angelic buddy comes down and you utilize his cupid-like bow and arrow skills to stick those bastards to the wall. While building the town is important, what you really have to do is tell the people to build on the lairs so that they have a little exorcism and seal it. Also, while you’re in the town scenes, your people will occasionally find a scroll of magic that will allow you to use some fairly useful spells to smite your heathen enemies. The best part is that when your followers have something to give to you as an offering, or they are really in trouble, you get to listen to their prayers to you. After they seal the last monster lair, something will happen to signal that there is another big monster bent on screwing everyone over, someone may get a vision, a mysterious building may appear, etc. In the game, your character gains levels depending on the population of the world, so it is to your advantage to get your town pretty well established before you head to the boss level. Those levels are handled just like the initial fight scene, with a great big boss at the end, waiting for you to open up a can of extra-virgin whupass. After you finish the boss, you head back to town and generally hear that the people can take care of themselves, although many times in the game, you will have to return to a town later to help your people further. This game has fairly typical sound effects, as your enemies explode and you yourself let out a little “ha!” when you swing your sword. The music is just what you’d expect from a religious game: organ music. Fortunately, that music is reserved for your sky palace, and the rest of the game gets typical SNES music that is still pretty good. In short, some elements of the game can be related to Populous. If you would like to play god, then get this game. Hail to the king of kings, baby.

Best Cheats: Professional Mode - Once you've beaten the game once, go to the start screen and press down or select twice. You will go down past "NEW GAME" and will be able to select 'PROFESSIONAL!'. You play only the battle scenes, you can’t use magic, your lives don’t regenerate, and enemies take more hits.

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 9
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 9


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