Retro Saga part 4; Ristar

It’s kind of sad to see some mascots who had a bright future die off. There were so many that I had high hopes for, like Goemon, the angel guy from Act Raiser, Kid Chameleon, and many more mascots that we all know and loved that are now in the dust. There is one mascot I don’t think a lot of people know about. Well, a lot of new gamers might not know about him, but if you are a retro gamer of any kind, then you might recognize the character known as Ristar. So, is this character as good as he was years back? Or is there a reason he isn’t around anymore?

The plot of the game is that the Valdi system is under control of the evil space pirate, Kaiser Greedy. Before the people of the planets were snatched by his mind control device, they prayed for a hero from the goddess they worship. The goddess then awakens the hero known as Ristar. It is up to him to save the galaxy from the evil grasp of the evil Kaiser Greedy. So, yeah, it isn’t some 5-star plot, but it was a 16-bit game so there doesn’t really need to be a plot that you should care about. The only time you should care about a plot is in games like Odin Sphere or Final Fantasy 10.

The game play is very similar to those like Sonic 3, Super Mario World, or any other 16-bit plat former at the time. It’s no surprise it is like the Sonic games since it was also made by the same people who made the old Sonic games before they started to make horrible games. You basically walk through a linear path where you can use your arms to stretch out and grab things. The only way to attack someone is to use your arms to stretch out and grab someone or something and smash it with your face. You can also use it to pick up items to throw, to trigger some of the traps in the game, like flames coming up from the floor and etc. There are also areas that you need to swim through, which in my opinion, are set up like areas in Rocket Knight Adventures.

The graphics were some of the best for when the 16-bit age was dying down. They look just as good as Sonic 3 and Rocket Knight Adventures, which are supposed to be some of the best Genesis games of all time. The Genesis is really infamous for being poor in the sound department since the Genesis was more of a Graphics console than sound, but I think the sound and music in Ristar isn’t bad. I also like how Ristar does different idle animation on each level, which gives the game some creative factor. In the first Sonic game, he only taps his feet if you don’t play for a while. I also like the whole level design of the game. It’s very fun to see what challenge will be in the next level.

However, I do have some gripes about this game. I feel badly that not a lot of people know about this game. I mean, yeah, a good chunk of the community might know who Ristar is, but the game didn’t sell well due to the Playstation and Nintendo 64 coming out. I don’t quite understand sometimes when developers and publishers release a game that they think will sell well when it’s going to be overlooked by something bigger. Game-wise I don’t like the attack system. While I enjoy grabbing onto things and hitting them with my face, I wish there was like a jump attack or something since other than the face attack, you have no other form of defense. Other than that, there isn’t much wrong with this game.

Overall, this is really a hidden gem on the Genesis game library. I say if you can find a copy of this game in cartridge form or download form then pick it up. I wonder what will happen with Ristar? I say Sega should give Ristar another try even if not a lot of people know about Ristar.

This game gets an 8 out of 10