Retro Reveiw: Ristar (Genesis, Virtual Console)

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Retro Reveiw: Ristar (Genesis, Virtual Console)




Catch a rising star!

At first glance, Ristar might remind you of a certain blue hedgehog, well that’s because Sonic and Ristar both started from the same game concept. Sonic Team were making a game about a character that looked like a rabbit with ears that could extend and pick up objects, but then the game’s concept was then getting faster and faster and the concept of a rabbit would then be redesigned into the most famous hedgehog in the world, Sonic the Hedgehog. Years later, the original game with the rabbit was being developed separately from Sonic, and it eventually evolved into a prototype called Feel, which then later became Ristar. Even though Ristar looks like he’s from the Sonic universe, his gameplay is completely different, and that’s where Ristar really shines.

Plot:
The game begins showing the evil tyrant Kaiser Greedy unleashing a bunch of black orbs to take over the Valdi System and uses his mind control to take over the planets leaders and make them obey him, including Ristar’s father, who is the legendary hero that protects the land, then a desperate plea is called out, and the call was then answered by the legendary hero’s own son, Ristar, now Ristar is off to save the galaxy.

Gameplay:
Ristar is a platformer where he must use his grabbing abilities to fight enemies and explore the planets many obstacles and puzzles. Ristar can’t jump that high, so that’s why he uses his stretchy arms to climb up to places he normally couldn’t reach. Ristar can also grab star handles to swing him to new heights, but if he swings long enough in one direction, he’ll begin to makes some mini stars appear and then when you let go, Ristar will then become a shooting star for a while and will be invincible, while flying around, you can control Ristar to make him take down some baddies, or explore some dangerous places. There’s also a special star handle, different from the others that will automatically lead Ristar to a bonus level, where he has to reach a treasure within a time limit, but these bonus levels aren’t necessarily to complete the game and get the true ending, instead, the more treasures you get, the more codes you’ll unlock that you can enter in the passwords menu, such as a boss rush mode or a stage select.

Levels:
There are seven planets that Ristar can explore in the Valdi System, with the first six planets having two levels each following up with a boss fight, and the last planet having a short level and two bosses. Each planet Ristar visits are all very different from each other. There are the basic worlds like the jungle where Ristar first visits, where he has to battle a giant snake. But then there are some more unique planets like the planet that’s completely made from instruments and music.

Control:
Ristar controls easily, since he’s not all over the place (unless he’s a shooting star) that you should be able to control him fine. You can aim Ristar to extend his arms in eight directions by aiming the d-pad/ analog stick in that direction and then press the grab button, you can even do this while Ristar is jumping if you press the jump button, you can even change the controls in the options.

Graphics:
Ristar was released around the end of the life cycle of the genesis, and the graphics really do show that. The backgrounds are all very vibrant and stunning, there’s even things happening in the background. Ristar, as well as the enemies and bosses all look good and are animated greatly. If you leave Ristar alone for a while, he will the preform a waiting animation, but what makes these so special is that depending on what planet Ristar is on is the waiting animation he will do, for example, in the lava world, Ristar will sit down, looking tired and wave his hand to try and cool off, and in the music planet, he will snap his fingers, and in the snow planet, he will build a cute little snowman, it’s the little thing like this that make Ristar so unique.

Sound:
Ristar has some of the greatest music in the entire Genesis/Mega Drive library. Not only does the music set the mood for the level, but it sounds great, and each level/round has different music, so it’s not the same. The sound effects also sound really good, and there’s even a sound effect from Sonic 3, but that’s not surprising since the game was also made by Sonic Team. Ristar himself can even speak in the game, he doesn’t say much, but his voice makes him sound cute.

Difficulty:
Despite how the game looks, Ristar can be challenging and it might take multiple tries to finish the game. Ristar has health points represented by stars, but depending on what difficulty you choose will determine what your max heath will be, if you choose normal mode, you will get four stars, if you choose hard, you will only get two, but if you enter a password, then you can play super hard mode, with only one star.

Overall:
When first released, Ristar didn’t get that much attention because of the fifth-generation consoles that where being released at the same time Ristar came out, and it’s a shame since Ristar is easily one of the best Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games, with its unique gameplay and music, it almost feels like a Sonic game, even though it was made by Sonic Team. The game has since then been released many times throughout the years, it was an unlockable game in Sonic Mega Collection and also has appeared in many Sega Genesis/Mega Drive compilations, such as Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection/ Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection and is also available to download on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. Ristar is more than a cameo appearance or a flagman, he is a shooting star that really shines!

9/10

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SheldonRandoms
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Retro Reveiw: Ristar (Genesis, Virtual Console) :: Comments

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:35 pm by SheldonRandoms

This is the first ever review that I ever wrote for any video game ever, so any feedback and/or questions would be appreciated Smile

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:48 pm by Professor Clayton

Nice review SheldonRamdoms! Very Happy I've never heard of Ristar before (or played any old Sega games) so this is a true gem.
How much is it on WiiWare?

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:08 pm by Capn' Pancakes

@Sheldon
Great review! I've always been interested in playing the game but I've never found a chance to for some reason.

@Clay
It's a Genesis game so 800 points.

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:42 pm by Knuckles

@Clay 800 Points

I didn't know it was made by Sonic Team, but I had every plan to get this game anyway.

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Post on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:12 pm by SheldonRandoms

@Clay Yes, it's 800 points, though if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360, then you would be better off to get Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, you can find the game for about 20 dollars, (and the achievements/trophies are very easy to get in that game, with the exception of about two) or if you have Sonic Mega Collection, it's somewhere in that game, you must unlock it first though.

Also yeah, you can say that this game is a hidden gem, you should check it out some time, it's really great Laughing

Also thanks everyone for the positive feedback, maybe i'll do another review, but what game should I review?

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Post on Tue May 14, 2013 1:30 pm by StarBoy91

Good review, Sheldon! Very Happy Ristar is one of my top favorite MegaDrive/Genesis games ever, and it's a really fun game to play every once in awhile. It's chock-full of charm and personality, I love it so much. Very underrated game.

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