With the Hanabi Festival well underway I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of dream games the PAL territories never had the chance to play, outside of importing.
Most of the titles are RPGs from either Square or Enix (before they merged) some of them I was lucky enough to play, but most of them I’ve never seen outside of screen caps or movie clips
Without further ado part one of my dream top ten (plus 1!)
Actraiser is one of my all time favourite games for the Super Nintendo, the unique combination of god-sim and action RPG really sucked me in and I was really excited to find out that Enix was making a sequel. I was a little disappointed to find out that the sequel only featured action elements and none of the god sim that made the first one so interesting. Also the main character had been given a beef cake look, which was a bit unappealing, but the addition of wings and the ability to fly helped tip the balance. The most disappointing aspect was when I found out that it would never see a UK release and I’d never get to play it.
Secret of Mana 2 (Seiken Densetsu 3)
My brother and I spent many hours playing Secret of Mana; we loved everything about the game from the action RPG elements, to the vast array of weapons that could be mastered, the stunning visuals and soundtrack, to its compelling story.
The game was unique for including the use of the multi-tap for three player adventuring which had a drop in and out mechanism too, and in single player mode the characters could be programmed to attack or defend on their own.
Way back in the nineties, when the grey market was thriving (and before the Internet) I managed to get hold of a copy from my local games shop, I got it because I had read about it in SuperPlay and because it was an RPG by Enix.
Enix used common themes in a lot of their games and Soul Blazer shares a lot characteristics with Actraiser, leading to the possibility of it being a sequel (before Actraiser 2 was released). The use of recurring themes lead to online magazine Hardcore Gaming 101 to refer Soul Blazer as part of loosely knit series, with Illusion of Gia and Terranigma known as the “Gia Trilogy” (both of which were released in England).