One of the defining games for the Genesis, nostalgia will come for those who played Ristar even once.

User Rating: 9.5 | Ristar: The Shooting Star GEN
The good: excellent 2D side scrolling game-play without being repetitive or frustrating, the wall grabbing gimmick rules, fun bonus stages and plenty of continues, sweet graphics and music.
The bad: Tracking down the original game could be expensive.

Game-play: 10/10
Graphics: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Value: 9/10
Tilt: 10/10

Average Score: 9.9/10

In 1991, Sega needed a mascot to save their company. They had three options, a rabbit, a hedgehog, and a theodore rossevelt wannabe (Eggman). The hedgehog made it, and the latter was the enemy. The rabbit, who could grab stuff with his ears, inspired Ristar, a somehow overlooked and underrated classic on the Genesis. Thanks to the Playstation, no one back then heard of Ristar. One of the defining games for the Genesis, nostalgia will come for those who played Ristar even once.

The galaxy is being invaded by Kaiser Greedy, an evil space pirate. He has captured the leaders of each world, and has captured Ristar's own father, the hero of the galaxy. Ristar will need to grab and explore many areas and destroy Greedy's army in order to save the universe.

To my surprise, Ristar plays just as fun as any other Sonic game for the Genesis, and that's a lot of fun. Ristar can grab enemies, walls, and monkey bars and smash them with his face. He'll need to knock down telephone poles to solve puzzles, climb those shooting poles to unlock secret areas, and even throw a statue of himself into a cage, and then smash the cage with his face in order to advance. Not only are these game-play mechanics exciting and truly original, they're not too tedious or too easy to perform, making it great for both casual gamers and hardcore gamers.

The worlds you'll explore include a forest, a water ruin, a volcano, a musical city, a iceland, and a technologial area. With the exception of the music area, all these have been used in previous sonic games. But worry not, because these are truly creative! Each world has three levels, the third being the boss, and these levels aren't repetitive and feel fresh becaue you're in a different place with different scenery. You'll climb tree branches, trumpets, even bounce off of drums!

A thing that gives this game so much replay value is the treasure hunting. You don't need to do it, but if you can, it's very simple. Put in "MieMie" in the password to get true sight, which will show you blue stars on walls. Hit these spots to collect more treasures and stars (you have four stars for health, a blue star on the ground cures your entire health, a gold star cures one star). Treasures give from 100 to 1600 points, so keep collecting. Fun bonus stages let you cross many obstacles to get a treasure under one minute. Doing it under a certain time period gives you a continue. The game already offers you four continues, but if you want more, you'll need to patient. And exploring patiently in this agme is actually so much fun.

Lets get the boss rundown. We have a mole controlling a wizard, a hammerhead shark, another mole, a terrible songbird who sings like, a giant cat, a weight lifting robot, a robotic snake with a laser gun, and Kaiser Greedy himself. These boss battles are always different, very tough, and fun to face. The laser guy has you smashing his mirror to avoid the gun, and then you can smash his face! If you get sucked into that black hole of Kaiser Greedy, you will die! Thankfully, the battles are not too hard or too easy to try, and because the game's generous enough with the extra lives and continues, you'll always get a second chance.

Sega squeezed so much of the graphical detail into the Genesis without sacrificing the game-play (always is and shall be a good thing), and it looks beautiful. Ristar and enemies look so cute and detailed and the colorful imaginative background scenery will put you in a good mood. The music and audio are top notch for the Genesis. The voice sample you here when you start the game ("play with me") sounds crystal clear compared to other Genesis games. Prepare for nostalgia, because the music is some of the best on the Genesis. I did have a problem with the songbird's music, but for the most part, it's fresh and awesome. Note: Ristars grabbing sounds like a sound in Paper Mario.

You need to play Ristar. As the 4th best Genesis game ever made, Ristar was a revolutionary platformer that was overlooked back then but has a cult following now. One of the last great games for the classic Genesis, Ristar is one of the finest in 2D action, and you won't be frustrating by blind jumps or cheap hits. Sega's games may suck nowadays, but if they had looked and made games that were as fun as Ristar, they would've been more respectful and just as awesome as they were in the 16-bit era. This game is a classic, and although finding the original is expensive, you'll get a chance because it's on plenty compliations. And if you're smart, you'll make that move to play Ristar.