Without A Doubt One Of The Greatest Mega Drive Games Of All Time!
The gameplay concepts left behind by Sonic didn't disappear, but stayed in development for several more years. Near the end of the Genesis life cycle, the project was finally released. Ristar had become the story of young shooting star, the son of a famous hero, who is called upon to save the peoples of impoverished planets. An alien force called Greedy has brainwashed the leaders of these worlds, corrupting their rule. Ristar must clear their minds, then challenge and defeat Greedy in a final showdown.
Ristar's design is one part Sonic and one part Bionic Commando. His arms stretch forward and back, up and down, and great white gloves grasp anything within reach. The extend-and-grab mechanic is used for just about everything in the game – attacking enemies, pulling Ristar up onto high platforms, climbing walls and spinning on trees and pegs. It's a bit awkward to control at first, but a little patience pays off – after practicing Ristar's maneuvers through the first planet's stages, you'll be ready to challenge the rest of the galaxy.
Seven heavenly bodies comprise Ristar's solar system, each one with a different theme. The first world, Planet Flora, is a tropical jungle – you'll swing Tarzan-style through lush green environments and come face-to-face with lurking lizards and giant snakes. After that Ristar blasts off to explore an ice planet, a fire world, a place themed entirely on music and sound and even an all-mechanical level, ¿ la the Transformers' Cybertron.
Ristar tapped into the full potential of the Genesis to render each of these realms in a spectacular, vibrant palette – one of the advantages that came from its extended stay in the development process. The unique graphical effects still impress today, and probably for the first time for most gamers – because of its time of release, just three months before the debut of the 32-bit Saturn, Ristar never had much time to gain himself a fan following.
Now on the Virtual Console, past obscurity becomes a positive trait. The potential to find new players is greatest with titles that went overlooked in their first release, not the blockbuster hits that everyone's already played. Ristar the Shooting Star is one of the top qualifiers for that potential among the VC's launch lineup, and platformer fans would do well to give this one a look.
Hold off on spending your 800 points for just a minute, and go check out your library of last-generation titles. Ristar was included as an unlockable in 2002's Sonic Mega Collection for the GameCube, as well as 2004's Sonic Mega Collection Plus on the PS2 and Xbox. And just last month, it appeared again in the PS2's Sega Genesis Collection. No sense using your cash to buy a game you may already own.