Rastan Saga II

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Rastan Saga II
220px-Rastan Saga II Flyer.png
Bigger doesnt mean better Taito.
Genre: Hack n Slash platformer
Platforms: Arcade
Sega Genesis
TurboGrafx-16
Release Date: Arcade:
WW: 1988
EU: 1989
TurboGrafx-16:
JP: July 6, 1990
Sega Genesis:
JP: August 10, 1990
US: 1991
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Made in: Japan
Previous Game: Rastan
Next Game: Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III

Rastan Saga II, also known in Europe as Nastar and in North America as Nastar Warrior (except for the North American Sega Genesis version, which was released as Rastan Saga II) is a hack and slash platform arcade game developed and published by Taito in 1988. It is the sequel to Rastan (released as Rastan Saga in Japan).

While the original and Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III had a good reception and Rastan Saga II had decent success in japan, its overall look as a poor sequel to the original game, and a huge step from the first one, and its port on the Genesis is often called one of the worst games on the system.

Gameplay

Rastan Saga II is a side scrolling hack-and-slash-em-up where the player takes the role of a barbarian who tries to defeat an evil wizard. The controls of Rastan consist of an eight-way joystick, a button for attacking, and a button for jumping. Like the first installment, the player is able to swing Rastan's sword in multiple directions. By using the joystick in combination with either button, the player can determine the height of Rastan's jumps.

A new mechanic is blocking which can be done by just pressing a direction without the attack button.

There are a total six rounds, each consisting of two areas: an outdoor scene, and a castle hall where the player must confront the stage's boss. The backgrounds of the outdoor areas feature broad landscapes with changing sunlight effects with detail. The game's bosses include Medusa, a Gladiator Centaur, and the final boss, the evil wizard.

Why It Sucks

  1. While the game's graphics look okay, Rastan's new sprite looks ugly as hell, blurry and you can barely tell its him, also it looks poorly drawn, but more importantly, the fact that the sprite got massively enlarged is the reason of many of the problems in this game.
  2. The animations on the other hand suck for everyone, the sprites are barely animated, the bosses are by the most part static, and at best enemies have like 3 frames of animation, Rastan is not much better, specially when he walks
  3. The Movement controls are dreadful
    • The jumping control has a half a second delay.
    • even when Rastan jumps its really hard to control where you land, which will get you hurt or even killed.
    • The downwards attack in the air works when it feels like, which can easily cause you to fall on an enemy and take damage without hurting it.
    • Overall Rastan is way harder and more clumsy to control than in the previous game in which he was far more maneuverable and quite agile.
  4. The level design is complete garbage:
    • it was severely streamlined from the previous game, now every level is a simple corridor with obstacles. in the original game the smaller sprite allowed, levels with verticality and different paths, like caves underground, something that is completely missing in the game.
    • The stages are filled with tight spots where is extremely hard to maneuver.
    • There are places where enemies attack you in a way and/or you have to deal with traps, and in some cases you cannot block all of them, since they come at you too fast, in less words the enemy and stage hazard placement sometimes leads to unnavoidable damage.
    • The platforming sections are a complete nightmare, which is in part due to the larger sprite of Rastan there are many times, where the ceiling inteferes with your jumps, causing you to fall and lose a life, and this happens fairly often, there is even a section where you need to jump while crouching, this only happens once in the game.
    • The collision detection while trying to grab rope to swing over pits, its terrible and often results on you losing a life.
  5. The combat also sucks:
    • Rastan's default weapon has much shorter range than in the previous game, as its no longer a Conan esque sword but a sword and shield.
    • The weapons are much less interesting than in the previous game, one of them is just the sword that you used in the previous game, its just the swords, a pair of claws and your default sword and shield, while they are distinct enought, they arent very fun to use.
    • You can level up your strenght by killing bosses, but this is pointless, because when you lose all your lives and then continue, your level resets, plus most enemies take at most 3 hits to kill, its only useful against bosses.
    • you return to the default weapon once you lose a life.
    • As previously mention, the downwards stab attack from the air, doesnt reliably work, and it hit detection is awful, and this attack is necesary in many places.
    • The game is pretty stingy with the powerups and alternative weapons.
    • There are barely any invicibilty time, and since many of them travel on groups, you will lose a massive chunk of health.
    • There are enemies you cannot kill unless tou have an specific weapon, or a power up.
  6. The bosses are awful:
    • Unlike the previous game where you had a big room with plattaforms to move and maneuver around, now you have a single screen arena, where you jus cant move around freely.
    • The bosses are extremely simple, they mostly just attack you with simple melee, and due to the small space the best way to fight them is button mashing.
    • One of them, the medusa is painfully tedious, as she takes a lot of hits and consatantly teleports, and you can easily run out of time fighting her.
    • The final boss is pathetic, as you can abuse an specific attack of him, in which he summons 3 small yellow dogs, and kill 2 of them, while just dodging the third every time he passes by, if you do that the evil wizard will not move at all and you will be able to kill him with barely any resistance.
  7. The music while not bad, is fairly repetitive and has parts that it reuses way too often.
  8. The game's text is really badly translated, with massive grammar errors.
  9. The ending is garbage: almost comes out of nowhere, and its not even a you are winner or congratulations screen.
  10. The ports on the TurboGrafx-16 and Genesis are just waterd down versions of the game with less enemies per stage.
  11. Enemies are unmemorable at best, despite their designs, their attacks and abilities are very samilar to each other.
  12. It is also shorter than the original Rastan, which rounds were 2 stages long.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. You arent thrown at the beginning of the stage when losing all your lives, unlike the orginal game.
  2. The success of this game allowed a third game to be made, which was far better than this one.
  3. It has Co-op.

Videos

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