ActRaiser! Man, what a great game. I rented this and beat it several times back in the early Super NES days, and its dual-genre design never really struck me as remarkable until the sequel came out and stripped away the simulation portions. You don’t love what you got, I guess… but no, I don’t think that’s it. Back, once upon a time, I think we just took it for granted that games didn’t have boundaries and that anything goes. Smashing random ideas together wasn’t necessarily a good idea, which is (I’d imagine) why so many developers stick to tried-and-true genres and combinations these days.
ActRaiser was one instance where it worked. The action and simulation portions, taken separately, were good but not great. It was the combination of the two that made this game so notable. I was really bummed when Square renewed its ActRaiser trademark a few years back… for a mobile port of the game. Bleah.
Quintet was so talented. I really wish they’d been able to keep it together after the 16-bit era.