This is a different kind of Friday Favorites. Its purpose is to examine some notable canceled games, detail why they got canned, and try to discover if there was any upside for the developers and/or publishers.
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom is a game with a solid concept saddled with less-than-solid execution. The game was not made with the help of Phantasy Star co-creator Rieko Kodama, and the game was rushed.
The story is lacking much personality and characterization. Note how we get so much exposition in the third gen that finally explains the backstory and introduces the big bad, Dark Force. Another sign that the game was rushed?
If I was to ask you what PSIII is about, what would you tell me? Does the game really have any overarching themes? I could tell you about the themes of Dragon Age II (family and the conflict between the templars and mages) or Final Fantasy XIII (the veracity of free will), but for PSIII, the biggest theme I get is the problems brought upon by previous generations being left to the next generation to clean up. But the game never really delves into the emotions that such conflicts would believably invoke.
Remember Lyle? He actually died in gen two, but I forgot to bring it up. It was a missed opportunity to add characterization to the relatives that knew him.
The generation system is the game’s main gimmick, but the women are barely established, so the decisions can be hard to make. Heck, the princes are barely established as well!
The game would have been better if it had more cutscenes like the one at the end.
To the translators’ credit, Generations of Doom is a much cooler title than Successors of Time.
April 21, 2015: Welcome to Terminus
We made it to Lashute on planet Terminus. One of the women there said, “We wanted Siren and Lune to start another war, but we needed Rhys to bring Satellite back. And that’s exactly what that old fool did!”
The women at the start of the city told us that our deaths awaited us here.
April 1, 2015: Castle of Silence
We found Laya’s Pendant in the Castle. Even though Laya can’t equip it, I still gave it to her to hold.
We went to the temple. It reacted to Laya’s Pendant and teleported us to the planet Elysium, which Siren programmed to plunge into the sun of its system.
We went to the town of Aerone and found the hidden path to the moon known as Dahlia…
There, a guard told us to find the Aero Parts for Wren down the stairs. “Use them to reach the sky city on Frigidia.” Oh, boy. “There, you may find the strength to combat evil.”
March 14, 2015: Terror in Techna
Our new weapons – wow. I thought Sari hit hard before…
In Techna’s castle dungeon, we met an old man who said that our Power Topaz proved our courage and worth, and that we had earned the right to see our “true world”.
Somehow, I got two details wrong in this conversation: I misidentified the old man as a woman, and power instead of courage as the virtue that the Topaz proved we had.
August 21, 2012: Let’s try to start Ayn’s quest properly by talking to everyone in Agoe.
Ugh, time to relearn what everything is/does.
So, we’re supposed to find “the legendary Satellite”.
August 18, 2010: Special thanks to Phantasy-Star.net ‘s strategies page for helping me over the hump.
Now that we’ve got Lyle in the party, I think the overworld music has changed.
Lyle joins Rhys’ party in exchange for help repairing the weather control system in Aridia, the desert region.
Then, you reunite with Lena, who was the one that set Rhys free at the outset of the game. She tells you that you must insert the Moon Stone and Moon Tear into Aridia’s satellite control system to realign the moons.
Lena joins you along with Lyle. She has no techs and little HP, so she’s bringing up the rear.
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Japanese Title: Successors of Time: Phantasy Star III
JP Release: April 21, 1990
North America Release: July 1991
United Kingdom Release: 1991
When I was a child, I liked to reread this Prima Games strategy guide that collected two-page guides, tips, and codes for several dozen Sega Genesis games that were popular in the early ’90s. Among these were Phantasy Star II and PSIII. I was interested in PSIII because its premise promised three generations of storylines to play through, with branching paths and different characters depending on which hero chose which love interest to take as his wife at the end of each generation. I later read in magazines that PSIII was considered the black sheep of the franchise because of its gameplay differences and how it shared little in common with Phantasy Star and its sequel. The story of why and how it became a black sheep is due at the end of this LP. :3
I did not get to play any PS games until I got the Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection in 2009. I started a playthrough of PS, which is on hold after getting… maybe halfway through it?I started a game of PSII, which is also on hold. Then, in summer 2010…
Sonic Spinball (1993)
The Museum description pokes fun at Dr. Robotnik’s “Pinball Defense System”. 😛
Spinball tries to combine pinball and platforming, with Sonic as the ball. That aspect makes enough sense, but it’s a difficult game; three lives, no continues. Some of the music is fine, but certain other tracks, like the one for the high score screen, are so cacophonous and industrial it makes some of the Silent Hill tracks seem like smooth jazz. It almost gives me a musical seizure.
Original Score: 2/5
A colorful platformer from Sonic Team. You can definitely tell from the presentation. Ristar uses his extra-long arms to grab onto platforms, enemies, and health-ups. The game also shows you all of the planets you’ll go to between rounds.
Ristar is charming and cute. IDK if it was what Sonic Team was going for, but the game gives me Kirby vibes.
How did I guess that the lava world was going to be called Scorch? It’s a tough level.
I like this game a lot. It’s fun to watch enemies ricochet around the edges of the screen. A speedrun of this game would be great to watch.
Original Score: 3/5
Revised Score: 4/5
Ristar figurines can be randomly found from “gachapon” machines in Shenmue I and II. Will the starboy reappear in Shenmue III? Time will tell.