Originally posted December 31st 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Pier Solar
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 11/6/2014
The main game/story
This was originally a Sega Genesis homebrew game released back in 2010! During the Genesis’s lifetime, there were barely any RPGs for the system. And unless their names were “Phantasy Star” or “Shining Force”, they were usually pretty bland compared to what the SNES was getting. The SNES got games like Chrono Trigger, YS V, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, Bahamut Lagoon, the list goes on and on. Luckily this game, remade in HD for Wii U and other systems hopes to give a similar experience to some of those SNES classics!
The story begins with the main character, Houston trying to heal his father from a serious illness, with the help of his two companions. However, on their journey they discover there is a lot more to the world they thought they knew than they expected. as they learn the history of their ancestors…
The original 16 bit graphics are still here, and they look just as great as ever, with good looking sprites and backgrounds. The character portraits and the enemies look great in this style as well. There’s also a HD and an HD+ mode, which completely changes the art style to make the backgrounds and character portraits shine even more! On an HD screen, the HD+ style looks especially gorgeous, with the occasional cutscenes looking nice and beautiful in this style. Unfortunately the character portraits end up looking a bit washed out, so I often switch between the two styles depending on where I am. Either way, all three styles get the job done.
Music and sound effects:
Like with the graphics, you can switch between the normal Genesis sound to the FM Sega CD sound. While the Sega CD style does sound better in quality compared to the original Genesis soundtrack, I ended up forgetting most of the songs and the Sega CD OST just didn’t catch on with me.
The Genesis OST on the other hand, is great, with lots of memorable songs that fit the numerous locales and situations in the game. The boss battle theme is my personal favorite.
The general concept of this game is pretty similar to any other RPG. Go around. level up, buy good equipment and reach the next destination. The game starts out at a good pace, with the battles not taking too long and the overall difficulty being fair. Eventually you learn how to use this game’s handy gather feature, where your characters can build up points in order to unleash stronger moves during battle.
It ends up being a lot of fun and an excellent adventure for a few hours, however, after a while the game suddenly spikes up in difficulty, around the desert and Magic School areas. Enemies get stronger, puzzles get either more frustrating or more confusing, and it ends up becoming slightly frustrating overall, which is a shame as that rough part in the game ends up causing unnecessary frustration. The good news is that when you finally complete those rough parts, the game gets back on track.
In the end, Pier Solar HD is a good attempt at a retro styled RPG, with a decent story, great character development, classic gameplay and a good soundtrack. (When not in FM mode that is). However, the difficulty spike around the desert and magic school areas may frustrate even the most experienced gamers, and that uneven balance isn’t necessarily a good thing to have in an RPG like this. But if you can look past that minor flaw, you’ll find a good RPG with a lot to do, from extra minigames and achievements to unlock. So if you are willing to give this game a try, I say go for it! Just be sure you play other games like the original Final Fantasy or Breath of Fire first so you can know what to expect going into this game. I give Pier Solar HD a 7 out of 10
Thanks to Watermelon games for the review code.