Broadcast Satellaview - X

 

   

 

 

 
 
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Radical Dreamers:
Nusumenai
Hōseki

Players: 1
About: Graphic/Text Adventure
Courtesy of: Squaresoft
Back in: 1996
Originally on: BS-X
Also on: N/A

This stand-alone title is one of the main reasons you would want to give a BS-X system a try. Legendary among "Chrono Trigger" fans, Squaresoft's "Radical Dreamers:Nusumenai Hōseki" (translated to "Radical Dreamers: The Jewel That Cannot Be Stolen") used to be the time-traveling RPG's pseudo-sequel/side story until "Chrono Cross" came along, when writer Masato Kato decided to officially pull it out of the series' continuity; later hinting thru an easter egg in Chrono Cross that Radical Dreamers' events happened in another dimension. He also mentioned in an interview that the game was left unfinished after a rushed development time of only two or three months, and always regretted not being able to do his best.

You play the part of adventurer Serge, who along a cute tomboy thief named Kid and her magician bodyguard Gil infiltrate Viper Manor in search of a jewel named "The Frozen Flame". This treasure is said to grant any wish, and is guarded by the powerful aristocrat Lynx.
Unlike its prequel, Radical Dreamers is not your standard RPG, but comes in the form of a text adventure very close to the late 70's "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books. Your main character serves as both narrator and decision maker throughout the whole adventure, which is composed of still images, minimal animation, an beautiful musical score, and lots of reading.
Every now and then the narrative presents the player with different options to choose from, and depending on Serge's decisions the trio performs actions like "Go up the stairs" or "Open the door" while navigating the mansion, or "Defend!" and "Quickly slash at its hand!" when facing enemies.
Although there's a total lack of equipment, skills, experience points and other standard RPG-fare, Radical Dreamers has an invisible health counter (it starts out at 120) and a hidden "relationship-to-Kid" counter which goes up the nicer you are to her and affects the ending. Since you can't see any of them, the only way to know your health status is by paying attention to the comments Serge makes after each battle.

Shifting cast:
Radical Dreamers' cast of characters might not need introduction to fans of the series, but that doesn't mean everything's said and done. Because the game was reworked into what would later become Chrono Cross, main narrator Serge, blondie Kid, and villain Lynx were almost completely redesigned for the Playstation sequel both artistically and conceptually. Enigmatic magician Gil (also referred to as Magil in Chrono Cross) is definitely the one with the most identity problems though...
 

An invisible timer is also present during fights to give the player a sense of urgency and force him to make quick decisions.
Radical Dreamers is not a long game at all, and can be finished in 1 or 2 hours. After you reach one of the 3 endings, 6 other scenarios are unlocked that include both humorous and serious variations of the main plot, with lots of interesting allusions to Chrono Trigger.

On the technical side, there's not much to expect from a text adventure. Images are mostly detailed and colorful, but the few times you actually get to see the main characters on screen (or their backs I should say) they appear as pale, bad pictures of pre-rendered 3D models. Animation is obviously pretty much non-existent except for background details like flickering candles.
The soundtrack more than makes up for this with series' revered composer Yasunori Mitsuda. His compositions are mostly ambient tunes that add to the suspenseful atmosphere, but pieces like "Gale", "Frozen Flame", "Viper Manor" and "The Girl Who Stole The Star" among others ended up in Cross' repertoire.

As you can tell, the game shares many references, characters, locations, music and items with the now true sequel. Chrono Cross borrowed events like the infiltration into "Viper Manor", items like the "Frozen Flame", the "Radical Dreamers" name for Kid's thievery, and even characters like the Acacia Dragoons, Kid, Serge, Gil and Lynx; adapting them into a different context but preserving their original traits in what today is known to be Trigger's official Playstation sequel.

Call me Magus, or Janus, or Gil, or Magil, or Guile...
Kid's enigmatic but powerful bodyguard Gil was confirmed by writer Masato Kato to be none other than Chrono Trigger's Magus. He was also going to be featured in Chrono Cross under the secret identity of Gil, but was later scrapped due to difficulties in adapting his relationship with Schala (his sister) into the game. The designers then proceeded to make Gil's colors paler and named the new magician "Guile", although Masato Kato still thinks it's a pity such an interesting and popular character had to be left out.
 

Repeated attempts to re-release Radical Dreamers to the public over the years (one of them as an easter egg in the Japanese Playstation Chrono Trigger port) were always stopped by Kato, as he still considers this title not up to his standards.
Fan group "Demiforce" put out a very solid translation patch you can find at: http://radicaldreamers.sourceforge.net, which is nowadays the only way for non-Japanese speaking fans to enjoy it.

Soundtrack:
The Girl Who Stole The Stars
Frozen Flame
Epilogue (Dream Shore)
 


 

BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2

Players: 1
About: Mode 7-powered racing
Courtesy of: Nintendo
Back in: 1997
Originally on: BS-X
Also on: N/A

Our last title is "BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2", the second game in the BS F-Zero series. It was delivered in two parts and could be played outside broadcasting hours.
Although the series started as an unfinished sequel to the original SNES F-Zero, BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 differs greatly from its prequel. The first installment included all of the SNES' circuits plus a new track, 4 new cars, and was structured in a time-trial mode where the best times were posted on the BS-X's interface for others to beat. It could also only be played from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

New racers:
 
 
 
Overall great balance and good top speed.
Above average top speed but slowest acceleration.
 
 
 
 
Best acceleration and handling, worst top speed.
Best top speed but worst handling.
 
 

BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 kept the same new cars, but did away with all the previous circuits and time-trial structure to include its only league: the new "Ace League". Most circuits in this league are harder, modified tracks from the first F-Zero, and thus named accordingly: Mute City IV, Big Blue II, Sand Storm I & II (previously called Sand Ocean) and Silence II.
The graphics and music are still the original's too, but minor sound effects have been added.

BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
Forced jumps and traps have been added to the tracks, some of them quite frustrating.

All in all, the whole game feels like an expansion pack. Either a rushed job or Nintendo scrapping the bottom of the barrel, specially when you are greeted with such a disgusting, poor quality title screen.
The new cars and increased difficulty are welcome and will surely keep fans busy, but it doesn't help that it looks like a hacked ROM.

All things considered, the BS-X is worth a look to SNES gamers even if its titles often have an unfinished, low-budget look.
Most of them are not emulated because of their real-time features, and the only way Nintendo could have ever been able to re-release them as a cartridge is at a discounted price, since you can't help but feel the system was often used as a dumpster for rejected / unfinished titles and remakes.

 

 

 

     
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
This is one of the few shots where our heroes can
be seen.
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
An invisible time limit is enforced while making battle
decisions. Choose quickly or take some hit points.
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
Getting lost inside the mansion is very common and
frustrating. It's hard to keep track of where you are
all the time.
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
Radical Dreamers (+Demiforce translation) - BS-X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
BS F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - BS-X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other BS-X quickies:
       
 
Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle
   
 
   
 
BS Zelda no Densetsu: Kodai no Sekiban
   
 
   
 
BS Super Mario USA Power Challenge
   
 
   
 
Treasure Conflix
   
 
   
 
Chrono Trigger: Jet Bike Special
   
 
   
 
Spriggan Powered BS
   
 
   
   
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