Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lufia II-Rise of the Sinistrals for Super NES (1996)

Lufia II-Rise of the Sinistrals advertisement

Original ad published in the August 1996 issue 

of EGM 2 (no. 26).

Press to enlarge or download in higher resolution.

A return to form by Taito

Lufia II. Rise of the Sinistrals (1996) is one of those rare games that is vastly superior to its predecessor in every way. It’ one of the better JRPGs for the Super NES, and that by itself is already saying something. It’s entertaining, features high production values and is of the purest experiences of traditional role playing games you can get for any system.

Developed by Natsume and released by Taito, Lufia II went unnoticed for most gamers in the mid 90s. This was the era of Nintendo’s 64, Sega’s Saturn and Sony’s Playstation.  As a gamer, you were either saving for one of those more powerful systems or forking over your precious dollars to buy the non plus ultra

This has made Lufia II a bit of a collectors piece. It arrived in North America at the very tail-end on Nintendo’s serviceable 16-bit console. The same ad you see above was promoted just a few pages after Nintendo’s 64-bitter, leaving gamers in a cash-strapped situation. As a consequence, Lufia II commands some high prices in the collector's market. 

The main difference between the first and the second Lufia was developer Natsume, which garnered some fans back in the Super NES days with Harvest Moon (1997), as well as Pocky and Rocky (1993), games that feature that same kawaii (cute) artwork. In retrospect, it was to be the foundation of the moe addiction in North America. It also includes a neat Pokemon-style monster developing engine, another trend that seems prescient today.

The artwork, just as the original Lufia (1994), is very attractive. A solid black background with colorful anime-inspired characters is always a good combination. Japanese popular culture had slowly carved a niche in North America by the time this game was launched. Taito wisely decided to differentiate Lufia II from other generic RPGs of the era by communicating a clear message to this growing niche. 

Lufia II-Rise of the Sinistrals for Super NES print ad copy

The Ultimate Role Playing Game!

Lufia II
Rise of the Sinistrals

This exciting sequel to the Lufian legend pits monsters hunter Maxim and six adventuring companions against the sinister Sinistrals. The story develops into a complex maze, challenging you with big battles, puzzles and loads of surprises. You can even grow your own monsters! You will enjoy countless hours on a fantastic journey in the world of Lufia!



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