The Sailor Moon series isn’t known for its video games (Have you heard of Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS Fuwa Fuwa Panic? – Probably not!). However, this game should not go unnoticed based upon the disappointment of other anime based games. As an RPG, it may not hold up to some of Square’s achievements, but it is by no means a failure. Unfortunately, for those who haven’t seen the TV series, the game probably isn’t very appealing, but for those who know have, you’ll probably greatly enjoy it!
Another Story is like an extension of the Sailor Moon S season and stays true to the series. It reviews a lot of the events in Sailor Moon S along with a whole new story and new enemies. The original five senshi plus the outer senshi along with cameos other familiar characters already make the game a success. The game story and play are surprisingly detailed, especially for an SNES game. This story includes some explanations of holes in the series, which is very cool for all you Sailor Moon fans.
While the story is very straightforward, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy. Each character has their own techniques, along with link techniques – two to five characters can join together for a joint attack! All of the characters’ attacks, including the link techs you may remember from the series. For those familiar with RPGs, you’ll recognize the stats such as hit points (HP) and EXP (accumulated experience that goes towards the next level). New stats include energy points (EP) which are used during battle for magic. The maximum amount of EP any character can have is 12, but most of the techniques have low EP costs and it is refilled after every battle. This makes the game less strategic than many other RPGs, but still very challenging! There are also plenty of accessories, collectible items and a puzzle which you can collect pieces for throughout the game (with a special reward at the end).
Many of the background graphics can be monotonous and the enemy sprites, especially random enemies, vary very little. However, the sailor senshi were really well done – you can actually recognize the characters! Though the magic effects aren’t amazing, there are many different ones to use. Each character has different poses for attacks and really cute expressions during cut scenes.
The soundtrack definitely isn’t something you’d listen to in the car for leisure, but it’s not too bad for the game and you can always just turn it off. On the other hand, you might not want to turn off the sound or you’ll miss the voice acting by the characters during battles.
In general, the game is very easy to pick up and get through, but can be nearly impossible if you don’t level up (a lot!). You can end up button mashing (in an RPG?!) when doing the same attacks over again with the same random enemies when you’re leveling up. Some of the bosses are impossible if you haven’t been continually leveling up throughout the area. Even the best of RPG players will probably have a bit of a challenge in many areas of the game. There are several chapters where only one senshi is fighting her way through puzzles, battles, and bosses which can get pretty difficult. Battles can become more tricky especially because most of the characters are unbalanced in stats, and some will KO very quickly. Otherwise, this game is surprisingly amusing and completion will provide the satisfaction of a good story and the excitement of multiple endings.
Hard to find?
This game, along with the other Sailor Moon games have never come to America and probably never will. You can find it on eBay once in a while, but it can get pretty expensive. If you don’t know Japanese, it’s very difficult to figure out what the options are and what to do without a guide. You will probably also miss out on the story, which is one of the best features of the game!
+ Pros: Great story that follows the series, anime style graphics
– Cons: Repetativness, lots of leveling up, bad music
Overall: Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story is a great story for Sailor Moon fans, but probably won’t be too exciting for others. The game play won’t win any awards, but give the story and the Sailor Moon references a chance and you’ll have a good time.
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