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CONSOLE: Super Famicom (via Satellaview) DEVELOPER: Squaresoft PUBLISHER: Nintendo
RELEASE DATE (JP): January 27, 1996 GENRE: RPG
// review by SoyBomb

The Satellaview traces over our hearts with an interesting game...

We here at Random.access pride ourselves on delivering a savoury blend of both mainstream video game reviews and distant obscurities. We believe it is important to remember not only the home run hits but also the many ships lost in a sea of too many enjoyable gaming experiences. We feel it is not only our privilege but our duty to provide you, the distinguished reader with impeccable sideburns, the information necessary to become a well-balanced and well-rounded gamer. With this in mind, may we humbly present to you... Dynami Tra—GEEZ LOUISE WHAT'S WITH THAT TITLE SCREEN MUSIC IT'S PHENOMENAL!

Dynami Tracer is a mischievous mélange of RPG exploration and racing. It was released exclusively for Nintendo's Satellaview system, which sent games to the Super Famicom via satellite signals, requiring a special adapter to receive and decode the data. This means that Dynami Tracer was never released in cartridge form, and as such, you can't purchase it anywhere, ever. (I highly doubt Square Enix is in the mood to dig up their many Satellaview gems.) Dynami Tracer was first broadcast on January 27, 1996, but we're not sure for how long it was available. It's quite possible that this was the only date it was available.

This is something else. As soon as you start the game and get past the introduction to the title screen, you know something strange is about to go down. This is some of the most unusual yet most interesting video game music I've ever heard. Unlike most compositions in SNES/SFC games, this one's composed entirely with male voice samples... and it's hip! It's as though Rockapella was right in my living room! I was surprised to learn that famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu was also responsible for the tunes behind this game. While the remainder of the soundtrack isn't quite as unique, it's still a good listen to complement the many odd environs.

Anything can happen in a crazy game like this, especially on that creepy Adult Planet... Yeesh!

It's difficult for me to really understand what's going on entirely (the game being completely in Japanese and all), but at the beginning, you get to select from six different racers, each with their own interesting personalities, and that will be the one you control throughout the game. The others tend to scatter out among the cosmos, though you'll reconnect with them in time. Your character will explore a variety of different planets, each with its own theme with names like "Music Factory", "Clockwork Star", and... "Adult Planet". Yes, Adult Planet. The planet itself is labeled as "18+". Maybe we should steer clear of that one. Once you figure out where you want to visit from a main map, you get to literally walk AROUND the star and enter specific buildings or localities. New name of game: Dynamitourist.

The RPG aspect primarily involves your character going from star to star, interacting with the flamboyant locals and acquiring information. Every once in a while, you'll somehow get yourself involved in a race (for me, it was on foot in a dungeon). It's all a bit convoluted and would likely make more logical sense if I could read Japanese, but I'm guessing he's running for a good cause. Let's call it... cancer research fundraising. Yeah, that must be it. What else would a Japanese racing RPG be about?

And the best part of the game? My character shouted "Yeah!" whenever I opened a treasure chest. He's saying what we're all thinking!

But that's about all that Dynami Tracer has to offer. I don't even understand the title, to be honest. And it's very odd to have an RPG on the Satellaview system, considering the limited amount of time it was available and the amount of time needed to actually develop it. Still, for what it is, Dynami Tracer is a very interesting game. It doesn't seem to have a significant amount of material — it appears as though the game could be completed in an hour or two, making this the shortest RPG to date — but it definitely is an experience unlike many others in the genre... or mash-up of genres.

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