Monday, October 14, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #14 : Adventure Island

Title : Adventure Island

Publisher : Hudson Soft

Release Date : 1988

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $3-6

Oh, my dearest Hudson Soft - how many times did I end up renting this game in my meager attempts to defeat it? It is seemingly impossible to resist playing as a palm frond skirt clad, white hat donning fat man running through the treacherous jungles of ADVENTURE ISLAND.

This is one of those games that everyone seems to know. Whether you recognize it as a Wonder Boy clone from SEGA, or just as a killer platformer for the NES, the fact remains it's right up there with some of the other big names of the NES library.

I always pictured Master Higgins as Ralph Kramden
You take on the role of Master Higgins tasked with the rescue of Princess Tina from the vile clutches of the villainous head-shifting King Quiller. You track them down to the danger filled adventure island where you must battle your way through walking pigs, flying octopus, traps, pits, and the occasional re-animated statue. 

A noble quest!

It's your typical side-scroller. Nothing crazy about it. You run from left to right, collecting power ups and weapons (an axe for attacking, a fairy for invincibility, and a skateboard for....skateboarding?) The one twist they really put into this game is your health system. Most "hits" can be one-hit kills for you, but you have a health meter that drops regardless of making contact with enemies. But you're on an island. And Islands have fruit. Eat the delicious fruit. Recover your health. Mmmmm.

Those walking pigs are wearing coconut bikinis...look closely!

Acquire new lives by increasing your score (done by killing enemies, collecting fruits, and finishing levels). You're going to need them. The games not that easy. At times, it's downright frustrating. Difficult Jumps. Enemies popping up out of nowhere. Difficult "bosses". You die, you jump back to a checkpoint. Lose your lives, game ends, and your forced to activate your continue.

As cartoony as they are - I love the visuals

But this is one of those games which you can pick up anytime, play through in an hour, and be done with it. And hell, you're having a grand 'ol time doing it. This game isn't trying to be fancy or flashy. It's simple. And it's the simplicity of the game that makes it that much more fun. Just look at the Mario formula. An easy side-scroller adventure is sometimes all you need to make an exciting game. Throw your main character on a tropical island with bizarre creatures and you have yourself a recipe for success.

Looks like Rocksteady lol
Now the only thing left to do is prep for Adventure Island II - they just keep getting better and better folks.

To finish this off, I give you the newly introduced score system. Entirely subjective, but fun to do nonetheless.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on Gaming!



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