Review by Psycho Penguin

Reviewed: 11/10/00 | Updated: 07/16/01

This is an all time classic, and one of my favorites

I remember my cousin having a NES with 20 games some years ago. One of those games were Adventure Island. I used to want to travel 200 miles just to play the game. While I probably wouldn't do the same today, it still is a very great game. This is actually one of my all time favorite games on the NES, and I still play it a lot, even to this day. It is simply one of the most fun games I have ever played, despite the fact certain elements of it could be described as tedious or dare I say boring. The game is still an all time classic, in my mind, however.

Why do I consider this game to be an all time classic, even though some people would just consider it to be another tedious and boring platform game? Well, I just found this game to be extremely addictive and fun to play. The variety of stages in the game is awesome, as you will go from a cave to a forest to a dungeon throughout your adventure. That is just one of the many things that makes this game so much fun to play. I really mean it, this game is a blast to play!

The story to the game is certainly not original but it is still okay, I mean who really cares about story line anyway? Basically, you're this guy named Billy who has taken a relaxing vacation in a place called Adventure Island. Then, the evil bad guy strikes. An evil bad person kidnaps the princess and its up to you to save her. Hmm, where have I heard that story line before? Like I said, it is not going to win any points for innovation, but I still enjoyed the story line in the game regardless.

The graphics were pretty good and definitely went for the look it was going for (the tropical paradise look) and the enemies were deigned pretty decently. On the downside, the same scenery repeated way too much. Sometimes I would see the same background design, with different enemies, every few stages. Basically, you have a few basic designs: the outside forest at day, outside forest at night, underground cave, ocean scene, and that is about it. The game features great graphics but the same old scenery. The saying ''been there, done that'' has never had more meaning.

The music in the game may sound annoying at first but it will soon grow on you. I, for one, actually enjoyed listening to the music in this game, and felt that Hudson Soft did a very good job with the music in the game. Despite the fact the same music plays a lot more than I expected (you will probably hear the same background music theme for three or four stages in a row) the music is still pretty darn impressive. I think that some of the music could have been done a little better, but overall I really liked the music. I especially liked the opening title screen music and the completion of the stage music.

The sound effects in the game are not as good as a lot of people would have expected but they are still rather solid nevertheless. The only basic sound effects you will usually hear are the sound of the tomahawks being thrown, and the sound of the bats and other enemies running around or flying around. Those are about the only main sound effects you will hear, there is not much here in terms of sound effects. The sound effects that are featured are rather impressive, however.

The control in this game is very good. However, sometimes a familiar bug comes up when you swear you pushed a button but it didn’t work to your liking. All well, that happens in mostly any game. Besides that one flaw, the control in this game is solid. One button is for shooting your special weapon, and the other button is for jumping. That is certainly simple enough. There is no option to change the control layout, but the game is rather simple so there is probably no need for it anyway. Still, the control in this game is outstanding and I guarantee you will not have a problem with the control at all.

Think your average platforming game and you have Adventure Island. Basically, you shoot out weapons that are not guns or bombs, but simple tomahawks. Sometimes, after finding a weapon in an egg, you can shoot out fireballs, but that is about it. Basically, you find special stuff in eggs, things such as skateboards (allows you to skate on a skateboard), fireballs (changes your weapon from a tomahawk to a fireball), milk (refills most of your energy), and a few others. At the end of every stage, you just move onto the next stage, which is disappointing for those of you used to the special stages found in Adventure Island 2 and 3.

While the game play is not as good as in Adventure Island 2, where you get multiple choices of dinosaurs who help you out in certain situations, the game play is still pretty solid and is better than your average platforming action/adventure game. Sure, Wonder Boy for the Master System is the same exact game, but hey, if you don't have a Master System, (and maybe even if you do), Adventure island is still the better game, by far. I still think that this is the best game in the Adventure Island series, well at least in the NES series.

I used to play this game for hours at a time and then want to come back and play it for hours more again!!! Seriously, I don't know what it was about the game that drew me in, but it got me under a spell. Out of all the NES games, this is definitely one of the best games in terms of replay value. Despite the somewhat poor graphics and repetitive game play, it is still a great game with great replay value. Maybe it is the fact that I never beat this game that I still want to play it, but its doubtful. After all, there are still other games out there that I haven’t beaten that I don't want to play ever again, much less play again and again. Despite the fact that this game has gotten somewhat old, it is still an incredible game with incredible and rewarding replay value. Try it for yourself and see what I mean!!!

The game is quite long and therefore means it is quite a challenging game. There is a total of 32 stages in the game, and the game really starts to get hard around the 12th or 13th stage. This means that you will have a lot of trouble getting through the game, especially with the limited amount of lives and continues you are provided with. The game is possible to beat, but I will assure you that it definitely takes a while to beat. This is not one of those games you can complete in fifteen minutes, that is for sure.

Adventure Island is one of my favorite 10 or 15 games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a blast to play and has excellent replay value. This game is just like Wonder Boy for the Sega Master System, but with a different character (?) I have never played Wonder Boy so I can’t make a comparison but let me tell you, you can't go wrong with Adventure Island. This is one of the most original and most fun games on the NES. Guaranteed.

The question on your mind, more than likely is, should I buy this game? How about you find a friend with this game and trade with him for it? Because it is somewhat expensive at Funcoland, and it is probably similar in price at other companies. And you can’t really rent out NES games anymore, can you? The price is worth it, though, because this really is a fun game. And that is a Ladies Man guarantee!

Good Points
-The story line to the game is perfectly acceptable.
-The music and sound effects are above average.
-The control and game play in the game is awesome.
-The replay value of the game is addicting and incredible.
-The graphics were pretty good overall.

Not So Good Points
-The game is not advanced as the later games in the series.
-Some people will quickly be bored by the tedious game play.
-The music can get to be annoying after a while.
-The game is long, but not necessarily for the better.
-Some parts of the graphics were a little disappointing.

I Run Down the Ratings… DaLadiesMan style!
Storyline – 8.1/10
Graphics – 8.2/10
Music – 8.1/10
Sound Effects – 8.2/10
Control – 8.1/10
Gameplay – 9.3/10
Replay Value – Above Average
Challenge – Above Average
Worth a Purchase? – Definitely.
Overall – 9.3/10

The Last Line: It is one of my favorite games, yet I cannot give it a 10 because of the flaws found in it. I still love this game, however, and I am sure you will at least enjoy playing it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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