Review by shneepshnop

Reviewed: 04/01/04

I kind of see the adventure. But where is the island?

Arguably Adventure Island is a classic game. It depends on whom you ask. If you ask me I would quickly reply with, “hell no”. Adventure Island, which does seem fun at first, is not a great game. It is only average. The 2nd one is better, but the first is crippled by a series flaw. What is it? You’ll have to read on to find out

Gameplay - 15/30
You are this fat guy with a white hat and a grass skirt on. You run through the levels dodging enemies hoping to make it to the end of the stage before the time expires. If you don’t, you die. Its that simple. Or is it? At the beginning you have no means to fight your enemies you must avoid them. This ends until you run across a hammer. Hammers can be found lying around the level or hidden in eggs. Once you break open the egg and grab the hammer you now possess the ability to kill. You throw hammers by pressing the B button. Most enemies die in 1 or 2 hits. You keep the hammer until you die. You die in 1 hit, unless you are on the skateboard.

Like I mentioned above there is a time factor in this game. Your time bar is displayed in the upper middle of the screen and time runs out when it disappears. It can be replenished by collecting various fruits scattered throughout the level.

If you get hit by an enemy, it is instant death for our skirt wearing hooligan, unless he is on a skateboard. Skateboards can be found by cracking open eggs similar to how hammers can be found. When you get a skateboard you skate through the level faster but have the inability to turn around. Hitting left on the directional pad causes you to slow down. When you are hit by a bad guy you lose your skateboard but are not killed.

Now about that crippling flaw. Adventure Island is extremely difficult. You have 3 lives and no continues. Most of the progress you make throughout the level will be done through trial and error. Obviously with only 3 lives this is a problem. Finishing the whole game is almost impossible. This may be the most imposible game to finish I have ever played.

Funfactor - 12/20
At first you will think this game is extremely exciting. The concept of the gameplay is interesting and will provide some funfactor at first. This ends when you become serious about finishing the game opposed to playing it passively. Once you decide you will attempt to beat the game you will see how difficult it is and how frustrating it is. At about the 3rd level of the 2nd stage the difficulty becomes obvious and the game no longer seems fun.

Control - 6/15
The control in this game is bad, and it makes an already difficult game even more so. The main character in this game has, what I will call, “slippery feet syndrome”, meaning that after landing every jump or running and stopping he will slip around the screen for a second or two until he regains his composure. In a game requiring precision moves and all that good stuff, they should make the characters movement more convenient. Other than that the controls are tolerable.

Graphics – 12/15
Graphically Adventure Island is good. It is made up of bright colors and the characters/enemies look nice. Unfortunately they use the same colors over and over again like most NES games. Also in some levels they have not bothered with inserting a background.

Music/Sound - 6/15
The same few tracks of music are played over and over again as are the same few sounds. This is one of the NES games where the mute button on your remote is essential to your gaming experience.

Story – 1/5
I think that a princess has been captured and you must save her. I’m not sure though since, in the game, I was never told. O well. Life will go on

Replayability – B 0/5
If you actually can beat this game you will probably not want to sit through the difficult levels again.

Conclusion - 52/100

Pros
-An interesting style of a game…
-Fun at first

Cons
-An interesting game style that was executed badly
-Too difficult
-Crappy handling make playing this game tough

Adventure Island is simply an average game at best. It is too difficult and not a lot of fun to play after the 2nd stage. This game is no more of a classic than Fester’s Quest or Anticipation are. If you crave an Adventure Island game, then play the 2nd one. Why was this review so boring you wonder? Because the game that it is reviewing is equally so.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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