Review by 2001mark

Reviewed: 10/18/18

Brilliant fun

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- Adventure Island II is easily one of the greatest NES games of all time, third party releases, & sequels ever. While the first was the attempt to bring Wonder Boy to Nintendo, this sequel delivered unique greatness. I think it's so ideal for NES that the SNES sequels (the first which came before AI3 for NES) felt too loose & lost some game depth.
- Super high fun quotient, it's ease of accessibility means you can be away from it for heavier more notable games & still always come back for more AI2 without a hitch. The controls are superb & responsive, making the game feel light on its feet & fun to play through. I liken the experience to the Disney Capcom gems of the day. This game absolutely belongs in the same ring with the likes of DuckTales & Chip&Dale for third party greatness.
- The weapon adds/inventory, the map overworld, those were really cool when done right like SMB3 or AI2. The game's replayability hasn't aged at all, it's still fun to play both short or long sessions. It felt like a sweet spot of NES ingenuity for its time. Having the dino pals become part of the game was nearly as great as Yoshi SMW.
- Probably the game's best & first impression on me was its graphics. They're bright, colourful, cheerful, & full of eye candy. It feels like a hybrid SMB3 depth with SMB2 presentation. There are games like McKids who probably went this lane & didn't prevail because looked & felt too juvenile. It's not easy to pull off this production style & still feel worthwhile.

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- AI2 still feels like it's sometimes trying to be Mario, where all you really want is the game to feel more secure with itself. It can tend to look & feel lightweight, when really it isn't - the charm of the series is its fun charming presentation & controls, even though the game does deliver legit challenge & strategy to get great at for success.

My personal experience with Adventure Island II...
The Adventure Island games were classic worthwhile rentals/never owned. My friends & I would rent games like them to get a different fix for side scrolling than Mario or Mega Man or Castlevania. I loved the games at first sight, they really felt like they made the most of their NES capabilities. They were easy to get into like Capcom Disney games, & deep enough to feel like a Mario game.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Adventure Island II (US, 02/28/91)

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