Retro: VC Weekly #161

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Platform fans rejoice for this latest addition is a classic title from a fantastic but slightly overlooked series. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Adventure Island II

Points: 500
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Developer: Hudson Soft
Released: 1992
System: NES

From humble beginnings the original Adventure Island was nothing more than palette swap of the original Wonder Boy which then � as many know � went down the real-time RPG route but Master Higgins carried on the platforming torch as the Adventure Island series came into its own becoming one of the best-loved series of games within its genre. The second outing improves on the original in many ways by sticking to the same formula and adding in a few extras that freshen the experience but don't lessen the enjoyment.

A relatively unchanged plot sees Higgins' girlfriend get kidnapped by the evil Witch Doctor and so it's up to him to bravely battle his way across eight island-based levels leading up to the rescue of your beloved. Each level is split into stages which you can run and jump through, you can periodically jump on skateboards which give you a speed boost but are difficult to stop plus you can grab a fairy for a temporary blast of invincibility.

Most interesting though is the ability to ride upon the backs of dinosaurs that you may find throughout the level which will give you a bit more power but beware for if you are hit while on one it will disappear however if you find a different dino while on the back of another the one that you're riding will be added to a 'reserve' supply which can prove most useful indeed. There are also secrets to be found in the form of invisible 'doors' that you can find by repeatedly throwing hammers while running, by jumping in these specific locations you're taken to a mini-area where you can grab an egg with your reward inside, these can include an extra dinosaur or even a direct warp to the next island.

Tighter controls mean that you no longer feel as if you're sliding all over the place like in the first game which is something of a relief especially when it comes to the newly improved boss battles which actually feel genuinely more challenging and are a highlight of this reasonably sized platform adventure. Visually everything seems slightly more detailed though sufficiently different resulting in a very slight loss of charm that the first had though regardless it still looks nice; there's a decent amount of variation in the audio this time around too so that you don't feel as if you're listening to the same tune over and over which is a huge plus.

While similar to its predecessor Adventure Island II is a more refined beast that plays in a more forgiving way but never forgets its roots and for that it feels like a superior sequel in many ways that comes highly recommended. If you're a fan of the genre or have simply never played this charming title before then I would advise that you do as it's a release most certainly worth investing in.

Verdict : Prehistoric platforming perfection.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top