Retro: VC Weekly #163

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

If you enjoy a decent platform game then you may well be interested in this latest release that's part of a well-loved series. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Super Adventure Island

Points: 800
Publisher: Hudson
Developer: Hudson
Released: 1992
System: SNES

It seems that Master Higgins can never catch a break, after saving Adventure Island for the third time he and his girlfriend Jeanie Jungle were looking up at the stars from atop a tree when out of nowhere the evil Dark Cloak swoops in and turns Jeanie into stone. And so our hero sets off to rescue her from Dark Cloak's castle but to do this he will need to reach Ice Mountain and thus a new adventure begins.

While the basic mechanics remain largely unchanged - as you can still run, jump and use projectile-based weaponry - things like ridable dinosaurs are now gone plus the range of weapons has been streamlined but thankfully you can still ride on a skateboard where the opportunity arises. Collecting a certain amount of boomerangs will power up your basic projectile move while obtaining fruit will top up the ever-decreasing yellow meter at the top of the screen which will count towards a bonus at the end of the level.

Each area is divided into three levels which contain many enemies to defeat and pitfalls to avoid, the level design is generally decent featuring varied locations ranging from Jungle, Mine, Desert to even one 'underwater' level set inside of a Whale which is particularly great. There are still secret levels to be found in the same way as before by throwing weapons in front of you until you hit an invisible door; these secret levels can lead to extra lives which come in handy for each end of area boss encounter which tend to be reasonably challenging overall and fairly imaginative.

Being the series first title to appear on the SNES as you'd expect the visuals have taken quite a leap from the NES games and so there is plenty of detail throughout accompanied by some decent sprite animation. The soundtrack composed by Yuzo Koshiro is worth a special mention too as it really captures the spirit of the series and is definitely one to hum along with as you play; indeed my only real gripe with this title is the way that it controls as it takes a little while to get used to after the simplistic joy of the earlier NES titles and while it doesn't make the game unplayable some may have trouble adjusting.

Aside from the new controls and the distinct lack of ridable dinosaurs Super Adventure Island is still a classic platform title even though it doesn't feel like the best game in the series it's still a lot of fun to play despite its shortcomings. Any fan of the series would do well to pick this up though I would advise playing the earlier games first if you haven't already done so.

Verdict : Another entertaining entry in the Adventure Island series.

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