Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Super Adventure Island (Super NES, 1992)

 This game is a huge improvement over the NES game that I just played, to say the least.

We start with Higgins and Tina living happily ever after. For some reason Higgins looks miserable, even though he has a mostly-naked redhead feeling him up. Check out Pac-Man looking on creepily in the background.

The creeping continues as a cloaked figure lurks and watches our heroes, waiting for them to have sex. Wait a minute, is that... can we zoom-in on that guy?


He turns Tina to stone and flies off. Really? No kidnapping for ransom or anything? What was the point of that, aside from just being a total dick?

Higgins travels via eagle to the island of the bad guy, and the eagle drops him out of the sky. None of this seems particularly well thought-out. How about looking for a cure for Tina's petrification instead? What the hell, Higgins?

Right off the bat, this game is MUCH nicer visually than the NES original. There isn't even any comparison.

You still throw hammers to beat enemies, and they still travel in a hard-to-aim arc. You also still collect food to keep yourself going. All things considered, it isn't that different from the NES original. It's just much shorter, much easier, and has a general lack of pits (while the original had a largely pit-based platforming style).

The rad-to-the-max skateboard returns! It still kinda sucks. Not as much, though. Most of these stages are flat planes with few if any pits.

New in this game is the boomerang weapon. You can fire it in any direction (well, four... not diagonally) and it travels straight. It's SO MUCH BETTER than the hammer, and makes this infinitely more playable. Unfortunately, there are still hammers strewn about the levels that you need to painstakingly avoid.

Grab a few boomerang powerups and it turns into a fire boomerang that does more damage. Well, the fire powerup happened much faster than it did in the NES original for me...

No Pot Bonus this time, unfortunately.

The first boss is actually somewhat difficult until you figure out that holding Down while jumping causes you to leap much higher. This lets you easily clear the fire-waves he sends your way.

 A few seconds of wailing on the statue from below with the boomerang end this fight; just need to stay alive long enough to start wailing.

World 2 is a beach...with penguin enemies? Weird. It's worth noting that the five worlds in this game only have three stages apiece, with the bosses at the end of the third level. This works, because I personally felt like the 32 stage original game was about twice as long as it needed to be...

Continuing on, Higgins must face Paul Heyman.


There are a few well-hidden bonus stages in this game, where you jump in the right place and get whisked away to a magical land of space-trampolines to collect extra lives.

Next up, our hero gets EATEN BY A WHALE. And these environmentalists tell us whales are harmless! THE JAPANESE WHALERS WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG!

 The next stage is the whale interior. Weren't these things in Kirby's Dream Land?

The next boss is this squid with a condom-helmet. It's actually a difficult battle until you figure out how to avoid its attacks, much like the previous boss.

In this case, going to the bottom of the screen makes you completely safe from his attacks, and you can wail on him with impunity from there.

This guy is DEFINITELY a Kirby's Dream Land refugee. I guess they ran out of Mario ideas to use and... branched out.

World 3 has a lot of tree-climbing. It's something new, at least. Most of this game is just left-to-right.

Rad to the max skateboarding in the woods! What would this guy have done in the world of Bebe's Kids, where skateboarding was outlawed?

Third boss is super-unmemorable because it's over so fast. You have to stay on this dragon-platform as it winds around while firing at the head. It takes like five hits to win, and I didn't even have to jump.

Fourth world... cliff-climbing. Look at my extra lives building up since I'm not dying at all. This game is about one one-hundredth as difficult as the NES original.
 Another ocean stage. The colors in this game continue to be fantastic, and it's a fun playthrough as a result. If someone who doesn't know how to play video games were trying to get into console games, I'd give them Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse and then have them graduate onto this game. Both are in the Kirby's Dream Land tier of easy action games, though this one is a bit tougher at times. It's like they figured the original game was so difficult that they needed to turn things waaaay down.

 Fourth boss is impressive, a giant skeleton with a lightsaber. Winning this fight is a matter of luring him into attacking, then backing up and firing at his head while the sword is down. If you don't get him defeated fast, he'll trap you in the corner. Seems like all of the boss fights in this game are over in ten seconds one way or another.

The bloodthirsty penguins return in World 5, and at least now they're in the appropriate climate.

Higgins arrives at the castle of the nefarious cloaked figure. ...I guess defeating the cloaked figure will break the petrification spell on Tina? Meanwhile, she's back there in statue form getting pooped on by birds.

5-2 is probably the trickiest stage in the game. There's almost no visibility and it's full of spikes. If one were to meet any kind of impasse in this game, it'd probably be in this stage.

The lights go back on for 5-3, as the primary danger continues to be accidentally picking up a hammer. LET ME HAVE MY BOOMERANGS IN PEACE

The final a Jawa? He's easily dispatched once you figure out how to avoid his initial flurry of attacks. Like the rest of the bosses, he can't take much damage.

This is just weird. He sprouts wings and flies off to the afterlife while looking quite peeved, then...

 ...returns from the afterlife as a pink elephant! Is this some kind of Hindu statement on reincarnation? Elephants were regarded as a step above humans on the recurrence ladder.

This is the hardest fight in the game, but it still isn't too bad. It's a matter of luring him into stomping on the floor in the same area (a corner is recommended) until he falls through it. ...yes, it's exactly like the final fight of Super Mario Bros 3.

Apparently that cured Tina, because she's back to normal like nothing happened and Higgins still looks super-miserable. What the actual fuck?



  1. "Meanwhile, statue Tina is getting pooped on by birds" HAHA, thanks for a laugh on a Tuesday afternoon.

    Don't know why Higgins looks so sad in this game, cuz he's way too happy in the others.

    1. You mean Wednesday? Thanks for the comment and tune in tomorrow for the sequel.

  2. For my money this is the best version of Tina but the worst version of Higgins. As you point out.
    Adventure Island just sounds like a fun place to go, yaknow?
    The top of a palm tree seems like the LEAST SAFE place for a statue to be.
    "What was the point of that, aside from just being a total dick?" lololololol
    Man, you're right, these colors are great. Having a pudgy hero like this is something, btw..though Mario was too, COINCIDENTALLY.
    This game still keeps score!
    I admire your efforts to slang boomerangs only.
    I like the idea of the boss being something you have to figure out really quickly to survive and defeat. It sounds like real life.
    They did a very good job with these environments, I agree, especially considering as a 1992er this was nearly a launch title.
    The last battle taking part in a cathedral of death is pretty creative. We need more stained glass windows in games.
    I just went back to the beginning and looked at how many stars were in the sky and marked out. In that respect Adventure Island is WAY better than where we live.
    Did Tina get through the whole game on just one sprite and a palette swap? Slim.

  3. Paul Heyman is adorable in this game.


    It's bad enough Bebe's Kids forbids vibes and Bevis, but skateboarding too?

    Higgins is a tough nut to crack.