STARTROPICS / Nintendo / NES



Heh I remember when this first came out, Nintendo Power just pimped the hell out of it.

Yeah this is one of those games that tends to get "classic" status automatically just thanks to a ton of people playing it when they were kids, but when you go back now and examine it with a critical eye it really wasn't all that great of a game.

Well, any adventure/RPG that Nintendo turns out is going to be basically solid, especially if it's using a modified version of the first Zelda game's engine. The character select screen even looks identical, and then you have the same heart system.

The game takes place in a modern setting, you play as this kid named Mike who apparently is an "ace pitcher" (which is all we really know about him, and that's because no one will shut up about it). Dr. J invites you out to his Pacific island hideaway, but then you get there and it turns out he's been kidnapped, so you go on some crazy adventure that mostly involves going through a system of caves to find him.

Outside of the caves, the game plays and feels almost exactly like Dragon Warrior, except there's no random battles or inventory, you just walk from location to location and talk to people.

Inside of the dungeons are faintly reminiscent of the first Zelda, except the play control is odd and really stiff.

Yeah, Mike can only shuffle in the four cardinal directions, but he also stops every time you change direction. So like, if you're facing east and want to turn north, you push north once to make him turn, then again to actually begin walking north.

This is a real disadvantage as the monsters in the dungeons are largely copied and pasted from the first Zelda game, and they charge at you just as hard. So you stumble and fall all over yourself a lot while trying to just engage in basic combat.

Mike's one advantage over Link is that he can jump, but that's just as stiff as everything else. You can't jump on the move, you can only jump straight up in the air, and you can only do it laterally if there's a gap between you and another tile. So it's not like you get to be a badass jumping over monster's heads and slashing them in the backside or whatever.

Overall it's not horrible, but it just seems so dated and limited compared to all the other adventures available now that I question whether it's even worth the time to play. I mean, even when it came out in 1990 it seemed a little behind the times in gameplay.

On the plus side the music is pretty decent. On the negative side, the story is completely stupid and boring and isn't even really funny to compensate.



Videos :

Gameplay Video

 

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