🌴Written: June 28th-July 1st, 2017🌴
Alternate Title: Takahashi Meijin no Shin Bōken Jima [ ⬤ ]
Year: 1992 | Developed and Published by: Hudson Soft
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here, passionate about video games, big retrophile, and it's high time for a new review after almost a month of absence.
On January 11th, 1992 the Super Famicom received its first outing for Hudson Soft's Takahashi Meijin/Adventure Island brand as well as the third title in the series following the success of the first two Nintendo 8-bit games in the form of the Produce-developed Takahashi Meijin no Daibōken Jima, or Super Adventure Island as it would be known in America and Europe on the SNES come that April and November respectively.
That game wasn't (and isn't) well-regarded by large circles of gamers and is considered by many to be the nadir of the series; what ultimately let Super Adventure Island down was the glaring lack of a running feature for the main protagonist (something that was present in all previous and subsequent games), which meant that the game was a slog to play through--not helped by the fact that it felt very unpolished and stiffly awkward at points (especially when its Super Jump was accomplished by holding down while pressing B on the ground) as well as the fact that it felt rather bland in my opinion. The only thing it really had going for it was Yuzo Koshiro's hip hop/calypso-driven soundtrack which was its sole bright spot, but it's not enough to salvage what amounted to nothing more than a tech demo for what is otherwise an average game and proved that Produce was wrong for the platforming genre; they would have more fulfilling luck in the RPG genre after the fact (as evidenced by games such as Elnard/The 7th Saga, Brain Lord, and Mystic Ark).
Luckily for the series the year was young for there was a still chance to win fans back and give gamers confidence in the Takahashi Meijin/Adventure Island games again. That June saw the PC Engine release of Takahashi Meijin no Shin Bōken Jima in Japan, with the American TurboGrafx-16 release following suit later in the year as New Adventure Island. This time Hudson Soft would be in full control as opposed to just act as publisher, which is great: but is it worthy of the name brand?
This marks a special day for Master Higgins (Takahashi Meijin in Japan, named and modeled after the Hudson Soft spokesman of the same name) and his girlfriend Tina, for they have just gotten married--which despite the franchise's prehistoric setting the people managed to develop the concept of religion, leis, and proper wedding gowns (anachronism can get weird in media). o~O
This special occasion unfortunately gets ruined when the game pulls a Konami's Haunted Castle on us as a shadowy fiend by the name of Baron Bronsky abducts the bride (and his underlings kidnap the six island children) on the hero's wedding day!
This angers Master Higgins, who raises his shaking fist in the air and sets out with the drive to defeat Baron Bronsky and save his just-married wife.
|Down, down, the spidery cave we go|
|Purple bricked wall and motif|
|Avoid the erupting fireballs|
Honestly, the high abundance of color in this game and interesting design choices make the overly shaded Super Adventure Island look ugly and unappealing by comparison.
|Things are going to get hot in here|
After the defeat of the first five bosses you're treated to an intermission with Master Higgins celebrating in different ways; they're a nice breather from the adventure for it's just great to see him at his most expressive in the series.
On that note, his "Yipe" expression upon losing a life in New Adventure Island is a lot more tolerable than when he lost a life in Super Adventure Island--I don't know what annoys me more in that one: that overbearingly obnoxious face (as his sprite is lingered on until he falls offscreen), that intrusive sound effect upon being touched by an enemy or projectile, or the fact that anytime he loses a life he never faces the right direction (it's always to the left). -_-
such as the ones for the boar and the elephant to name a couple, and regarding the bosses in particular they're set against a partially curtained backdrop with a diverse animal motif adorning the columns below them; finally Baron Bronsky's two phases look good.
|Fly, boomerang, fly|
|Shoot while it's not looking|
|Venturing under the sun|
|Hey, is that... Turbo the racing snail?|
I liked this game so much that I decided to import Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima III for the Game Boy and Takahashi Meijin no Daibōken Jima II for the Super Famicom this year.
Mario called, he wants his red hat backThe last of which actually serves as a direct continuation of this game with Takahashi Meijin/Master Higgins and Tina being husband and wife (that is until a series of events unfolds which cause the two to lose their memory of each other which they gradually gain little by little). Both games, while I didn't think held a candle to this game, I did end up thinking were really good in their own right. =) Honestly, I think these three are the best games of the series.
With Konami now rereleasing TurboGrafx-16 (and PC Engine imports) games on the Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console downloadable service it opened up a chance for people to try them if they missed a chance on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console downloadable service, however in the span of almost a year they've only been releasing these rather infrequently (which were available in Japan's eShop long before America and Europe) for as of writing this review these are the only PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 games to choose from in America (does this mean that one day Bonk's spinoff Air Zonk may join the catalog? Only time will tell). I hesitate to say it's a case of too little too late given the recent release of the Nintendo Switch for there is technically still a market for the Wii U, but you can't help but wonder why Konami took so long to get around to these titles?
|Ooh, Nazca Lines on the wall, nice! =)|
My Personal Score: 8.0/10
<( ^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^ )>
P.S. I actually considered re-reviewing Super Adventure Island prior to talking about this game since I got to play this game last year, but after having touched Produce's game again I've decided not to go through with it; that's how much the earlier game annoyed me.
P.S. 2 Last month I saw Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman in theatres, and it was a really great and empowering superhero film all around (and Gal Gadot was fantastic in the title role, I look forward to seeing more Wonder Woman in DCEU's future). =) It was inspiring and hopeful and thoughtful too. And on June 25th I saw the Studio Ghibli Fest rerelease of Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro in theatres (dubbed in English, which was no problem as it was well-dubbed) and I've gotta say that it's a great way of being introduced to this movie (I forget if I saw it as a kid on TV or VHS, but I did know about it); the painstakingly detailed animation was breathtaking in every sense of the word, the story and characters were endearing, and there was a huge sense of innocence and wonder and warmth about it. I really liked it! =)
P.S 3 More on movies: um, between Rupert Sanders' Ghost in the Shell (which I thought was pretty but hollow), Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant (that I ended up not liking not solely because of a frustratingly predictable twist that undoes whatever goodwill it had before it but because it doesn't do the original Alien justice), and Alex Kurtzman's serious and incomprehensible Dark Universe starter The Mummy with a highly miscast Tom Cruise (who I normally like; Stephen Sommers' 1999 Indiana Jones-flavored take with Brendan Fraser is better and entertaining), I'm starting to think that Zhang Yimou's The Great Wall may have been a better movie than I gave it credit for--yeah it was a bit unremarkable in places and predictable but it was visually arresting and action-oriented and I liked Matt Damon and Jing Tian in it (give or take whatever accent the former was affecting) and fun in places... I just didn't like the subplot with Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe's characters.
P.S. 4 Yeah, the skateboarding is anachronistic for the time period, although the cavemen did invent the wheel, so I guess that gives them a pass? =/
Happy 25th Anniversary, New Adventure Island!!! =D
Thank you for reading my review, please leave me a comment (spam will not be tolerated) and let me know what you think; hope you have a great Summer, take care! =)