Monday, October 22, 2012

NES Replay: Adventure Island III

Developer: Hudson
Publisher: Hudson
Released: 1992
Disappointment Level: High
In NES Replay, we go through each NES game from A-Z to see if they're any good. Today: Adventure Island III.

There are a few things in life that are absolutely horrible. Jumping off a roof and landing on a bicycle with no seat? Horrible. Tripping and faceplanting in a pile of dog poop? Horrible. Biting into an apple and seeing half a worm inside? Horrible.

You know what else is absolutely horrible? Playing a game that you remember being awesome and finding it to be bad. That's horrible.

Adventure Island III was one of those game that I remembered being awesome. Sure, the music and the graphics were taken wholesale from Adventure Island II, but I loved Adventure Island II! What's wrong with more Adventure Island II?

However, Adventure Island III barely throws anything new into the mix. There's a new dinosaur that rolls into a ball, but he's hard to control and gets you killed more often than not. The bosses are impossibly hard. I cheated like crazy and still ended up dying thirty times to the very first boss.

You get a boomerang as a new weapon, but it's completely useless since you can only throw one at a time and it doesn't return in a clean, predictable trajectory. The new music is nowhere near as catchy as the recycled stuff, and the new levels don't look nearly as good as the recycled ones either.

I'm going to get on my high horse for just a moment, so I hope you'll indulge me. When a company pumps out sequel after sequel to a game, there are bound to be recycled assets involved, but what's worse than the recycled assets are the recycled ideas. You simply can't pump out game after game and expect the good ideas to keep on flowing. Sega discovered this with Sonic, Neversoft discovered it with Tony Hawk, and Activision is discovering it with all the franchises they're currently running into the ground.

That feels like what happened with Adventure Island III. Instead of coming up with new ideas, they just made what amounted to a glorified expansion pack for the second game, but made it crappier. Ah well. At least we still have Adventure Island II.

Final Rating:

Adventure Island Series Rating:
  1. Adventure Island II
  2. The kiss from a unicorn upon my brow, awaking me from slumber to a wonderful fairy-tale land of delights
  3. Adventure Island
  4. Adventure Island III
Next week: Adventures In The Magic Kingdom

Looking for more NES games? Click here for more!

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