New Adventure Island
Saving damsels in distress is a common staple of gaming. There's just something about putting it all on the line for that certain someone that seems so appealing to gamers. To be honest, you have to admire the tenacity of those platforming heroes who prefer to risk their lives to save their lady loves than just go back to dating. Who said chivalry was dead?
When you think of princess-saving icons, Mario immediately comes to mind. Though he may be the undisputed champion, he's not the only guy out to save someone. The field is littered with many who have tried and failed and the only guy around who can even compete with the famous plumber is Hudson's Master Higgins. In six separate entries to the series, he's been the one to save Princess Tina's bacon. Now that is devotion.
The only one of Higgins' console exploits to take place off of a non-Nintendo system; New Adventure Island plays more like any of the old NES installments than something new. Remember how you'd play Adventure Island and wished it had more color and some multi-scrolling backgrounds? Hudson must have been eves dropping because that's basically what they did for the Turbo Grafx version. While not actually a bad thing, it's far from what you would have expected given the hardware and natural progression of the series.
Princess Tina and Master Higgins are finally getting married (good things come to those who wait, guess). Everything is proceeding normally until; wait for it, Tina is abducted! The evil Baron Bronsky has long wanted her for his bride and has now taken her for his own. He's also kidnapped six children from the ceremony, who of course, Higgins must save as well. Tom Clancy material it isn't but we don't play platformers for their deep and involved storylines, do we?
Through seven stages (divided each into four areas), Higgins will jump, run, and hack his way to Bronsky's hideout. The whole game reminds me of one of Bruce Lee's Hong Kong movies; it's not much to look at but it doesn't matter because the action is what people came for. While the areas look great overall (not on the level of Super Adventure Island, mind you) and project the tropical feel of the series well enough, there's usually only a single layer of parallax. Moreover, sprites are larger now but haven't been significantly upgraded in detail. The finished product does look better than the earlier games but doesn't really pack the punch you'd expect from having made the transition to a more powerful platform. We would have to wait until the SNES game for that.
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