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Part II: Islands Beyond The NES

Adventure Island
(GB, 1992)

Adventure Island for the Game Boy (known in Japan as Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima II) basically follows the same gameplay as Adventure Island II for the NES. His girlfriend has been captured again, so Master Higgins needs to run off and get her. The game looks remarkably similar to its console counterpart, except for the lack of colour. All the sprites are more or less the same, and even the game length hasn't changed! That's some good bang for your portable buck! Now there's really no reason not to check it out!

Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise
(GB, 1993)

Also known as Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Jima III, this game follows the same plot as Adventure Island III for the NES and is more or less a general port. There is, however, a new password system for this version, and Master Higgins can also return to previously completed levels if he wants via a more open map screen to locate additional uncovered secrets. The game looks just as great as on the NES, if you don't mind the monochrome tint...

Super Adventure Island
(SNES, 1992)

With its success on the NES, it was only natural that the series made the jump to the new and popular SNES. At this point, he's still dating Jeannie Jungle (so it must take place prior to New Adventure Island), but alas, the malevolent Dark Cloak has other plans for this romance. He flies in while they're having a snuggly rendez-vous and turns her to stone! (Almost makes you wonder whether Dark Cloak is really vicious ex-girlfriend Tina in disguise.)

Super Adventure Island is actually a bit shorter than the NES games, offering only five different islands with four levels each. Each island, however, is genuinely unique, delivering such backgrounds as a desert, a volcano, and even the inside of a whale! The gameplay differs very little from the original Adventure Island game; there are no dinosaurs to ride this time, and Master Higgins is limited to an axe, a boomerang, and a strange set of pink balls. Yeah, laugh it up. On the plus side, the graphics are a grand improvement and the music is beyond funky with its island rhythms and hip-hop stylin', courtesy of Yuzo Koshiro, famous for such other beloved soundtracks as those of ActRaiser, Etrian Odyssey, and the Streets of Rage series. Super Adventure Island keeps it simple, and maybe that's for the best so we can focus more on the direct action this time.

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