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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Super Adventure Island II

Adventure Island was a pretty popular series back in the early '90s, noted for its fast paced platforming action, dinosaur allies and a fun tropical setting, (as well as its complex relationship with the Wonder Boy franchise, but that's a tale for another time).  Super Adventure Island 2 definitely changed up the format, though, reworking it into more of a Zelda II style adventure, complete with having a top-down view world map (with "Random encounters" and dungeons with a sidescrolling perspective.  The game still progresses in a relatively linear fashion, with most areas gated off until you find the right key to enter them, but you can also collect money to buy upgrades, find various new weapons, armor and shields in chests (some of which remove obstacles and open new paths) and collect life containers and spells to cast.  Fittingly for this type of game, several rooms in each 'dungeon' are also not accessible the first time you visit, requiring that you collect items from later areas and come back later if you want to pick up everything.  The presentation is quite solid, with a charming and exaggerated cartoon style, and it has a catchy, upbeat calypso soundtrack to accompany the series theme.  It never got a lot of attention as a relatively late comer to the SNES scene and the series has largely fallen off the gaming radar since then, but it's a fun little game if you can come across a copy at a decent price.

Developer: Make Software, Inc.
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Platform: SNES
Released: 1995