Written: January 4th-5th, 2019
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here, passionate about video games, big retrophile, and happy new year to you all! =) Hope you all had a good one, and... I know 2018 wasn't as productive a year on my StarBlog as most other years... but what better way to start off the new year than by making a new review of a game I previously reviewed years ago on account that I don't think the original review (from April 2013) has aged well.
Especially since it was written before I played the other installments of the series and hadn't paid close attention to some of its credits since for the past year or two I've learned to value deep, well-rounded research seriously, and with each review I hope to improve on my reviewing prowess. I'm getting ahead of myself, though, here is a Take Two Reviews treatment of the following game:
Received: July 12th, 2010
Alternate Title: Takahashi Meijin no Daibōken Jima [ ⬤ ]
Year: 1992 | Developed by: Produce
Published by: Hudson Soft | Supervised by: WestoneFollowing the success of the first two Famicom/NES installments of Hudson Soft's Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima/Adventure Island, it was only a matter of time before a subsequent iteration would pop up on the then young 16-bit Super Famicom/SNES console. And that very game came out in Japan on January 11th, 1992 as Takahashi Meijin no Daibōken Jima, which would see an American and European SNES release that April and November under the title Super Adventure Island.
Image cropped from Paca Paca Passion cover from GameFAQsWhat distinguishes today's title from the prior games and what came after the fact was that instead of being developed by Hudson Soft it was instead developed by Produce, a company founded by former Irem employees in 1990 led by Shinji Imada, for it was one of the first games they made as well as the first platformer they worked on... and the latter shows.
During a nightly date with Takahashi Meijin (named and modeled in the Japanese version after Hudson Soft's then executive of the same name), or Master Higgins in the Western versions, and his betrothed Tina on top of a rocky pillar underneath a star-studded sky, a hooded being on a broomstick by the name of Black Mantle appears out of thin air and turns Tina into stone.
What a great boyfriend, leaving her unattended and alarmingly close to the edge where she might fall off!After cackling at his own misdeeds Black Mantle then flies away. Takahashi Meijin/Master Higgins, enraged about this situation, summons a feathery King Bird (in the same franchise that has dinosaurs, no less, that has never been around before now and after) and follows after the hooded being. His adventure to revert his girlfriend Tina back to normal begins.
|Beginning by skating down the tropics|
|Traversing in the jungle|
Now let's not carried away there, Mister, you
don't want to get sued by Mario for trying to copy
his high jumps and wearing a red hat
|Light up the candle|
|Defeat the fire idol|
Someone at Produce and/or Hudson Soft must've been really proud of that sprite... That's sad...My least favorite animation of his, however, is the one that occurs whenever you lose a life due to his obnoxious "oh" face and the equally obnoxious sound effect that accompanies it, the fact that it lingers on that sprite until he falls straight offscreen (adding to the overbearing quality), and the fact that he always does so when facing the left. Well, why bother with a side pose if you're not going to have it both ways? Why not directly face the screen during that situation like most installments did?
Like a lot of early Nintendo 16-bit games the developers would always try to find a way to incorporate the console's trademark Mode 7 rotating and scaling effects, and this game is no exception as there are a few instances of it: before the game starts proper with Master Higgins falling towards the screen, being swallowed whole by a whale, falling down into the water, and when Black Mantle is initially defeated he zooms in until just his eyes are visible and then zooms out to reveal his true form, and they are all done to good effect
|Boomerangs increase range|
|End of area|
|Swimming inside a whale|
And yes, that is no exaggeration and you are not reading that wrong, but that really is Ryuichi Nishizawa's name in his one and only Takahashi Meijin/Adventure Island contribution--with a story credit. A story credit in a platformer, no less. I would actually give that the benefit of the doubt if there was much of one in-game to begin with, but there's not.
There's no written story progression or narration inbetween areas, and you're not really given any clue (e.g. a map, like the last game) what location the King Bird will drop you off at in the beginning of each round until you're there; guess Takahashi Meijin/Master Higgins is just lucky that he's on the right track. He gets swallowed by a whale in the middle of the second round and is outside at the beginning of the third round, but we never see him exit the mammal one way or another; he had to have come out somehow. And it really makes the trip feel worthwhile when the game concludes itself on such a rushed and spontaneous note with no build up or fanfare leading up to it, so glad this game told such a great story! -_-
|Okay, I'll admit, that squid is adorable~|
|Jumping up on the tree's branches|
Images from GameFAQsThat is, except for Japanese manga artist Susumu Matsushita who worked on the cover art for the other Takahashi Meijin installments courtesy of Light & Shadows for he provided the cover for the Japanese and European versions of this game, whereas the American version of Super Adventure Island had an entirely Americanized art cover which is one of those instances of making the game look more exciting than it actually is.
|"Ow! Why'd you slap me?!"|
This reminds me, I haven't played Hudson Soft's
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West video game in
Primarily Produce's Nintendo 16-bit contribution to the RPG genre beginning with their turn-based Elnard/The 7th Saga which had Sakai serving as sub programmer, Kusaka as graphics director, and Hirai and Sugou as graphic designers. Produce would ultimately find more success with the Enix-released RPGs, and while they would collaborate with Hudson Soft again (namely for Super Bomberman 4), it was clear that the platforming genre was not for them as they have not worked on another one after today's game.
Jumping up on a skateboard in the desert
"Let me ask you something:
DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A BAD TIME?"
in the form of the 1994 Red Company/A.I/Amble-developed Chō Genjin/Super Bonk/Super B.C. Kid (even if it too is the nadir of its series, in my opinion, it's still okay to play as it feels like a proper continuation of the ideas presented in the prior installments).
My Personal Score: 5.5/10
d(^-^)bTO EACH THEIR OWNd(^-^)b
Thank you for reading my review, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think (neither spam nor NSFW comments are allowed); hope you have a great day and I wish you all a happy new year, take care!