Super Adventure Island II
Published on Thu Sep 08 2022
As though to say, "It's the same, but different!", a high-pitched voice greets you every time you boot the game up to assure you that this, too, is Adventure Island! The voice drops the "Super" in the title but really puts an emphasis on "Two!".
And yet, very different it is. The closest game in the series to this one functionally is Adventure Island 4 which never saw an official release outside of Japan on the Famicom which is a real shame because I feel that it did a significantly better job of taking the platforming and boss battles and moving them into a Metroidvania-lite world.
The biggest thing missing with this game though is really the thing that originally really separated it from its Wonderboy origins - the dinosaurs. Your companions from Adventure Island 2-4 are all missing (same as its direct predecessor Super Adventure Island). It's unfortunate but in a lot of ways the Super Nintendo was not kind to Master Higgins.
Sadly, I didn't particularly enjoy this game. A fair bit of backtracking was necessary, there were multiple annoying and completely invisible trap holes in a few levels which set you back progress-wise, the story was super weak, and the fact that Higgins and Tina spoke throughout was not an added bonus in terms of quality. Confusing dialogue on top of the paper-thin plot made getting to the end a bit of a plodding endeavor.
I should have gotten a Turbografx!