Review by Psycho Penguin

"Travel through a mysterious island paradise with a YO-YO!!"

First off, let me say that you wouldn't catch me going to a mysterious island with only a yo yo. It might have been okay in a game like Yo! Noid, but what about this game? Couldn't he have had a knife or something? Anyways enough about choice of weapons. Star Tropics was a borderline 2nd generation NES game that was very popular, and for good reason. The game featured fun gameplay and a challenge factor at pretty high because of your.... weapon. Anyways Star Tropics is an above average game, but its sequel is a lot better.

One of the things I liked most about this game was the simple fact that it is so much fun to play. Most games rely on other things to sell, but Star Tropics is simply a very fun game to play, and I enjoyed playing it very much. The game is simply so enjoyable, and at heart is a very simple game. You go out in stages, using your yo-yo to kill enemies. It is sort of like Zelda, but there are a lot of differences between Star Tropics and Legend of Zelda that makes this game so much fun to play, as well as being very innovative.

The storyline to the game is simple at heart, yet still rather effective. You play the role as Mike Jones, who is on vacation to visit his uncle down in a tropical island. He gets down there and his uncle is mysteriously gone. He now has to go out on a search and rescue mission to find his lost uncle. But you can bet your bottom dollar that it won't be easy to find him..

Gee, let's make a whole game where most of the stages look exactly alike!! Basically you get a brown background and little green squares all over the place. The water is BLUE (gasp!) and everything else looks like it's supposed to. Really, the game's graphics are good, but the graphics in its sequel DESTROY these graphics. I hate to compare, but it's true. The graphics in this game definitely could have been done a little bit better, I am not totally against them but it is true.

It's not to say that the graphics in this game are awful or anything, because they aren't. It's just that I feel that the graphics could have used a shot in the arm when it comes to variety. Most of the backgrounds in the game are fairly dark and drab, and the green buttons scattered about certainly do not help. I like it when the buttons turn yellow and later red, but the graphics could have definitely used a boost when it comes to variety. Or maybe I am just spoiled by the awesome graphics in the sequel.

They also decide to play a few select tunes the entire game. Fortunately the music is good and doens't get on your nerves. Still, isn't variety a good thing? And Star Tropics doesn't have variety in its music, so... I really don't have much good to say about this music, but if I will, I will say that some of it is pretty good. I especially liked the music featured on the overworld when you are going around in the submarine. I did not like the basic theme to the game in the caves and stuff, because it got very annoying after a while.

The sound effects in the game are good, to a certain extent. Some of them came off as pretty effective, while others got annoying to listen to after a while. At least some of the more annoying sound effects in the sequel were not featured in the original. I wish there were some cooler sound effects like the sound of you falling in the water with a booming splash, but I'll live.

The control is good but sometimes it is very easy to slip up and miss that precision jump. The game isn't too leniant when it comes to precision jumping, which is a shame because the game is mostly precision jumping. I wish the control would have been tighter in certain situations, because far too often I would be stuck in a certain situation where I had to make a precision jump, and failed because the control failed on me. And that's the honest answer.

Anyways, Star Tropics is an unique game unlike any other ever seen before it. At heart, it is a Zelda game, but instead of being in a land with a sword you're on an island with a yo yo. Throughout the game you will meet various people and go on fun adventures. The gameplay is quite good. I especially liked certain aspects of the game, because everything about this game screamed Zelda, but with new innovations and twists, which makes this game just as classic as Zelda.

The stages in this game are fairly unique, but they do not make the game that fun to play. In fact, some would say that the game would have been better had their been a bigger variety of stages, and I definitely agree with them. The biggest problem I had with those stages is the fact that most of them were the same thing. Make some jumps between platforms, kill some enemies, and pull a switch which opens up a new section. This also increased the amount of secrets, however, because you could open a lot of new sections via switches.

The game does feature some replay value, but I am not going to sit here and lie to you by saying that the game has amazing replay value that will make you want to play the game for days on end. Sure, you will enjoy playing this game, but you are not going to want to play it too much. It is a fun game to play, and with a fairly decent amount of secrets, the replay value is there, but the game does not have as good replay value as I would have expected.

This game is not that challenging, but it is decent enough to warrant me saying that it does have some challenge to it. Most of the game is standard stuff, although some of the stages can be considered challenging, especially those stages which feature huge precision jumps, the precision jumps are made more difficult by the simple fact that the control is unforgiving when it comes to the actual precision jumps.

Star Tropics is a very good Nintendo game, but overall the sequel is better. I advise buying both (I got both at Toys R Us, brand new, for a total of 5.98!!) because they are both so much fun to play. I really enjoyed the original game, because of the innovative gameplay it provided. I may not have enjoyed certain aspects of the game, but overall this is one of my all time favorite NES games.

Good Points
-The graphics in the game have some good points to them.
-The gameplay is fairly unique and very fun.
-I liked the storyline in the game a lot.
-The character designs are pretty impressive.

Not So Good Points
-The backgrounds in the game are drab and dull in some places.
-The music is very annoying, to say the least.
-The sound effects could have used a little variety.
-Some of the game borders on pure tediousness.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan Style!
Storyline - 9.2/10
Graphics - 8.9/10
Music - 3.8/10
Sound Effects - 4.2/10
Control - 8.3/10
Gameplay - 8.2/10
Worth a Purchase? - Under 3 bucks, sure.
Overall - 8.3/10

The Last Line: This game is well worth a purchase if you find it at a good enough price, like I did. Some of it borders on tediousness and boredom, but it is still a fun game to play.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/06/00, Updated 07/16/01


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