Review by KeyBlade999
~ Review in Short ~
Gameplay: Platformer-style sword fighting with pirates. Gets a bit boring eventually.
Story: Basically, pirates hunting treasure in the Caribbean in the mid-seventeenth century. A little cliched.
Graphics: About on-par with the standard for GameBoy games.
Sound and Music: Pretty fitting, as far as music goes, though it lacks variety. Sound effects are few, but decent.
Play Time: It's worth several hours.
Replayability: Low. It's fun at first, but it's linear and get boring and repetitive soon enough.
Recommendation: Not the best game to play. I wouldn't recommend it.
~ Review in Long ~
Cutthroat Island is an old game that takes a look at pirates in the 1600s. As per the stereotype, they are hunting for treasure, and nothing is to get in their way of finding the legendary mother lode on, obviously, Cutthroat Island.
But is it worth getting your throat cut? Or it just an empty chest?
There's not a lot to mention about this game's history. It was made for the Nintendo GameBoy in 1995 by Acclaim and Software Creations.
This game plays a bit like a side-scrolling and fighting game at the same time. You'll take control of a female pirate on the hunt for the pieces of the map to the legendary Cutthroat Island. You'll go through several levels to find the map pieces.
In each level, you'll fight a minor swarm of enemies, usually one at a time, which greatly reduces the challenge and fun of the game. It also makes the game last a bit longer than I'd personally prefer. Anyhow, your fighting repertoire is also rather small. That, in itself, is very sad. You'll get to use a few special sword slices, a few kicks, and a jump. That's about it.
However, your enemies are capable of using fists, swords, axes, guns, explosives, and all the more. That adds a bit of challenge, especially the fact that onlookers like the drop stuff on both you and your opponent. This stuff is often very damaging, and you don't get a whole lot of health. There are health pickups, though they are fairly rare.
Each level will have you fight a few enemies in a single area -- no side-scrolling, for the most part -- and then you'll go right to some more enemies. Each level concludes with an enemy slightly harder than the rest. After defeating this enemy, you can get some various pickups and go right to finish the level. At this point, your score will be calculated based upon how much health you had, your pickups, and the like.
Should you lose all of your health, you'll lose a life and have to start that level completely over. Losing all of your lives results in a Game Over. You can use one of your limited number of continues to restart the level again. There isn't a whole bunch of levels; probably around a dozen, if my memory is correct.
So, it is hard? Kind of. You'll be fighting enemies one by one, so it isn't too hard to rack up some damage, especially for a couple of reasons. One, and most importantly, there is no way to guard a strike in this game. Second, your enemies often have weapons with ranges longer than your own. And thirdly, because of how messed up the controls are in this game; your character just responds so slowly, and some of the controls for dodging attacks will easily put a cramp in your hand.
And the game does get a bit repetitive. If you manage to progress through a few levels, and therefore are pretty good, there isn't much really to focus on. It's just fighting enemies and dodging a few blows here and there. It gets disappointing fairly easily.
It is 1688, an age when pirates with a thirst for adventure sailed water under a black banner bearing a skull and crossbones: The Jolly Roger. The most dangerous pirate of all, Dawg Brown, terrorized the Caribbean in a quest to find the three map pieces of the legendary Cutthroat Island, where a legendary treasure is said to reside.
Morgan Adams, the notorious female pirates, was given one of the three pieces of this map by her father on his deathbed. Dawg will stop at nothing to get it, not even murder. But Morgan also seeks the treasure on Cutthroat Island. The pirate hunter Governor Ainslee of Jamica as sworn to stop them both.
Now as captain of her father's ship, the Morning Star, Morgan is out to find the treasure of Cutthroat Island alone. Before she can head for the island, however, she must find the three pieces of the map. Her journey will begin in a Jamican prison, headed by a vile man known only as "The Warden"...
The graphics in this game are not entirely of an exceptional quality. For the most part, you'll be seeing white, black, and just one other color. There are other colors thrown in at times, usually on the clothing of the enemy, but that doesn't really do much to help it out. A lot of games on the GameBoy do have this problem -- notably, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green Versions -- so it is pretty much the standard for these games.
And of course, as I mentioned with the gameplay, your character responds slowly. It makes for fairly jerky movement. Some of the animations are a bit weird, too. Take the uppercut sword slice, for instance. There are three trails of black lines left behind it shortly before disappearing, much like the wind in a cartoon. It's a bit odd and unrealistic.
SOUND AND MUSIC: 7/10.
There is hardly any variety in the music, honestly. It's pretty much one track repeated over and over again throughout the levels. The only saving grace there is the fact that music does sound a bit "pirate-y" and fits a bit.
As for sound effects, there aren't really any to mention. I think all you'll ever hear is the sounds of attacks, which gets really mind-numbing, for you'll be hearing that a lot throughout this game. Of course, there isn't much else that could be here with this game, so take it as you will.
PLAY TIME: 6/10.
Well, there are about a dozen levels in this game, each taking upwards of five or ten minutes as you continue into the game, so this game is worth about two or three hours of play. However, I'd be a bit skeptical about even that because, honestly, the gameplay will get a bit boring eventually and, with the monotonous theme music, you'll be falling asleep pretty soon.
And, of course, we wouldn't have a review without this bit, would we? This game is very strict on its linearity, even down to what enemies come when during a level. The gameplay starts out fun, but, especially by the time you're playing it again, it's hardly so. Monotonous sound effects also just don't make the game all it could be. You'll be lucky if you enjoy a second playthrough.
THE END. Overall score: 6.2/10.
So, what is this game to the average player? Much like Cutthroat Island in the game could be -- reader, take note I am NOT spoiling the ending or anything, just making a theoretical statement! -- it is really just twenty minutes of excitement after leaving the ship followed by two or more hours of disappointment in trying to find that nonexistent treasure. I honestly think there are better games for one to play. I wouldn't recommend buying it.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/18/12
Game Release: Cutthroat Island (US, 01/31/96)
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