Review by Skye Reynolds

"Bad humor and Good memories"

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Ba-a-ack.

Zoda's Revenge continues to the story of the original Star Tropics. But instead of continuing his island hopping, Mike is traveling through time. This game brings back good memories for most Star Tropics veterans and it clears up many of the problems from the original, such as the bad controls, but sadly, it also leaves out a lot of that shine that the first game had. It also adds a lot of childish humor that is so bad, that it actually hurts to watch it. It's still worth playing though.

Story
Dr J, the tropical archaeologist is busy trying to decode a strange cipher from the tropics. Dr Jones believes that the answer to it lies somewhere within a book called the Oxford Wonder World. After receiving a message from an alien girl named Mica, Mike deciphers the code and is sent into a time warp. Meanwhile three clones of Zoda, the alien that Mike defeated in the tropics, are trying to track him down and kill him before he can find mysterious blocks called Tetrads and find out how to use them.

I say it gets about an 8/10.

Overworld
This is probably the main reason why people claim that this game and the original are Zelda clones. The actual gameplay starts out with an overview, and Mike looks like Link, but with blacker hair, brown jeans, and a blue shirt instead of Link's attire. I mentioned this in my review of the original Star Tropics already. All that Mike can do in this format is to move in one of four directions, right, left, up, or down and talk to people. You stay in this mode until you enter a cave, temple, or cut-scene.

Underworld
This is where the real action is. This again is an over head view, but it is a closer view, the graphics are much better. The graphics are better than the original and there is a lot more freedom of movement. The two things that everyone who played the original Star Tropics wished for, the abilities to jump forward and move diagonally!!! I know it doesn't sound that exiting, but if you've played the original Star Tropics, you wouldn't take those abilities for granted anymore.

The gameplay gets a 9/10.

Graphics
As I mentioned, the graphics are improved over the original. The characters in the over world view still look like Lego figures, but Mike and the creatures underground look a lot better. Unfortunately, the game lacks the same quality of color that it had in the original, and the cut scenes/ending aren't as impressive as they were in the original.

It still gets an 8/10.

Music/SFX
The music(if you even pay attention to it) is forgettable to say the least. Its a remix of the original Star Tropic's music, that just isn't quite as good. The sound effects also sound like buzzing noises. But the game does have some of the same sounds as in the original. The boss battles still have the heart-pounding tunes that they had in the original. And as in the original game, the warning that lets you know when you're low on life is so annoying that you may find yourself committing suicide in the game, just to make the ringing stop. And hopefully you won't really commit suicide to get away from the ringing. Yes, it is almost that bad.

The music earns a 7/10 respectively.

Challenge
This game is a lot easier than the original Star Tropics, but it still has plenty of challenge. It will be pretty hard to beat the first time around, but you'll get used to it after a while. Like the original, I'd say that this game is more for the veteran gamers, who enjoy a challenge. Don't let that stop you, if you're new though. The game eases you into it, so it's not too hard to catch on to how it works. You will still have some levels that you'll find yourself going through again and again and again, before you ever beat it, especially in the later levels.

And so, this game earns an 8/10 for challenge.

Fun
If you enjoy games like Legend of Zelda or the original Star Tropics, than this is most likely a game that you will want to play. It is every bit as fun as the original Star Tropics, but the extremely bad humor does take away from the enjoyment though.

Even with the small drawbacks, this game still gets an impressive 9/10.

Replayability
Moderate. It can be beaten a lot faster than the original and it doesn't have the same kind of excitement that draws you back each time. It is still worth playing again, but chances are this won't be a game that you will play over and over again.

Review
Control 9/10
Graphics 8/10
Sound 7/10
Challenge 8/10
Fun 9/10
Overall 9/10

Buy or Rent?
I'll discuss this in my Final Thought category.

Final Thought
This game would be a lot more fun, if it wasn't a follow up of Star Tropics. The original left you wondering what was next, and this game, although it is just as fun, is a small disappointment for most Star Tropics fans. It is still one of the best games for the NES, though. And it is definitely worth buying.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/02, Updated 05/26/03


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