Xbox One | 360 | XBLA  PS4 | PS3 | PSN  Wii U | VC    3DS  PS Vita  iOS    PC    Retro    


  » news
  » reviews
  » previews
  » cheat codes
  » release dates
  » screenshots
  » videos

  » specials
  » interviews

  » facebook
  » twitter
  » contests

  » games list
  » franchises
  » companies
  » genres
  » staff
 

Which E3 2016 Game Was Your Favorite?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Battlefield 1
God of War
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Dishonored 2


Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.5
Visuals
8.0
Audio
8.0
Gameplay
9.0
Features
8.0
Replay
8.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Wii Shop Channel
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Nintendo
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
January 07, 2007
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
 Written by John Scalzo  on January 18, 2008

Review: Dr J-us! Dr J-us! Oh Dr J-us! I can help you Dr J-us!


Quick, name a first party title on the NES. I bet most people just thought of a game in the Super Mario Bros. series. Maybe a few others went for Zelda and a very small number probably picked Metroid. But for some reason StarTropics, a spiritual sequel to the original Legend of Zelda is completely forgotten by most of the retrogaming populace. Thankfully, Nintendo has remembered their island-hopping adventure and brought Startropics to the Virtual Console.

StarTropics uses the same engine as the original Legend of Zelda to tell the more modern story of Mike Jones, a teenager from Seattle. Mike is visiting his uncle, a scientist who lives in the tropics, when strang things start to happen. His uncle has disappeared and monsters have begun to appear in the caves below C-Island. Using a yo-yo as his main weapon (dubbed an Island Star by the chief), Mike ventures into the caves in search of his uncle.



Right away, the similarities to Zelda are obvious. The game takes place in an overhead view with most of the action divided into rooms that can only be opened by tripping a switch, killing all of the enemies or finding a secret passageway. Mike's health is even displayed in hearts (and finding Heart Containers add to this life force).

But there are a few noticeable differences as well. For one, Mike can jump. For another, the game is designed using an invisible "grid." Each room is divided into "squares" and pressing one of the directional buttons will move Mike one square at a time. This grid becomes very visible with the tiles scattered around every room. Some doors can only be opened by switches and some switches can only be found by jumping on these tiles. "Island-hopping" from tile to tile quickly becomes a way of life in StarTropics.

The grid-based controls can feel a little confining to gamers accustomed to more freeform movements, but it quickly becomes second nature and learning how to exploit it (like by figuring out what kind of reach each weapon has) is the key to victory.

StarTropics' quirky humor also establishes the game as the anti-Zelda. The use of a yo-yo as a weapon (and later baseball bats, cleats and slingshots) mirrors the ?real world? weaponry found in another forgotten Nintendo classic, Earthbound. Strange islanders, talking dolphins, an adventure in the belly of a whale and a submarine piloted by ROB just add to the weirdness. StarTropics is also remembered for the special letter that was included with the original NES cartridge. Once the player reaches a certain point in the game, the letter has to be dipped in water to reveal a secret code to proceed. Thankfully, Nintendo created a virtual letter and virtual water to dip it in for this VC release.

The game features plenty of interesting enemies and some cool boss designs that make it more than ?that game that looks kinda like Zelda.? It also has some catchy music and a great underworld theme. Although it should be noted that when the player is exploring the overworld, the screen will flicker if the game is being played on an HDTV. It's hard to fault Nintendo for that, but it's annoying nonetheless.

Bottom Line
StarTropics is one of the few games developed and published that has been almost completely forgotten by the gaming community. And it's truly a shame as the Zelda-like adventuring and the tropical island twist make for a spectacular game. Hopefully, the game can find a new life on the Virtual Console and maybe a future life with a new sequel. Maybe I can wish upon a star for that one...


User Comments

Farming Simulator 17 Gameplay Video Released by Giants Software


Yakuza 0 Set To Launch Early 2017 in the Americas and Europe on PS4


Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 7 Now Available From Telltale Games


CD Projekt Red is Bringing Gwent to Gamescom For You to Play


Marvel Ultimate Alliance Bundle Releasing This Week for Xbox One, PS4 and PC


Nebulous is Set For Release Beginning on August 30


Riptide GP: Renegade Now Available On PlayStation 4 and Steam


Mutant Mudds Super Challenge Now Available on PlayStation and PC


Games With Gold August Xbox One and Xbox 360 Games Revealed by Microsoft


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare San Diego Comic Con Panel Released






Home    •    About Us    •    Contact Us    •    Advertise    •    Jobs    •    Privacy Policy    •    Site Map
Copyright ©1999-2012 Matt Swider. All rights reserved. Site Programming copyright © 2004 Bill Nelepovitz - NeositeCMS