System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Published by: Nintendo
Review: When I was a kid, this game was getting a surprising amount of hype. An island adventure with puzzles and deep sea diving? Sign me up?
You play as Mike, a kid who just wanted to visit his uncle, the famed researcher Dr. J, at his place on C-Island (and maybe watch him perform a few dunks). Too bad he's disappeared, and the only way to find him is to travel from island to island in a submarine he left behind. Sure, asking a kid to do all this seems a bit overwhelming at first, but hey, if you meet up with any unfriendly types, you've always got your yo-yo. You'll be fine...
The game itself is mainly about exploring dungeons and engaging in some light combat with the wildlife, and whatever else you might come across during your search. Outside of the dungeons, you movee around as in Final Fantasy, minus the random encounters. It's mainly for moving the story along. Each room in a dungeon is set up like a grid, and unfortunately, Mike can only move in the four cardinal directions, and each button push forces him to move an entire square, with no turning back until he makes it to said square. This makes for a lot, a LOT, of accidental collisions with enemies, blundering into traps, etc. that will piss you off to no end. Once you get used to that, though, the game is pretty fun.
The sloppy control scheme really hurts the game. Worse yet, when you die, you restart the dungeon from a fixed point (usually the very beginning) with only a fraction of your health. Also, the game sometimes likes to surprise you by tossing in special dungeon rooms that cause you to immediately die upon entry. Thankfully, these rooms are few in number, but still, come on Nintendo!
I'm really surprised this game hasn't been remade yet. Just about every halfway-decent game out for the NES and SNES has been revisited on the either the GBA or DS, but not this one. I actually enjoyed it, though I admit I got a lot more enjoyment out of the sequel, when they fixed the sloppy movement and combat mechanics. If you do decide to try this one, just remember that the secret code to get the sub working is 747. When the game first came out, they put that code on a note from your uncle that actually came with the cartridge. You had to soak the note with water to get the secret code to appear, and it was actually kind of neat. Not in any way practical, but still neat.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
I hated it when good games had some sort of paper insert you had to own to get the game to work. I know it was done just as a means to keep you from pirating the software before the internet made such codes obsolete, but now that we wanna play these old games, it gets annoying.
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