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Star Tropics

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Reviewed by Billbowsky Good old NES adventures, nothing beats them. This statement couldn't be any truer then with the game Star Tropics. The plot's simple-Your a normal kid named Mike who goes to visit his uncle on C-Island. Things are cool until your uncle is kidnapped and you have to save him with.......get this........Not since Goonies II has a weapon been this cool......a YO-YO. Yup, a Yo-YO. Along the way, you'll pick up different weapons, but nothing beats the YO-YO. (it does, however, become a stronger weapon as you go on. By the end of the game, your YO-YO will have the ability to shoot a power ball out). As the game progresses, you get cool things like a submarine and talk to dolphins. Sound weird? Well, it is. You even get eaten by a whale, like in Pinochio.

Graphics 7 out of 10

The graphics are good. Moving around the island is done in a Final Fantasy way, while fighting in one of the underground labyrinths is done in a Zelda view. But this game improves on both aspect because the Final Fantasy-like view is much more colorful and the Zelda-like view is bigger and easier to see. Unfortunately, half the temples are composed of the browns and greens that make playing video game players nauseous. If you think watching the Japanese version of the Pokemon cartoon will give you seizures, try playing some of these levels for an hour and then you'll know what pain is like.

Music and Sound 7 out of 10

The music is classic NES music, with upbeat tunes for the island overview and gloomier sounds for the underworld. Unfortunately, the music is basically the same for the ENTIRE game. That's really only three songs. Now, I know that it's like playing Zelda. Zelda only has three songs, right? (overworld, underworld, and special level nine music) Well, let's just say Zelda had a slightly better composer. Sound effects are actually quite good. Although enemies die with a lame "pop" explosion sound, some actually make noise and all attacks have a sound effect. Not bad for a game on a system where half of the games don't have worthwhile sound.

Game Challenge 9 out of 10

Star Tropics is difficult, although I probably rated it higher then it really should. It's not the difficulty of the levels, as much as it is the difficulty to control anything. I rant and rave about the control later in this review. The labyrinths are difficult, but if you can just sit down and play the harder ones for an hour you'll soon figure out what to do. The hardest level really is the begging of level eight, where you have to warp to a bunch of different points in the game. Also, getting swallowed by the whale is a pain in the ass. You need to find a lighter so you can set fire to some sticks and smoke your way out. Too bad the whale is impossible to find your way out of. Good Luck with that one. Unfortunately, bosses aren't that difficult. Zoda, the end boss, is incredibly easy to beat. You may die the first few times you fight, but you'll beat him eventually.

Game Play-Fun 9 out of 10

Once you get the hang of the poor controls, the game is incredibly fun. You'll feel like your playing Zelda except with a boy who has a yo-yo.


The programmers needed an easier way of breaking down the rooms of the underground labyrinths. So they decided to divide the floor up into squares. Now, this should not effect game control, right? WRONG. By doing this, they mad it so that Mike has got to walk from one square to the other. He can't stop in the middle of two of these squares. So many times, you'll find yourself trying to stop before you crash into an enemy, and end up sliding right into them. And, on top of all that, Mike must face the direction he wishes to walk in first before walking in that direction. This might sound okay, but unfortunately, it's a 2 step deal-first, Mike must turn around, and then he will start walking. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't take him two and a half seconds to do this. You'll find yourself getting shot at, and all you can do is turn around and let the bullets hit your back. But that's not the worst part. You can't jump forward unless there are tiles in front of you. If there aren't any tiles to jump to, all Mike does is jump straight up. You might have four enemies attacking you, but there's now ay to jump out of it and begin your own attack. All you can do is jump up, hit ONE enemy ONCE, and then fall back down so that they can resume beating the hell out of you. The actual dungeons and puzzles aren't that challenging, It's the control that will kill you.

Replayability 3 out of 10

Unfortunately, the control in this game won't make you want to play through the ENTIRE game again. This game does have a cool feature though: a Review mode. The game is devided into 9 chapters (kind of like the nine Labyrinths in Zelda) Review Mode Let's you pick any chapter and play it from begging to end. It gives you the chance to try and beat an old score or show off in front of friends. But, that's all that saved this game from getting a big fat 0.

Game Value 10 out of 10

It's only three bucks at Funcoland, and it's really a great game. So why not?

The Sight Rod- Item 10 out of 10

Why did I give the Sight Rod its own category? Here's why. This game has lots of cool weapons, like baseballs, and guns, and Ninja stars, and baseball bats. But there's one item in particular that gets it's own award for Innovation. The Sight Rod is a magical Rod that allows you to see hidden objects and enemies in a room. Sound familiar? It should because it was the first "item finder" in a video game. It laid the ground for things like "Itemfinder" in Pokemon and the "Lens of Truth" in Zelda 64. Lots of other games have items like this on different platforms. But this game was the first to introduce an item of it's nature.

Overall 8.5 out of 10

Great Game, great story, cool weapons (It's a YO-YO, who wouldn't want to play it?) but bad control makes this game one for the ages but that will never achieve the real respect it deserves, or could have gotten had it been easier to control. If you can find it or have a friend who has it, get it and play it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

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