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Star Tropics

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Reviewed by Tom Kelly Star Tropics is an NES adventure that's not to be missed. You play the role of Mike Jones, a city kid who came to the C-island to visit his Uncle, Dr. Steve Jones. However, upon arriving to C-island, Mike finds that Dr. Jones has been abducted! And guess who has to save the day empty-handed? OK, so the story's not so great. But still, prepare yourself for an adventure in island settings no other RPG (Role Playing Game) can offer!

Graphics 6 out of 10

Star Tropics offers bright, colorful visuals (obviously because of the island setting) that complement the happy mood expressed in the overworld. The underworld, on the otherhand, consists of "wonderful" vomit greens and browns that will make you sick if you stare at them. On the flip side, there are some good-looking transparency effects and a cool series of end boards in neon blue. In addition, the graveyard and fireworld levels contain visuals that were state of the art for the day and still look half-descent. Overall, even with some graphical pluses, the game has an appearance that comes across as slightly above average.

Music and Sound 7 out of 10

How can you hate NES sound? Seriously, Star Tropics has more of those NES tunes that are like cocaine to the ears (How can't you resist Chapter 7's music?). Overworld tunes make you sick with their high-pitched major melodies. However, underworld themes, are well-done, and sound reminiscent to Mega Man (Especially the alien spaceship level). Star Tropics "musical" score, perfectly accompanies the mood in every area. The graveyard music is plain scary. The underworld music is that perfect level music in every NES game. Boss themes are perfectly done. None of the music in Star Tropics sounds out of place. Overall, the sound won't blow your ears off, but it isn't atrocious so that you have to put on a CD instead.

Game Challenge 9 out of 10

Game challenge is especially different in Star Tropics. When the game was developed, the control was horrid (Jumping and turning the character). So instead of tweaking the control, the programmers simply created odd ways out of situations, requiring the least amount of movement possible. This game will get you thinking in ways you never thought before. The action sequences (fighting and battling, which are NOT turn-based I must add) are quite easy, but navigating levels is the challenging aspect of the game. Some secrets MUST be found to progress through the level. Also, Mike has the ability to (barely) jump. Jumping sequences come across as a challenge mainly because you can only jump over one block at a time. As if that wasn't bad enough, there are the infamous "step and they crumble blocks", which make jumping that much harder. Also, a few enemy attacks will kill you. This requires intense dodging techniques. The challenge of Star Tropics is ! one that shouldn't be overlooked.

Game Play-Fun 8 out of 10

Star Tropics is fun sometimes, that is when you have control of the character. Other times, the controller decides to fail and you perish to your death. Star Tropics is a double-edged sword. If you have a good day, the game is quite rewarding to play and offers fresh objectives to overcome. If not, your wall will dented from the impact of NES controllers.


In this game the controller is a worse enemy than the end boss, Zoda. Keep that reset button nearby, you will use it frequently. Upon losing a life in Star Tropics, you will start at the beginning of a level with three hearts (it's a situation similar to starting of Level 9 of Zelda with 3 hearts). Warning: Do not play this game if you are having a bad day.

Replayability 2 out of 10

Like any other RPG, Star Tropics fails in the replay department. Objectives are linear, and therefore offer no new challenges upon replaying the game.

Game Value 10 out of 10

$3.97 for the game new at KB or Toyworks. Any Questions?

Overall 7 out of 10

At worst, your pitching skills will benefit will improve as a result of throwing your controller. But hey, Mike is an Ace Pitcher (see the instruction booklet) and each time you play you'll be better suited to help him. Star Tropics overall is a worthwhile addition to your NES library. Hey, for $4, how could you say no?

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