Super Adventure Island II, Super Nintendo

Super Adventure Island II is the sequel to Super Adventure Island and was developed by Make Software, Inc. and first published by Hudson Soft in 1994. It is somewhat different to the first game, though, and has RPG elements, as well as also being more open-ended in how you play it.

After the initial cut scenes are over you’re free to ‘sail’ (well not really “sail”, because you’re on a raft – more like row) to explore different islands and caves to start your adventure, although you’re advised to start on the island of “Poka-Poka” in the south-west.

Sailing around can trigger random encounters, which will start a short side-scrolling action section, and you must make your way off-screen left or right to continue travelling. When you do reach an island the game again cuts to the scrolling action format, with beat ’em up elements. Various enemies will attack you during these action sections and these can be defeated to acquire money. Initially you only have your fists, but you soon acquire a sword which can also be used to break rocks and open up more avenues of exploration.

Another key gameplay element are switches that turn special platforms on or off (very much like in Super Mario World), which also allow you to access places you wouldn’t normally be able to. Pressing the ‘X’ button brings up a menu screen with eight different options, including weapon and armour equipping; magic; a map of the current level; a world map, and a save option. It also shows you how much money you’re currently carrying. You’ll occasionally need money to buy new items and abilities.

Graphically, Super Adventure Island II is excellent, with smooth-scrolling, colourful backgrounds and well-animated sprites. The game also has a decent set of tunes backing up the action. The best thing about Super Adventure Island II, though, is the gameplay, which is well-designed and very absorbing without being too difficult. The game has a lot of nice touches, like a casino with gambling minigames (including an impressive fruit machine, and ‘horse’ racing), huge Mode 7 rolling boulders, heat haze effects, and even digging with a spade… The boss battles are quite imaginative too.

Overall, Super Adventure Island II is arguably the best game in the entire Adventure Island series. It plays a bit like Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, which – as anyone who’s played that game will know – is a good thing. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the relative over-simplicity of the earlier Adventure Island games. Again, though, the friendly dinosaurs from the NES games are missing, which is a slight disappointment, but otherwise this game is still excellent – much better than the first Super Adventure Island, I think.

More: Super Adventure Island II on Wikipedia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.