Despite the fact that it's been gathering dust for a few console generations, Hudson's peppy Adventure Island games were always good for a (sometimes frustrating) romp through the jungle. How many other games offer a chance to throw axes and fireballs at leaping octopi? Now the heroic Master Higgins is coming back for a new adventure at last on Nintendo's WiiWare platform in Adventure Island: The Beginning. 1UP's Retro Gaming Blog takes a quick look at the new game and compares it to last generation's only-in-Japan remake of the original game for the Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2. Strap on your jungle loincloth and let's go!
So why didn't Hudson just rerelease the last version? Wait -- better yet, keep the graphics while making the semi-sequel. The extra-cartoony-looking Master Higgins in the Selection version was well done and definitely channeling the simple beauty of Mr. Driller's character designs. The Higgins in the new game is more proportional, in line with the character's looks in Super Adventure Island 2. But even the backgrounds in the Selection version are clearly better-looking. I don't mean to discredit Adventure Island: The Beginning -- Hudson has really been embracing digital distribution, and a new edition of an old 8-bit game wouldn't fly as a full retail product. And I do love the Adventure Island series. It's just curious of Hudson to start over with something that doesn't look quite as good as it did last time.
I rented the original Adventure Island games for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES back in the day, but the only two games in the series that I actually own are the original game (as a game pak, natch) and the Virtual Console's take on New Adventure Island from the TurboGrafx-16 catalog. I'll eagerly return for this WiiWare sequel, but, Hudson, is there any chance we can get an English version of Adventure Island IV for the Virtual Console?