Adventure Island 3
Box Shot
Adventure Island 3
Platform: NES
Publisher: Hudson
Designer: Hudson
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1991
Reviewed by: Adam King

An interesting concept is the Adventure Island series from Hudson Soft. Each game in the series is an improvement over the previous chapter. I don't know about you, but I feel that the third game is the best one in this series (I never played Adventure Island 4, which is only available in Japan).

The story isn't that different. Master Higgins was chillin' with his girlfriend, Jeannie Jungle (didn't it used to be a girl named Tina?), when suddenly an alien spacecraft comes along and beams her aboard. This, of course, does not go over well with Higgins, so he sets out to kick some alien butt.

The game play is a follows (for those unfamiliar with the series). There are eight zones, each with eight areas. In each area, Higgins fights his way through other island creatures, trying for the goal before his life line (the ticking bar at the top of the screen) goes out. Fruit helps regenerate life, so it keeps him going. In other words, it's not really a life meter, it's more of a time limit (which also goes down if you trip over stones.) His main weapon is an axe, and he can mount a skateboard and slide his way to victory.

This game is similar to Adventure Island II, yet it's a bit different (and better). Although you still die by taking one hit, you can now duck under projectiles and hit low. You can also find a boomerang that's more powerful (you can only throw one at a time, unlike the rapid-fire axe). Just like the last game, you can find eggs with symbols and you can call ride on dinosaurs. The four from AI2 are back: the Blue Camptosaurus (shoots stars), the Red Camptosaurus (breathes fire and can walk through lava), the Elasmosaurus (fast in water), and the Pteranadon (lets you fly). A new dino makes an appearence: the green Tripetaurus, which rolls over obstacles. There are more bonus stages and hidden items abound. A special crystal absorbs one hit. Finally, when you lose and Continue, you get to keep your items without using a special code (no more looking for the Hudson Bee, folks).

The graphics are a mixed bag. While Higgins, the dinos and enemis look neat and have good animations, the backgrounds look kinda blocky. The sounds are all right, and the music has the exact same tunes as AI2. The controls are great, especially now that you can squat down, thereby causing less deaths.

All in all, if you realy want an Adventure Island game, get this one. The major problem is that this should have had a battery or passwords, like the Game Boy version does. This is a long quest, so you may not be able to ever finish it with putting in long hours. Also, there may be too many similarities between this and AI2, but it still stands as its won game. Despite these, it's a great sequel.